As Michael Sengazi, a renowned Burundian-Rwandan comedian, jokingly remarked during the recent three-day comedy masterclass held in Kigali, For a while, I was 50 per cent of Rwandan comedians, or at least 50 per cent of those who speak French, with Herve Kimenyi filling up the other 50 per cent. However, ever since Sengazi and Kimenyi's careers took off over a decade ago, in 2010 and 2007 respectively, the comedy scene has significantly flourished in Rwanda. This surge in popularity has attracted numerous young aspiring comedians to join the industry, making comedy even more prevalent. ALSO READ: Comedians offer masterclass ahead of Belgium-Rwanda laugh-in night The duo is pleased to witness the growth of comedy in Rwanda, which has inspired them to give back by providing guidance and mentorship that they did not receive. It is in this spirit that Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI) organised the masterclass from October 13 to 16, aimed at nurturing local talents within the comedy industry. The masterclass preceded the anticipated Comedy Night, hosted by WBI, where the three comedy stars will showcase their talents at the Institut Français on October 18. The event is free of charge and open to the public. One of the participants in the masterclass, Jean-Bertrand Irakoze, known as Bareth-Humoriste, shared his experience, highlighting how he gained a deeper understanding of the structure of comedy. He admitted, In the past, I may have cracked jokes without even realising which comedic style I was employing. This masterclass has been eye-opening for me. According to Inno JP, a Belgian-Rwandan comedian, comedy involves techniques such as exaggeration, personification, transposition, comparison, bi-association (mentally associating an idea or object with two unrelated fields), the rule of three (drawing an unexpected conclusion from known concepts), logical incompatibility, reverse psychology, wordplay, puns, and many others. For Inno, comedy requires strategy; outlining the 3*4 rule that involves four steps—exploration, incubation, illumination, and elaboration—and four emotions—bizarre, scary, stupid, and difficult. Additionally, he mentioned the four hats a comedian should wear: detective, clown, judge, and warrior. For a joke to become funny, Kimenyi emphasised that it has to be well-researched and connect with the audience while being educational or informative if necessary. The masterclass also emphasized the following key tips: simplicity, clarity, integrity, preparation, message, consistency, research, authenticity, and relatability. People who took part in the masterclass will be given certificates as proof to their acquired skills. The much-awaited comedic extravaganza is scheduled for October 18 at Institut Francais, starting at 6:30 PM, courtesy of Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI). WBI functions as an international policy instrument to connect Francophones from Belgium with counterparts worldwide. Their mission is to enhance the international impact, influence, and recognition of Wallonia-Brussels' dynamic cultural sector, which includes creators, artists, entrepreneurs, students, researchers, and more. In Rwanda, WBI primarily operates in the cultural sector and engages in indirect bilateral cooperation. Their office has been active since 2019, actively supporting Belgian NGOs collaborating with Rwandan partners. WBI offers support in a variety of ways, including funding cultural events like comic strip exhibitions, film festivals, and literary workshops, as well as promoting educational initiatives such as scholarships and internships.