Rwandan filmmaker Claude Niyomugabo has won an award for his documentary ‘Born a Refugee but Never Think Like a Refugee’ at the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) Short Films competition held in Cairo, Egypt. The film's powerful narrative, highlighting the lives of refugees, received the prestigious ‘Special Mention Award’ outcompeting 10 counterparts like ‘Naboth’, ‘Pure’, ‘Eskafi’ to name but a few, which affirms its impact in challenging stereotypes and giving a voice to those who have been marginalized. The 30-minute audio-visual documentary showcases the stories of adult refugees, children born and raised in camps, and prominent figures who were refugees in the past. The content intends to challenge the prevailing stereotypes surrounding refugees and provide a platform for their stories to be heard. His film was shortlisted and screened at the Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF2023) event in Cairo, Egypt from November 9. The platform typically showcases Africa's creativity in fashion, music, film, arts and crafts, and sports. ALSO READ: Rwandan documentary shortlisted in continental film competition Niyomugabo’s 30-minute audio-visual debut documentary is divided into three compelling parts, each weaving together the stories of individuals who have experienced the complexities of refugee life. One of the segments touches into the lives of children born and raised in refugee camps, shedding light on the unique challenges they face growing up in such environments. Another part focuses on the struggles and triumphs of adult refugees, offering harsh experience of the resilience that characterizes their daily lives. Through intimate interviews and captivating visuals, he paints a vivid picture of the strength that emerges from the most challenging circumstances they face. The final segment introduces viewers to prominent figures including president Paul Kagame, footballer Eduardo Camavinga and others who were once refugees but have successfully transitioned beyond that label. Their stories serve as powerful examples of hope and transformation, challenging the preconceived notions surrounding refugees. ALSO READ: Young filmmaker debuts documentary on refugees The 24-year-old, reflecting on the inspiration behind the documentary and the reason for scooping award, said “I think my film secured victory due to its uniqueness and the potential to deeply impact the community, specifically resonating with young refugees who may perceive their refugee status as a barrier to achieving goals.” “Additionally, its narrative has the capacity to influence those outside the refugee community, challenging the misconception that refugees lack the ability to excel like others,” he said. Niyomugabo recommends everyone with the means to contribute to improving the lives of children in camps to take action. Encouraging private and government agencies to provide job opportunities for these capable children because they can make a big positive impact in their communities.