Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI), a Belgian public agency, in partnership with different stakeholders has organised a comic book exhibition that has brought together emerging artists from French-speaking Belgium and authors and illustrators of Rwandan comics. The exhibition which will run until April 4 at Imbuga City Walk is in line with the celebration of the Francophonie month (March), dedicated to the promotion of French language. According to Eric Santkin, the representative of WBI in Rwanda, the exhibition has brought together nine creative authors and designers from the Wallonia-Brussels region of Belgium who are innovative creators, have not yet experienced great creative success and are publishing their first works. The Belgian authors whose books are being showcased include Aurélie Wilmet, Mortis Ghost, Rebecca Rosen, Antoine Boute, Adrien Herda, Stéphane de Groef, Félix, Aniss El Hamouri, Charlotte Pollet and Mathilde Van Gheluwe. The exhibition is also showcasing works by Rwandan authors who include Jerome Irankunda for his book “Nyiragitwa”, Jean de Dieu Munyurangabo for Simba yiganye sine irabizira and Augustin Habimana for “Gashumba wa Gashakamba” Santkin said that WBI plans to have a series of creators who are well known abroad, not just in Belgium, adding that there are further possibilities of cooperation with Rwandan authors, artists and publishers as well as the government throughout this programme. The agency has partnered with the City of Kigali, the Embassy of Belgium, Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Youth and Culture to organise the exhibition. According to Aimable Twahirwa, Director General of Culture Promotion at the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the exhibition encompasses comic books that he said are loved by both children and adults for they convey a message in an entertaining way. He noted that it consists of 64 panels and that the books were released in Rwanda which to him shows that Rwandan publishers and artists can do polished works. “We have many young people who are talented in drawing. We should connect them with professionals. As we encourage people to read and write books, there will also be those who release comic books. We have many stories to share with the world and with a comic book, a story is easy to tell whether in Kinyarwanda, English, French or Swahili,” he said. Guillaume Kavaruganda, the Director General for Europe, Americas and International Organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that most of the stories the exhibition showcases are in French, adding that it was organised to promote Francophonie. Nowadays, many people do not get much time to read (conventional) books. They need things that make them busy such as reading but at the same time being entertained by pictures. That way, a person reads cheerfully while also learning. Reading a comic book is a modern way of learning.” Jerome Irankunda, a university lecturer and researcher who has also authored a graphic novel entitled “Nyiragitwa” said that his story aims to chronicle the contribution of Rwandan women to the development of the country from pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial periods. He revealed that having a few people who are interested in doing research and willing to invest time to know about a particular story is still a challenge that affects his sector of belonging, declaring that producing the book took him more than two years as he and his team spend time conducting interviews, asking people if they have really met the person “Nyiragitwa” and if her story was real. As part of the exhibition, meetings with the participating authors were scheduled from March 16 to 18 with the aim of highlighting the role of women in comics. Aimable Twahirwa, Director General of Culture Promotion at the Ministry of Youth and Culture. Bert Versmessen Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Rwanda. Eric Santkin, the representative of WBI in Rwanda.