70 make it to Art Rwanda-Ubuhanzi boot camp

A total of 70 hopefuls from different categories, in the recently concluded Art Rwanda-Ubuhanzi auditions, made it through to the next stage of the nationwide competition.

The auditions took place last weekend in Kabuga, Kigali.


Art Rwanda-Ubuhanzi is a talent search competition. It is a project of Imbuto Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Sports and Culture, that aims at identifying and supporting young and talented Rwandans within the creative arts industry, help them nurture their creative talents to reach their full potential and create a positive impact in the creative and socio-economic development of the country.



Contestants pose for photograph before the final pre-selection. Courtesy photos. 

The contestants were competing in six different categories, namely Plastic Arts, which involves illustrators, painters and sculptors, ‘Dance and Music,’ which bring together singers, instrumentalists and choreographers, fashion, which targets budding and creative designers, ‘Acting and Drama,’ a section of comedians and actors, ‘Cinematography and Photography,’ specifically for directors and cartoonists and, ‘Literature’, which looks out for authors and poets.

On Saturday, a total of 587 contestants, who got a ‘PASS’ during road trips in the six sites nationwide, namely Kayonza in Eastern Province, Musanze in Northern Province, Rubavu and Rusizi in Western Province , Huye in Southern Province and City of Kigali, turned up for the pre-selections on Saturday at Cenetra Hotel, Kabuga. They were, however, reduced to 120, picking 20 from each category.

The pre-selection saw contestants presenting their works before the judges formed in 4 panels, two for music and dancing, a category that had the biggest number of contestants (the first with judges Producer Pastor P, Nicole Irakuze, and Bruce Melodie and the second made up of Mani Martin, Danny Vumbi and Sandrine Isheja), and another for Plastic Arts and Literature made up of Kennedy Mazimpaka, Jean de Dieu Kibibi and Jean Marie Vianney Kabakera.

The fourth panel, made up of judges Moses Twahirwa, Diogene Ntarindwa, and Lauren Rwema was also tasked to look for the best talents in Acting and Drama, Cinematography and Fashion.

On Sunday, the 120 contestants, who passed the pre-selection auditioned yet again, before the panels of judges, for another presentation or performance of their art.

The final deliberation saw 70 selected for the boot camp, including 51 male and 19 female finalists. Each of the categories is represented by 10 contestants, except music and dance which had 20, as the category which had the biggest number of contestants from the very beginning.

Martine Umukunzi, the Communications Officer at Imbuto Foundation, said that it was not easy to get to the final contestants given the talents that turned up at the competition.

“The judges had a very hard job to select the best talent holders because there were so many contestants whose talents were worth passing, but because it is a competition that looks for a given number, some had to wait for another chance in the next editions,” she said.

The boot camp

According to organisers, the 70 selected contestants will head to the boot camp during which they will be trained and mentored by experienced coaches from each category.

The boot camp will last two weeks and will be done in two training phases. The first phase will link the contestants with their respective coaches who will train them to enrich their talents. This phase will see the contestants reduced to the best 30, who work in groups in the second phase, depending on the category.

Contestants will then be tasked to come up with a business project, which will showcase each of their talents, their business viability and team work potential.  The three best performing groups will then go through to the finals where the winning group will be announced at the award-giving ceremony slated for mid-December. The awards will also see the best contestant from each category awarded.

Through the voting process, the audience will be given a chance to vote for the overall best contestant from the 70 finalists through the online voting.

The winners will undergo a year-long incubation, where they will be mentored to grow their talents into a productive project which can benefit a big number of people.


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