He is one of the most popular faces in the Rwandan film industry. Alongside the recently deceased actor Denis Rwasa Nsanzimana, he has have been at the forefront of the movie industry.
Emmanuel Ndayizeye, commonly known as Nick in the movies, and Nick Dimpoz in the music industry, is a common face on the screen and on billboards where he advertises different products.
Born in 1987 in Nyakabanda, Kigali City, Nick is married to a wife, with whom he has a child. He recalls that from childhood, he liked watching films and listening to music, which probably had an influence on his career.
While his acting career has taken shape, Nick still has a long way to go to make a breakthrough in his musical career but the actor is not giving up.
It was in 2014 when he discovered his passion for acting. He started off with a movie he made with his sister titled “Birakaze” which was never released. Nevertheless, he was not discouraged and he kept trying.
Despite the first movie not being released, he says his journey of becoming an actor was not the hardest because he had the support of his sister who already had experience in the movie industry.
“When I started, I didn’t encounter too many challenges because my sister was the scriptwriter. My biggest challenges were being overcome by fear during casting and not believing in myself. It takes guts to be on the set,”
“In the beginning, we could act for free, driven by our passion. But the more people noticed our talent and the more we worked hard, our efforts started paying off,” he said.
Having persisted, today he has become one of the most famous faces in the movie industry. He is more synonymous with the popular series “City Maid” in which he is the main actor. The series which air on Rwanda Television (RTV) has made Nick so popular that some think it is his real name.
“Most people don’t even know my name, and they tend to think that Nick’s character in the movie is my real-life character,” he says.
Many people also try to relate the characters in the series to the people playing the roles in real life yet the characters in the movies and in real life are totally two different people.
“It’s true that when actors or actresses take on certain roles in the movie, people tend to think the people have the same personalities they portray in the movies. The people playing villain roles can turn out to be the most well-behaved people in real life,”
“It was not easy to adjust to the confusion the characters we play create within the society. We used to relate characters in the movies to people in real life. Now that we are actors, we realize how true this is. For example people think that “Ngenzi” is a bad person in real life because of the villain role he assumes very well in movies”, he said, adding that in real life Daniel Gaga, aka Ngenzi is a good person.
On his part, Ndayizeye believes he has been lucky to play positive roles mainly touching love, suffering, and many more educative characters.
Every role offers lessons in real life.
Talking about “Nick” character, the guy who doesn’t obey his parents and spends his family money recklessly, he said that the character holds some educative message to both the parents and the youth.
“On one hand, this character is about educating parents that they have to accept the fate of their children and try to help them change. On another hand, the youth should also learn from Nick in regards to making the right decisions and strive to be better people in life,” he said.
Ndayizeye reckons that the Rwandan movie industry has grown over the years because it is possible to sustain acting as a career today, which was not possible in the past.
“The Rwandan movie industry is growing because today you can depend on acting as a career, which wasn’t possible in the past. The industry has grown in both the quality and quantity of what is produced,”
“I would say today people pay attention to our work and attach respect to it”, he said, pointing out that today local series such as ‘City Maid’, ‘Seburikoko’ and others air on the national TV, which is also a sign of progress and appreciation.
Ndayizeye urges young talented youth who are passionate about acting to focus on what they want to achieve and never give up on producing to the best of their abilities. He says the foundation has been laid for them.
He is also a professional traditional dancer –something he says was his first job before he ventured into the movie industry. He made his first earnings from dancing with troupes. He has also tried his hand at music but it is fair to say that unlike his fast growth in the ranks in the movie industry, his musical career is yet to fully take off.
He has outed a number of songs such as “Uzaba Umbwira”, “Beaucoup” and “Vitamin” featuring Oda Paccy but he is yet to make an impression on the music scene.