Play to share Rwanda’s feminism journey in Europe

Shanel is a Rwandan singer and actress currently based in France with her family. / Courtesy photo.

Four Rwandan performers, Yvette Niyomufasha, Shanel Nirere, Natacha Muziramakenga, and Wesley Ruzibiza are set to take part in a play portraying feminism in Rwanda, in Europe starting October 29.

 They will take part in a 75-minute play ‘Learning Feminism from Rwanda’, alongside their German counterpart, Cornelia Dörr. 


The two months tour will see them perform in Germany, Switzerland and France.


 The performance looks at the extraordinary rise of female representation in all parts of the Rwandan society over the past 25 years due to gender quotas at the base of politics. This is juxtaposed with a critical view of Germany which has had gender equality written into its constitution since 1949.


 With passionate speeches, protest choreographies, and stories of change and stagnation, all driven by an electronic soundtrack, the five performers follow this Rwandan fast-track empowerment via shining statistics through the glass ceiling and beyond. What can Europe learn from Rwanda?

“Rwanda has already accomplished what women in Europe are still fighting for: 61 per cent of parliamentarians are female. In Germany only 31 per cent of parliamentarians are women.  This raises a global question: if this rapid change was possible in Rwanda, why not in Germany and the rest of the world? Four Rwandan and a German performer compare numbers and realities from both countries, using a drum as the central symbol of power,”

“They also look behind the curtain: If women are empowered, how do men deal with losing power and what are the battles at home? Who washes the dishes and takes the children to school? How slowly or quickly does culture and mindset change due to quotas? What are the instruments of change?” reads a statement by the organisers, in part.

The play is produced by Flinn Works, in cooperation with EANT Festival, Amizero Kompagnie. 

Flinn Works is a performing arts company based in Berlin, with roots in Kassel and with ties to Bangalore, Mumbai, Dar es Salaam and Aarau.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, however, three performers from Kigali will perform virtually, while Dörr and Nirere will perform live on stage.

Nirere, who is also a renowned artiste, shared her excitement about the project on her social media page.

“Excited to be working with @flinn_works in Berlin and yet wondering how am going to make it through these two months away from my babies,”

“In “Learning feminism from Rwanda” we tackle patriarchy issues and one question among many others is: Who decides who the breadwinner and the caregiver is in the family?” she posted.

Natacha Muziramakenga is a poet, spoken word artiste, actress and blogger. Courtesy photo.

Yvette Niyomufasha is a professional traditional dancer. Courtesy photo.

Wesley Ruzibiza is a dancer and choreographer. Courtesy photo.

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