Tell your parents why you love acting

Dear Counsellor,

I want to give up on my course and join a drama club; however, this won’t be easy for my parents to accept as I’m currently doing a course in engineering. 


They have high hopes, and they say acting won’t pay the bills. But it is my dream. And I feel like I’m wasting time taking a course I’m not even interested. Sometimes, I’m tempted to fail on purpose just so I can use that as an excuse. I’m very depressed.


 Please advise.  Simon


Often times, there is conflict between a student’s career dreams and the parents’ chosen aspirations.  Drama, like any other professional career, has a wide range of benefits that will open up networking opportunities and boost your confidence, and offer significant skills that will enrich your life in all aspects.

You shouldn’t sit around and wait for your parents to give you permission to pursue something you’re truly passionate about.  If your parents are imposing their dreams on you, rather than helping you achieve yours, you need to talk to them about your passion, and be sure to approach them with respect.

Talk about the monetary aspect this career holds, because your parents may not know the benefits.

Their concern should not be seen as sabotage because they love you and want the best for you.  They are trying to secure your future, and this is why they lean towards an engineering course — with the perception that it’ll quickly lift you to financial heights. 

You have to talk to your parents about the importance of an acting career, and make them understand that your future will not be affected. 

Put your thoughts into practice and show them that you are really passionate about acting.

Let your passion and ability become your guiding principle. The way you choose to live your life should be your decision, not an obligation. You are entitled to quality education, whatever complements your interests and abilities, in order to maximise your potential and fully develop your talent. 

Most importantly, focusing on the career of your interest will encourage you to invest a significant amount of energy and diligence to see it work out well. A good body of work speaks louder and may benefit you more than grades got from an engineering course.

Larger theatres offer heaps of opportunities and often, job stability, with other privileges like working on TV, building your brand and frequent travel to all parts of the world. This is a challenge towards your goals but approaching your parents for their support will see you successful in the future. 

Their thoughts...

John Mugabe, Store manager

Don’t drop your course to pursue your dream just yet. There is time to exercise your interests in the future. You need that degree, as it will open other doors for you in the future. 


Josiane Uwimana, Salesperson

Keep in mind that acting class is not for failures, or people with no other qualifications. In fact, it’s better to have other qualifications when you join the acting field. Secure a degree in your current course and use it as ‘Plan B’, in case you don’t succeed in acting.


Athanase Rutagengwa

The question is, why drop on an engineering course in favour of acting class when you can do both? Please note that many successful actors and actresses have other fields they are qualified in, and are good at. You just need to plan well.


Fabrice Nsengimana, Student

My advice is that you talk to a career guidance counsellor. Schools have teachers and counsellors with expertise regarding career guidance and development. They can help you figure out what’s more important at the moment, and how you can make the most out of your academics. Don’t rush to make a decision; seek a mentor and consider talking to experts about your decision.

Compiled by Dennis Agaba




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