A total of thirty-six million Francs was given out in awards to different winners, including individual and group winners, at the grand finale of the inaugural Art Rwanda-Ubuhanzi in Kigali on Saturday.
The awards event was the culmination of a three-week talent scouting and nurturing exercise that saw 70 young talents reach the final stage of the competition, which included a weeklong boot camp, during which the young artists received valuable lessons pertaining to their respective arts and general knowledge.
The competitors also had a chance to train in business and how they can harness and make the most of their respective talents, professionally.
Art Rwanda-Ubuhanzi is a nationwide talent search initiative by Imbuto Foundation, in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and Culture, as well as that of Youth.
The idea is to identify budding talents in many fields; including plastic arts, dance and music, fashion, acting and drama, photography and cinematograph, and literature.
The organisers and judges traversed the country holding auditions that attracted some 2200 youths, 587 of whom received a ‘pass’ to progress to the next phase. The number was later whittled down to 70.
The fact that the competition attracted such a huge number of contestants in its maiden edition and the quality of the works that subsequently came to light attest to the fact that this country is not short of talents and innovative minds. The missing link has always been the lack of an inclusive platform that offers particularly young people a chance to showcase their talents and potential.
In Art Rwanda-Ubuhanzi, talented Rwandan youth now have an opportunity to pursue their dreams and eventually help grow the country’s creative sector and the economy at large.
To all the contestants that impressed in the just-concluded competition, including those that ultimately scooped individual awards and those that did not made sure their presence was felt in one way or another, we say congratulations to each one of you.
Most importantly, we join the First Lady and other officials who called on you to embrace humility and discipline as you embark on your new chapter as emerging artists.
Indeed, immodesty and all manner of reckless behaviours like substance abuse, extravagance and sexual promiscuity, have killed careers and shattered futures. And in today’s world where social media fame is the order of the day, we encourage you to make use of the knowledge and skills imparted to you during the competition and useful life skills you learned along the way; stay true to yourselves, keep your feet on the ground, and earn your progress up the ladder.
To the organisers of Art Rwanda-Ubuhanzi, it would be great to have a mechanism in place through which these young talents would continuously be nurtured and guided to ensure the competition’s sustained success.