I did not choose to join comedy, it chose me, Mashirika's Arthur Nkusi says

Arthur Nkusi is a comedian, singer, radio personality, actor, choreographer, and painter all in one. He told Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa his view on the Arts industry in Rwanda and what he intends to achieve in his career.

Arthur Nkusi is a comedian, singer, radio personality, actor, choreographer, and painter all in one. He told Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa his view on the Arts industry in Rwanda and what he intends to achieve in his career.

Why did you choose the arts?

 
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Arthur Nkusi. (Courtesy)

I don’t think I chose art, art chose me. What I did is to love art. I was just a normal kid that happened to be born in an artistic family. My father introduced me to the world of art in 2004, performing in the stadium with Mashirika arts group. That’s how my journey started.

 

Of what importance is arts?

 

I see art as the true connection of humanity. If you look around, most of the evil that was done, art played a big role. Let’s take an example of music; all over the world music is used as the tool of education that can lead to good or bad. The same applies to comedy and theatre. They can be used as a voice.

Any challenges you encountered in this field?

The first challenge I had to face was balancing my normal life with what I was trying to build as my career (performing). When I started with Mashirika, we had to do tours that sometimes lasted for three months. By then I was still in high school, and I had to miss school sometimes.

My university was very far from town (in Butare) and yet I had to travel every Friday to perform at different shows. When I started comedy, it became more difficult because I had to run up and down for sponsors yet still have to do school. That’s how I moved back to Kigali.

Basically, I had challenges of deciding what to prioritize.

What can be done to improve the Arts industry in Rwanda?

The industry is doing good; the only thing remaining to make it bigger is a national theatre. It’s like having a football team and clubs without a stadium. If we get the art centre, then every artist has a home. But apart from that, the industry is growing; you can see how poetry is also catching up.

What inspires you?

There are so many things that inspire me, and one of them is my life. How I grew up, how I became the Arthur I am today, pushes me hard to become more. Sometimes other people’s achievements inspire me too. The fact that I am one of the pioneers of the comedy industry also drives me to keep working.

Tell us something that people do not know you

Well, I love eating and watching movies. Whenever I get home, I have to watch one episode at least even if its 3 AM.

What are you planning next?

My plan is to make my company bigger, I now provide TV content. I started with one, which I give to Royal TV, called “The Soft Talk”. I constructed a studio for it so I am hoping to start producing more shows. I am also now taking my comedy continental, now that I have performed in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania. My next move is to try ‘hitting’ other countries too.

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