The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission on Monday gave out cash prizes to artistes who produced best songs and poems about reconciliation.
As one of the activities organised by the Commission as part of the Reconciliation Week, a writing competition on reconciliation started last month.
A song titled “Ubumwe n’Ubwiyunge’’ (Unity and reconciliation) by Inganzo y’Umuco cultural troupe from Musanze District, emerged the best in the song category and was awarded a cheque of Rwf2 million.
Erisha Kwihangana from Rusizi District emerged second while Marie Claire Uwineza emerged third and were given cheques of Rwf 1.5 million and Rwf1 million, respectively.
Viviane Uwababyeyi, 12, a Senior Two student at Tyazo Secondary School in Nyamasheke District emerged the winner in the poetry category and walked away with Rwf1 million.
In her poem, titled, “Twiyubakiye Inzu” (loosely translated “We built a house for ourselves),” the poet, Uwababyeyi, cited the achievements Rwandans have made independently and called on them to safeguard these achievements.
Participants were drawn from across the country with the selection process starting from village to the district level. The winners at the district level competed at the national level.
Sixty competitors participated in the national competition, 30 in each of the categories.
Fidele Ndayisaba, the executive secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, said the competition aims at celebrating the reconciliation achievements.
Ndayisaba commended the extent to which Rwandan artists were willing to showcase the fruits of reconciliation through art.
He assured more support to the winners of the competition so that their messages in the songs and poems can be spread further.
Sebyatsi Habumuremyi, a representative of Inganzo y’Umuco cultural troupe from Musanze District, attributed their outstanding performance to hard work.
“We spent days and nights rehearsing. We will continue to spread the good news about reconciliation through music,” Habumuremyi said.
Uwababyeyi, who emerged the winner in the poetry category, also said that hard work was their secret.
Uwababyeyi promised to grow her talent further.
“Everyone has a message to the people. The only key is to work hard and dare. I thank my parents and school for giving me time to develop my talent. I also thank my district for encouraging me,” Uwabayeyi added.
The 5 winners in both categories
1. Itorero Inganzo y’ Umuco, from Musanze District
2. Erisha Kwihangana, from Rusizi District.
3. Marie Claire Uwineza, from Nyarugenge District.
4. Itorero Umuryango, from Muhanga District.
5. Itorero Indashyikirwa, from Karongi District.
1. Viviane Uwababyeyi, from Nyamasheke District.
2. Brandine Yizerwe Iradukunda, from Gicumbi District.
3. Jean Claude Niyonzima, from Burera District.
4. Emmanuel Ntivuguruzwa, from Ruhango District.
5. Dieudonne Nyirimanzi, from Ngororero District.