When the idea of “crying games” was announced in Rwanda a few weeks ago, many took to the social media not only to laugh at the idea, but to ridicule the concept forcing the organisers to explain some more about exactly what was going on.
Still, it remained hard to believe that people would be taking part in games to cry in public on hearing a shocking story or a joke.
But on Saturday, those questions were answered when the crying talent exhibition finally took place at Kigali Convention Centre and young talents got involved in emotional moments that invoked tears (‘of joy or anguish’) among the actors themselves and the audience.
The first edition of ‘Crying Games’ contest was organized by U5 Rwanda, an events company whose mission is to develop different talents that the young generation holds in different aspects of entertainment.
Not deterred by the ridicule on social media and eventual low turn-up for the event, Hudson Manzi, of U5 Rwanda, said the contest could be expanded as they are looking to reach different parts of the country in order to give a chance to more people, especially the youth, to discover rare talents like crying.
“This is just the beginning and we want to show people that they can shape their everyday life feelings through crying games. We expect to see the number of contestants in future editions grow as more people get to understand the concept,” Manzi told The New Times.
Since the contest started on March 4, thirty contestants entered the competition. 10 were selected to compete in the finals on Saturday.
Before a small crowd, the contestants competed in crying, cracking jokes and sad storytelling in a way that a story can touch the audience’s hearts, with view to inducing tears in the process.
Mwanga Troupe, who competed in the crying games as a group, ran out the winners, taking home a cheque of Rwf100, 000.
The troupe is known for acting in a series of dramas in different parts of the country, especially focusing on peace building in Great Lakes region.
Claver Gakunde, a member of the winning group, said that crying games can be a platform for emotional healing for people who often desist from crying when they are in sad and hard times.
“Winning the prize was not our main target. We just wanted a platform to help people get out of their shells and express their hidden feelings to help emotionally heal their hearts. We use our creativity to achieve this,” said Gakunde.
Many among those who attended reckoned the games were important. “It’s good for people to emotionally open up and get healed,” said John Mutsinzi.
The show also featured a performance by musician G Bruce who entertained the revellers with songs such as ‘Ndi Nde’ (Who Am I?) and many others.
The show ended at 8.30 pm.