As a young boy growing up, his burning desire was to become one of two things –a journalist, or a medical doctor. Today, he juggles a handful of occupations that are close enough to his childhood career ambitions.
Nsengeyukuri Jean Damascene Philos is not only a practicing journalist in Kigali, but also an Events Master of Ceremony (MC), a public speaker and budding gospel musician.
As an Events MC, he is better known as MC Philos. Nsengeyukuri traces his journey into the world of medicine back to one of his elder brothers; he advised me to pursue sciences and I ended up studying biology, chemistry and Latin in high school,” he reveals.
The fourth boy out of five siblings, Nsengeyukuri was born in 1986, to Gaspard Gahire and Colette Mukarwego in the Southern Province. After his primary school, he enrolled at Murama Secondary School in Ruhango District in Southern Province. He completed his ordinary level in 2003 as the second best student at the school.
“I continued my advanced level education at College du Christ -Roi de Nyanza where I emerged among the top three best students at the school in 2006.
He then joined the National University of Rwanda to pursue Pharmacy. In 2012, he graduated with a second class honors upper division degree in Pharmacy, thereby clinching his childhood ambition to work in the medical profession.
Today, he is the head pharmacist at Alliance Pharmacy in Kigali.
Becoming a Master of Ceremonies:
“In the year 2000, I began to be a master of simple ceremonies of classes, anniversaries, school ceremonies, church ceremonies where I got experience in public speaking and many more,” he says. “Public speaking is my passion and inspiration and in addition I like culture and art. I frequently used to be a master of ceremony in different domains, especially in wedding ceremonies where I used to speak about Rwandan culture, Rwandan history and historical occurrences of Rwanda, including our past leaders’ hierarchy.”
As an MC he has officiated at a number of events across the country, including the SIFA Awards Season IV, and at various social gatherings like weddings, “where I enjoyed the opportunity to meet top leaders of our country including president of the Senate, ministers, senators, chief justice, deputies, and other top leaders”.
He gets business mainly through word of mouth from people that have seen him at different events.
“When I perform in a wedding ceremony, people ask for my phone number or look for it via social media or from people who I served and then call me after, I help them from wedding preparations, meetings till the end where I master the ceremony for them.”
Nsengeyukuri has been working as a professional pharmacist since 2013, about three years after he ventured into the world of Events MC-ing and public speaking as an amateur then.
“A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who practices in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use,” he explains, adding that “I decided to take on those two professions because I like them and I do them easily. Public speaking is my talent.”
He explains that although gospel music is another of his passions and talents, his main focus at the moment is his pharmacy and public speaking jobs. He reveals that his musical inspiration comes from Albert Niyonsaba, who was voted gospel male artiste of the year in 2016.
“I really owe a lot to these people, people who inspired my artistic and professional journey are from different fields and are my role models because they are the reason I keep grinding everyday:”
Some of his role models include President Kagame, former US President Barack Obama, Rwandans who participated in “our culture conservation through many ways like Cyprien Rugamba, Mgr Aloys Bigirumwami, Alexis Kagame, and Jean de Dieu Nsanzabera as cultural keepers through their arts, songs, books, and Literature.
“Daily I get knowledge and intend to improve day by day to provide good service in wedding ceremonies, I also intend to create a centre for training in traditional wedding, public speaking at national events and international ceremonies, including social and political. My happiest moment is being in love with my wife Florence Niyonsaba and the day of our wedding ceremony, while my lowest moment in life is the Genocide against Tutsi in 1994.