NATASHA DAPHINE MUHOZA is popular among her peers for her column Natasha’s Chronicles in the Teen Times, a weekly magazine published by The New Times. She started writing for the magazine in Senior three, while still a student at Riviera High School.
During an interview with The New Times, Natasha, explains the commencement of her passion for reading and writing.
“I discovered my passion for writing after reading several novels. In fact, nothing particularly big happened. It was a natural attraction. The feedback I got after my first article in the Teen Times was amazing and it pushed me on till today,” she said.
Family and friends also greatly encouraged her to continue writing after her first article. She basked in the hope that she would become a great writer like Danielle Steel—her favourite author.
“My favourite Author is Danielle Steel but I prefer writing inspirational and educative material than fiction. In the near future I would like to organize a team of writers because, with my vision, we can write a lot of inspirational material,” Natasha says.
When it comes to Rwanda’s reading and writing culture, she has her reservations.
“Honestly, it still needs improvement. My observation is that people pay more attention to radio and television information as opposed to written content. My experience at school with fellow youth, both in Rwanda and Uganda, can confirm this,” she explains.
She also encourages the youth to challenge themselves with reading.
“Youth should change their mentality about reading; they should learn to concentrate and analyze everything—a requirement for writing. It’s not hard because; as long as you have something to say, you have something to write,” she explains.
Daniel Mucho, Natasha’s older brother , says his sister is hard working and achieves everything she sets her mind to do.
“The beginning is always frightening for her but she overcomes it with time. She is kind, respectful and generous,” says Mucho.
Regarding Natasha’s reading and writing culture he said; “She first wrote an article in Primary one while at Taibah Junior School in Uganda. Everyone at home was thrilled. She always writes inspirational words at the back pages of her books. She is also good at writing really long and heart wrenching letters that can even make a grown man cry.”
He concluded that he is proud of her and that she is as inspiring in person as she is in her writings.
Natasha has held various leadership roles in school, which include; Library prefect in primary school and in High school, she has filled up the roles of; Timekeeper, Assistant dormitory captain, President of the Debate Society and Head Prefect.
“My first experience as a leader was very nerve wrecking considering I was so young. I was 10 years old when I first took on a leadership role. As it was the first time, it was obviously challenging but also strangely satisfying because it made me realize just how strong I was. Eventually becoming head prefect is what humbled me. I also matured a great deal,” she recalls.
The 18-year-old was the head prefect at Rivera High School, a position she believes challenged her the most.
“Although I was encouraged to campaign for Head prefect, I was petrified of the responsibilities that came with it. I later got my courage together and it turned out to be less challenging with time,” she narrates.
Natasha is currently enjoying her Senior 6 vacation, and says she has a lot to explore before joining University.
“I’m trying to find a job just to keep myself busy. I am keeping in touch with my high school friends and making new ones too. I’m generally, taking advantage of the newly acquired freedom but also, not letting it take advantage of me,” she expresses.
Just like any other youth who is trying to discover her potential and the world at that, Natasha’s says her first role model is Jesus Christ.
“Jesus Christ is my first role model followed by my parents. My other role models are everyone and anyone whose character or actions set a positive target for me to reach,” she confirms.
Natasha is optimistic about her future for she has set out great plans for her education and career.
“I plan to graduate successfully and then pursue a Masters Degree and probably a Doctorate degree as well. If there is something I can do well and be able to give back to others, I will do it without limiting myself or letting anything limit me. Career wise, I look forward to a global career in writing,” she emphasises.
Breeding a generation of confident young writers, such as Natasha Daphine Muhoza, would go beyond sensitising Rwanda’s youth to write and read. Several youth could be inspired by the life around and, through learning to express it in writing, share their stories and experiences with millions across the world.