FROM CHILDHOOD, 26-year-old Ramjaane Joshua Niyoyita wanted to be a preacher.
A Jack of all trades, Ramjaane aka Inyenyeri is the youth leader at his church, a renowned local MC, a translator and part-time preacher. He is also an entrepreneur and a radio show host on Isango Star.
“But above everything, I am a comedian. Inyenyeri Ramjaane, a comedian by calling, and then you say, Amen!” he jokes.
The jolly comedian has a Kenneth Kimuli aka Pablo (popular Ugandan comedian) feel to him. It came as no surprise that he looks up to him.
Just like Pablo, Rwanda’s new stand-up comedian started with school and later church.
As a young boy, he was considered by his parents as the funniest of all his siblings. At Eto Gatumba where he attended his secondary school, Ramjaane founded a drama group that stirred his love for comedy.
Born to a missionary father in Goma, Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, Ramjaane, moved to Rwanda with his parents at a young age and grew up in the suburbs of Kigali where he attended his early school days. He then attended Westminster Theological Seminary in Uganda.
Ramjaane travelled with his father who was always doing missionary work across the Great Lakes Region.
Through this, Ramjaane was inspired to study theology and he graduated with an honours degree in Biblical studies in 2010 from the Ugandan based theological school. But throughout his tertiary education, he knew that his passion was comedy.
On his return to Rwanda, he started hosting various youth events at his church as an MC. He went on to work on a number of local radio stations including Sana Radio (a local Christian radio).
Later, he realised that there was need for a gospel stand-up comedy group.
He founded Christian Comedy in mid 2013 and has never looked back. He was later contracted by Matelas Dodoma as their brand ambassador.
Ramjaane was inspired to form a gospel comedy group because he wanted to change the mindset of Rwandans towards comedy, as well as be a shining star in the lives of the depressed.
“I prefer being called Inyenyeri (star) because I believe through my art I can brighten someone’s dark day. Just like the Bible tells us to be the light of the world, I wish to be a star, lighting up people’s lives by making them laugh,” the comedian says.
Ramjaane was the host when Ugandan gospel musician Judith Babirye performed in Rwanda. He has so far performed in Burundi and Tanzania. His ability to speak six languages; Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Kiswahili, Lingala, English and French gives him a diverse audience.
Ramjaanne will be performing at many shows this year; he will be travelling to Tanzania later this month to perform with prominent Tanzanian comedian, Masanja, and later head to Kenya before going to Canada in August.
He will also be hosting a TV live comedy show called the “Ramjaane Laugh and Learn” show, which will kick off later this month on RTV.