Cleophas Kabasita (‘Cleo’) is one of Rwanda’s best actresses. She was born in Uganda, where she did her primary and secondary school studies before returning to Rwanda in 1994, at the age of 18.
She later graduated from the National University of Rwanda. Her passion for acting started during her high school days, where she performed in school dramas, though she never dreamt of being on TV one day.
Cleo attended the auditions for the first genocide film, ‘100 DAYS’ (2001 Nick Hughes), to watch her friends who were vying for parts in the movie.
She was lucky that the casting director mistakenly handed her the scripts, assuming that she was looking for a part in the movie. She was then given the role of ‘the heroine Josette’ after noticing her talent.
“When I started talking to the casting director, she said that I was the person they were looking for; and there I was, an actress,” she says.
Cleo also starred in another genocide film, ‘SOMETIMES IN APRIL (2004, Raoul Peck), as ‘Valentine’, alongside Hollywood’s A-Lister Idris Elba.
She also worked with the seasoned Hollywood actor, Richard Gant in the movie ‘Ezra’ (Newton Aduaka), which was nominated to the ‘Sundance Film Festival’, in the United States.
Her latest feature film, ‘Kinyarwanda’ won the ‘World Cinema Audience Choice Award’ at the ‘Sundance’. She is working on two other movie projects, which also involve Hollywood.
Cleo also likes having fun with her family and friends—she is married, with two children. She also plays tennis, as her next talent.