Africa News Bulletin

Why Rwanda needs more facilities for the arts

Rwanda’s creative industry has experienced a rapid revolution that has seen the dispatching of many players in the industry, thanks to Nyundo School of Arts and Music which shaped some of the top artistes on the scene at the moment.

The school which was established in 2014 to promote and professionalise the art industry in Rwanda, has so far helped 135 students including renowned stars like Igor Mabano and Nel Ngabo, who both graduated in different faculties of art and music.

Keddy Bahati is one of the students who are still studying music at the facility and believes that this school played a big role in uplifting some of the talents he had, like playing acoustic guitar and music production.

However, talking to this publication, Bahati notes that if there could be more schools in different areas of the country, more talents would be discovered in Rwanda.

“From the day I joined this school, my musical touch has changed. I got a space to interact with fellow musicians, and I started listening to different genres of music without limiting myself to trap and Afro,” the Nyundo student tells Weekender.

Victor Rurangwa, another young visual artist based in Nyarugunga, Kigali, says that he is interested in joining the school which relocated to Muhanga, but the distance between his home and the art facility is still a problem.

“If we could get schools that are closer that would facilitate us, I am sure that many like me can grow our talents. More art and music schools are necessary in our community,” he says.

According to David Kalisa, a bass player who is also interested in music production, based on how the music industry stands at the moment, Nyundo School was a success over shaping the most trending and loved artistes right now like Okkama, Ariel Ways and many others.

This, he says, should be motivation to build more art facilities and add more programmes in schools that uplift talents in the young generation.

Talking to Weekender, Jacques Muligande, the current director of Nyundo School of Art and Music based in Muhanga, says that the addition of more schools like this is a necessity in Rwanda.

Muligande says that it could even play a huge role in escalating the growth of Rwanda’s creative industry which has already started improving.

Paul Umukunzi, Director General of Rwanda TVET Board (RTB), tells this paper that they are first working on renovating the current Muhanga-based school to make it a high standard facility that can accommodate many students from different parts of the country, and provide them with enough equipment.

Umukunzi adds that the process of renovation started with constructing new buildings in the facility which are going to ease accommodation and provide a bigger space for students to learn.

“We want to make it more than just a school, but a space to host concerts and attract different people, including music lovers from different areas of the world.

“The school is also going to receive 15 more experienced teachers to help a large number of students, as well as provide them quality education,” he adds.

The Director General also called investors to build private art schools promising them collaboration with RTB, a move he believes will take the Rwandan creative industry to another level.

“For now, we are focusing on renovating the existing facility, but we will also look into building different schools in the future,” Umukunzi says.

If provided with support from the government and private investors, Rwanda’s creative industry could take over internationally, according to Nillan YNB, a singer and producer who graduated from Nyundo School.

Original story on The New Times

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