Tsatsi Rugege

Tsatsi Rugege is barely seventeen years of age, but her acting skills cannot go unnoticed. She is currently pursuing International Baccalaureate Diploma programme at the Green Hills Academy, in Kigali. We recently caught up with her at the KWETU Film Institute, where she performed a sensational Broadway hit musical, FAME. Below are the excerpts.

Q: When did you realise your acting skills?

A: I have never thought of drama as a talent but rather as a passion. My first experience was the day I acted ‘Mary’ in a Christmas play about the birth of Jesus Christ. I was only five years at the time.

Q: Who is your role model in the creative industry – in theatre or films?

A: I do not have a person as my role model, but rather a story that inspires me, the Broadway hit musical, FAME! That is why I chose to do it at Green Hills Academy.

Q: Apart from today’s performance, have you acted before?

A: I have acted in two Christmas plays at pre-primary school. In primary school, I took part in a production inspired by Rudyard Kipling writings, The Jungle Book and a poetry performance. I also did Trolls, a male artists inspired production.

Q: What do you think about the film industry in Rwanda?

A: The film industry in Rwanda seems to be hot right now! It is rapidly growing and I am sure, it will soon be very lucrative. In a nutshell, Rwanda’s film industry is very promising.

Q: What impact do you think the establishment of KWETU Film Institute will have on Rwanda?

A: I see the institute contributing rapidly to the development of entertainment and hence Rwanda’s economy.

Educating people means ensuring their stability as far as an income is concerned, which is extremely important in any country. I also see the institute inspiring the youth to get into the creative sector where they will able to express themselves positively.
Q: Which is your favourite film and why?

A: My favourite film is ‘Finding Neverland’. It is really a sad story about the playwright and inspiration of Peter Pan, but the way the film portrays reality and imagination and its combination with music is absolutely amazing!

Q: Do you think films produced in Africa are weaker compared to Hollywood films?

A: I do not think so. In Africa, we had to give the first priority to pressing issues like infrastructure and suitable societies to live in. We are only a bit behind but, many countries, especially Rwanda, are catching up at a good pace.

We only need to keep trying, take constructive criticism and learn to ask for help where necessary.

Q: If an upcoming local filmmaker asked you to take part in their film, what would be your reaction?

A: First, I would be shocked.  But really, I would be thrilled to work with a local filmmaker!

Q: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

A: I see myself combining my two passions; engineering and performing arts. Many people think the two are incompatible, but I think they have a major factor in common; movement. I don’t know how, but I will do it.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I really like attending Spoken Word Rwanda at Shooters’ Lounge, because I love reciting poetry and singing.

Q: Lastly, what message do you have for the young people who would love to join the creative industry, especially in acting?

A: Performing Arts is like a child. It requires love, strength, patience and it is the greatest gift!

By Joseph Njata, The New Times



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