about iamge

About The Festival

Art has manifested itself world over as an efficient form of communicating, expressing opinions, airing issues and sharing values about all aspects of life that affect humanity. We are convinced that art as a forum for communication, expression, reflection, innovation and creativity is a key motor for social change. The word Ubumuntu can be defined as “Being Human”. Our festival aims at creating an avenue where people from different walks of life can come together and speak to each other in the language of Art. As Desmond Tutu has said “My humanity is bound together in yours, for we can only be human together.” His profound words have been the inspiration behind the festival slogan: “I am because you are, you are because I am: we are human together”.

Ubumuntu Arts Festival is the brainchild of Hope Azeda; a major figure in contemporary Rwandan theatre, and, the founder and Artistic Director of Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company – a leading theatre company in Rwanda. The Ubumuntu journey started when Hope submitted its idea to the Africa Leadership Project as her leadership project proposal. Needless to say her proposal received great feedback and as they say, the rest is history!

The festival was first held in 2015 and happens annually following the last week of the 100 days commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. It is held at the outdoor amphitheater of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and brings different artists from around the world to convene in Kigali Rwanda. Festival activities include but are not limited to performances, workshops, panels and genocide memorial site visits. The festival is free and open to everybody and therefore relies on donations and sponsors for financial support.

Meet The Team

Hope Azeda

Festival Curator

Hope Azeda is one of the leading figures in contemporary Rwandan theatre.

Gloria T. Karengera

Production Manager

Gloria T. Karengera is a lawyer by profession with a master’s degree

Samuel Kyagambidwa

Finance Manager

Samuel has worked in several ranks as a playwright, actor, director, stage/radio

Maija Rivenburg

Festival Administration

Secretary at Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company, describes herself as an

Simon Rwema

Workshop Coordinator

Simon Rwema is a Rwandan lead dancer, actor, drummer and choreographer. He

Theresa Fend

Communication Manager

Theresa Fend combined her interests for arts and culture in her studies

Eunice Kangai

Communication Consultant

Theatre, Media and Events! These are some of Eunice’s passions. She has

Bethsheba Gathoni

Graphic Designer

Bethsheba Gathoni is a 360 degrees designer, advertiser, marketing and communication specialist.

Brian Geza

Stage Manager

Brian Geza has fourteen years of experience working in the performing arts

Megan Lang

Lighting Designer

Lighting Designer Megan Lang is a lighting designer based in New York

Matt Deely

Set Designer

Matt Deely studied theatre design on the Motley theatre design course London,

Bebeto brings profound technical knowledge to Ubumuntu’s tech department. He has over

McNULTY PRIZE LAUREATE – Hope Azeda

As the founder and curator of the Ubumuntu Arts Festival and Organization, Hope Azeda has provided the vision for using arts to help societies around the world deal with their own traumas and to connect with the international community.

A refugee herself, Hope spent much of her upbringing in Uganda before returning to Rwanda in 1998, where she became a celebrated leader of the country’s arts sector.

She served as the Director of Civic Education of the National Unity Reconciliation Commissioner and as the director and founder of the internationally acclaimed Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company

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