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.