EntertainmentLifestyleEntertainment in Rwanda- Unrivaled or Mediocre?

Ekefre MeyeneabasiOctober 3, 202261515 min

There is no doubt that in recent years African entertainment and entertainers have received recognition from audiences all over the world. According to mp3 bullet, in Nigeria alone, there are more than four musicians whose singles went gold in the United States. This shows the growth of African entertainment globally.

Source: Daniel Otudor from Intore entertainment

Rwanda, a country that has recently had numerous significant economic developments and progress has also gained some advancement in its entertainment sector.

An article written by KCB Bank Rwanda sheds a light on the financial potential of entertainment in Rwanda if well catered for.

This ranges from art exhibitions, concerts, comedy shows etc. According to recent statistics from Statista, music event management in Rwanda is set to hit 2million USD in 2022.

This shows the outstanding (potential) of events management in Rwanda despite its enormous room for growth.

 What’s Hindering The Rwanda Entertainment Sector From Tapping Into Its Full Potential?

Rwanda just like most African countries has to deal with a lot of problems to generate sustainable revenue from the entertainment sector.

Most noticeably for the case of Rwandan artists  is the dependency on music shows to earn from their craft. The lack of diversity in revenue generation is taking atol on the growth of this sector.

According to a report in 2016 by KCB bank Rwanda, one of the major fears of potential investment in the Rwandan entertainment industry is an increased crime rate.

Other results that may come from certain events include noise pollution and commotion to mention a few. Although these risks are very controllable.

Globally, cities that have successful recreation and entertainment sectors have acknowledged the numerous risks attached and have found ways to create control measures that would mitigate these risks.

These measures include implementing strict guidelines and policies event companies or managers must follow for an event to be held.

According to the holiday reporter, numerous film directors expressed their frustration that there is a lack of a viable distribution market.

Local producers and directors in Rwanda believe that the film industry does not yet have the necessary distribution component for it to become sustainable.

There are very few cinemas, local television platforms, and even online platforms that are not willing to pay for homegrown productions. This in itself is a very big challenge when it comes to the local film industry.

The distribution market is the main source of income for filmmakers globally, when the distribution of locally made movies, the local film industry would suffer for it. This existing gap is one of the biggest threats to the success of the entertainment sector in the country.

 What Needs To Be Done ?

While speaking at the Kigali Audiovisual Forum organized by the Rwandan Development Board, veteran South African producer Ramadan Suleman mentioned that Rwanda has something South Africa doesn’t have which is stability.

Rwanda has been blessed with having a stable government for over 20 years and this is something positive to be exploited to their advantage. Having peace, good and stable governance is one of the factors that is preventing South Africa’s film industry from excelling and Rwanda has this in abundance.

Furthermore the CEO of the local broadcast group “Contact Media” said he spent over 30 years outside the country before returning to his homeland in 1994 and he witnessed live and direct the rebuilding of the nation and everything it has achieved.

Albert Rudatsimburwa believes it is now a time to tell stories and spread the word about the amazing achievements. This image Rwanda has created could help bring tourists not solely for business tourism but also for recreation and entertainment tourism.

Mitigation: One strategic way to handle the risks above is to dedicate or create an organization to oversee the management of Rwanda’s entertainment sector.

This organization would be in charge of documenting policies that outline specific requirements for all segments of the entertainment sector.

Well written policies could include mandatory features for live entertainment such as; security, parking, sound management, and an age rating of concerts.

This specific module has been successful in numerous global counties such as the United States of America. It may not be implemented using the same approach but will be successful if implemented properly.

Regulation and policy creation: One of the best ways to run the film industry is through regulation and coming up with policies and guidelines to allow content creators to thrive as stated by The Newtimes Rwanda.

Hakym Raegan, a film producer and founder of Hakym films LTD believes that

“as long as there are no proper regulations and policies, most Rwandan content would never reach international standards because copyright issues are overlooked and rules are broken”.

Artists can’t gain proper visibility due to these problems. If proper measures are taken and laws have been enforced the prosperity of the film industry would see rapid growth.

Dispersion of funds:

According to the East African, there is  clearly a shortage of investment in the entertainment industry in Rwanda. There is limited funding to produce marketable film projects, most producers even lack the funds to make their films.

A Hillywood actress Yvette Mahoro says:

“One can’t even make a living from acting”.

A lot of actors and actresses barely make enough money to keep them going, they are mostly motivated by their passion for acting.

There are different ways funds could be attained either through loan initiatives from banks or even grants  from the government.

If funds are provided, then probably  production of films in Rwanda would be of proper quality, have more talent enter the industry and ofcourse cross borders through streaming platforms like Netflix.

Source: The new times Rwanda

With every problem and risk involved, the question of the entertainment sector of Rwanda being  unrivaled or mediocre is clear. More needs to be done. Even with  its shortcomings, Rwanda could easily turn its entertainment sector  into a vibrant one.

Ekefre Meyeneabasi

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