Frequently Asked Questions for the Programme

This section seeks to answer some of the more frequently asked questions we receive.

What is the 'ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi' programme?

ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi is a programme aimed at identifying and supporting young and talented Rwandans within the creative arts industry. It will consist of a televised nationwide search for creative youth in six different categories (plastic arts, dance & music, fashion, acting & drama, cinematography & photography and literature). Each week, the selected performers will receive challenges, giving them an opportunity to showcase their talent, and the least successful will be eliminated. Throughout the programme, contestants will be mentored by industry experts and receive advice on how to transform their talent into sustainable employment opportunities, in an effort to support their artistic development and future career aspirations.

What challenges is ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi addressing?

The two challenges to be addressed by ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi are:

1) Recognising the talent that is widely present among Rwandan youth.
2) Foster the creation of jobs in the creative industry.

Who came up with the ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi? Has it been done in other countries?

The ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi is a programme conceptualised by the Ministry of Youth, the Ministry of Sports and Culture and Imbuto Foundation. A similar concept exist in other countries but it is the first of its kind to be organised in Rwanda and for Rwandans.

Who are the stakeholders involved?

The ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi programme is implemented by Imbuto Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Sports and Culture. Other stakeholders involved are Established artists, young artists, the Rwanda Broadcast Agency, the Rwanda Development Board, the Workforce Development Authority and the Private Sector Federation among others.

Who will choose the winners in each ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi programme?

Winners will be selected by a panel of independent judges based on the selection criteria developed by Imbuto Foundation, the Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Sports and Culture. The criteria is defined in the judging criteria section. From the first training of the boot camp phase forward, the audience is open to participate in the competition by voting for their favourite artist, through SMS or online voting.

Who will own the intellectual property rights for the art pieces/projects/performances developed through ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi?

The participants in the ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi programme will own the rights to the art pieces/projects/performances they develop. However, we encourage participants to trademark and get a copyright of their creations/projects, for intellectual property protection.

What is the difference between trademark and copyright?

While both offer intellectual property protection, they protect different types of assets. Copyright is geared toward literary and artistic works, such as books and videos. A trademark protects items that help define a company/institution brand, such as its logo. To learn more about trademark and copyright in Rwanda, visit .

How can I claim a piece of someone else’s prize if I contributed to the success of their project/creation?

It is not possible for an external person to claim a piece of the prize from the winning project/creation, unless they can prove ownership rights. For contestants who will present existing projects they will have to provide ownership documents.

Who can participate in the ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi programme?

This programme is open to all Rwandans leaving in Rwanda, aged between 18-35 years old.

I am an illustrator and I share my work on my Instagram page but I have not yet gotten the chance to present/exhibit my work at any art gallery. Can I still join the programme?

Yes you can still join the programme, however, we are interested in supporting young and undetected talents. You should be able to demonstrate the entrepreneurship approach of your project/creation.

How do I join the programme competition?

Any interested young person meeting the participation requirements can audition at any of the selection sites which will have been communicated ahead of the road trip selection. 120 contestants representing all the 6 categories under the Creative Arts industry will be selected to participate in a pre-selection phase to verify the authenticity of their work, and then 60 among them will thereafter be selected to continue to the first training of the boot camp phase which will eliminate 30 and have the remaining 30 continue to participate in the second training. The remaining 30 will be put together in 5 groups of six contestants and be tasked to work on a team challenge. Following this phase the 5 groups will pitch their projects in front of a panel of judges. Three (3) groups will be selected following the pitch day to polish their projects and compete for the grande finale phase, that will determine the top team, the top artist in each category and the audience favourite artist.

How important are public votes?

Because this is a programme aiming at creating awareness about the creative industry and contributing to job creation among other objectives, contestants are encouraged to engage with the public. However only the audience favourite artist will be determined by audience votes. The remaining winners will be selected following the set judging criteria.

What kind of financial and technical support will ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi provide to the young artists?

The winners will receive different prizes packages, among which seed capital will be provided to the main winners, allowing them to start their new ventures and permit them to access certain grants. In addition to the cash prizes, they will be linked to renowned art galleries, 'ateliers de couture', relevant institutions to their specific fields, for internships and a 1 year incubation period.

Can I join the competition with an existing project which needs funding?

Yes you can, as long you meet the judging criteria and are considered to be a young undiscovered creative. If you have an existing project, you can use it as a supporting document that the judges can use for further understanding of your talent. This could for example be a book or short story you’ve written, if you are auditioning as an author. However, an existing project is not a pre-requisite in order to sign up. (TB revised in a way that limits established artists)

How many times can I enter?

If your application is not taken into consideration for this first season at any of the different phases, you will still have a chance to join the competition for the second season taking place in 2019. For the first season, contestants are only allowed to audition at 1 site.

What kind of supporting materials should I carry when coming for the road trip selection?

Any physical item you think would add valuable information about your project that judges can use to better understand how your idea meets the ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi criteria. In case it is an existing project, you need to provide ownership rights documents.

Why do you target young people?

ArtRwanda - Ubuhanzi is targeting young people in Rwanda because they make up for the largest section of the population (insert percentage). They are most affected by the challenges that the Government seeks to address in general. They are in a better position to propose solutions to challenges the community experience.

More to that, we believe the project has the potential to address the youth unemployment issue through the promotion of social entrepreneurship among the young people.

I am not in Rwanda; how do I get involved in the competition?

You can engage with us via our social media platforms; follow the TV shows on our YouTube channel. (TB revised)

I am based out of Kigali; will I be able to participate in the programme?

Yes, the programme will take into consideration teams that will have to travel to attend the programme. The programme will start with a countrywide selection which will then determine who will continue for the following phases, will be hosted in Kigali.

Will the selected groups have enough time to get their projects market-ready in the only proposed months?

We provide the necessary coaching for the projects to be developed in the given amount of time months. However, the mentorship for contestants extends the duration, and each individual will be supported in developing a comprehensive business plan including a timeline for the project.

How will you make sure the programme supports impactful projects?

The judges will give feedback on the talent displayed, as well as assess the groups on the viability of each specific project for revenue and job creation. In addition to this, the 1 – year incubation serves the purpose of carrying out a close follow-up of the winners.

How does this programme support the Rwandan Government priorities?

The programme aims at detecting talents of the youth between the ages of 18-35 with the objective of contributing to the increase of employment focusing on the set targets of the National Strategy of Transformation (NST) of creating 70,000 jobs by 2024 among the youth.

Can groups take part in the auditions and be selected as a group?

No. Groups cannot be registered for the preliminary auditions as judges will only be judging and selecting individuals. A participant can, however, us the support of a group to showcase his/her talent at the preliminary auditions but must note that this not be allowed at later stages of the competition.

Is there enough gender representation in the competition?

We highly value and encourage gender equality in this competition and have considered this in all aspects of this project. With regard to judges and industry trainers, we have selected both male and females to ensure a balance, however, a heavier weight was placed on the involving with the right kind of experience, which would be able to contribute to quality selections and provide quality training to participants.

Did you have a question that wasn’t answered here?

You can email us at or reach out to us by DM on all our social media platforms.