© Elena Ternovaja
Didacienne Nibagwire, Rwandan cultural entrepreneur
Updated on 11/01/2024
With ten years' experience under her belt, Didacienne Nibagwire is a producer, actress and advocate for the arts and Rwandan culture. Founder and managing director of IYUGI, a production company based in Rwanda, she co-founded L'Espace in Kigali, a cultural venue that supports contemporary Rwandan creation. This creative environment supports theatre, dance, audiovisual and film projects. It has been designed as a permanent home for the arts in Kigali. Also as a producer, Didacienne Nibagwire worked on the short films A Place for Myself in 2016 and ICYASHA in 2018 by Clémentine Dusabejambo.
In recent years, Didacienne Nibagwire has also made a name for herself by producing Sakwe, a nationwide musical radio series for teenagers, and the Ni Nyampinga brand for Girl Effect. She has also produced local and international stage projects. In addition, Didacienne Nibagwire owns the IYUGI company, which promotes a sense of social responsibility through artistic creations dealing with social issues.
Across all of the projects she supports, Didacienne Nibagwire brings a valuable approach driven by social concerns and contemporary issues. Through her company, IYUGI, she offers various training courses in theatre, dance, writing and set design for a range of professional and emerging artists. In the production of Father's Day, directed by Kivu Ruhorahoza, she introduces characters who have reached a crossroads in their lives and are now faced with major choices. This feature film is a vision of the everyday life of a country and explores the way in which its inhabitants deal with the past.
Didacienne Nibagwire has often admitted that she identifies with the film's narrative, which is inspired by the story of Rwanda. For Petit Pays, the adaptation of Gaël Faye's novel directed by Eric Barbier, she became a casting director to select non-professional actors capable of bringing their story to the film. Nearly 90% of the actors had never appeared on a film set, while Didacienne Nibagwire carried out part of the casting at the Mahama refugee camp in Burundi.
In Rwanda, Didacienne Nibagwire now runs L'Espace, a cultural venue dedicated to the visual and performing arts. It was inaugurated in August 2020 by the curators of Maison Beaulier, as well as the IYUGI and Amizero companies. This is a new space in Kigali, which seeks to blur the boundaries between different contemporary artistic practices, but also to create a place where artists and the public can exchange ideas.
Didacienne Nibagwire is also supporting the distribution of the film Father's Day, which received a large amount of exposure when it was shown at festivals. Despite its low budget, it won over the Berlin International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Encounters prize. The film will soon be presented by its director at MoMA in New York, before travelling to Austria and the Czech Republic.
Didacienne Nibagwire founds the company IYUGI.
She produces A Place for Myself, a short film by Clémentine Dusabejambo.
She is casting director and technical advisor for the adaptation of Gaël Faye's novel Petit Pays.
Didacienne Nibagwire is producer and casting director of Father's Day, directed by Kivu Ruhorahoza.