Didacienne Nibagwire was our 2013-2014 Roméo Dallaire Scholarship recipient. Dida is a graduate of Kigali Independent University in Economics, and is a theatre actress and playwright (writing in her native Kinyarwanda and French). She believes art has the power to make a difference, and focuses on using art for advocacy and social change; her work has covered a number of themes including reconciliation, forgiveness, justice and human rights.
Across all of her work, Dida is especially driven to address issues faced by women and children. She wrote:
I want to help others like me. Since I began my involvement in theater, my dream has been to become a women’s and children’s rights activist. After my scholarship at Lewis and Clark, I plan to continue my studies for a master’s degree, and hope to create a cultural center in Rwanda to promote a deeper understanding of child and youth issues, and to help make sure the next generation is a peaceful one.
Dida was featured in a CNN article from 2012 which discusses her background and her work at that time.
Update, April 2021:
Nibagwire Didacienne (Dida) is a Rwandan producer, actress, and advocate for the arts and culture with more than 10 years of experience. She is the founder and managing director of IYUGI Ltd, a production company based in Rwanda. She is the co-founder of the Kigali cultural L’ESPACE, a creative space inspired by the need to establish a permanent home for the Arts.
- Dida produced A Place for Myself (2016) and ICYASHA (2018) short films by Clementine Dusabejambo; she was the casting director and technical advisor for Petit Pays, an film adaptation of Gaël Faye’s multi awards winning novel Petit Pays, directed by Eric Barbier. She is currently producing Father’s Day, a film by Kivu Ruhorahoza.
- For the past four years Dida has produced Sakwe a countrywide teen musical radio drama Ni Nyampinga by Girl Effect. She has also produced many local and international stage productions.
- Her company Iyugi was designed with a sense of social responsibility where she uses part of the company profits to support independent artistic projects that deals with social issues. Under Iyugi she offers various training in acting, dance, writing, and scenography for professional and emerging artists.