An insight into ‘Amateka Series’ program launched to instill Rwandan culture in youth

On 26 January 2021 at 04:19

‘AMATEKA SERIES’ is an art and history related project launched in October 2020 aimed at strengthening Rwandan youth’s personal journey of reconnecting to their Rwandan identity by inviting guests and organizing discussions that will inspire Rwandan youth to continue working together and be more proactive in their community regardless of their places of residence.

The project launched by Rwandan youth living in Perth, Australia, features panel discussions bringing together experts in history, culture and various artists among others.

Linda Iriza, one of organizers of ‘Amateka Series’ has told IGIHE that the idea to launch the project was developed in January 2020.

“The idea of Amateka Series came in January 2020 as we were planning for future activities for Rwandan youth living in Perth. We were inspired by the fact that many of us know little or nothing about Rwandan history and culture,” she said.

As COVID-19 emerged, a lockdown was imposed that Iriza along with colleagues couldn’t organize face-to-face meeting.

They leveraged technology advantages and made enough preparations during the lockdown until the project was launched virtually in May 2020.

“This gave us enough time to properly plan for Amateka Series program that we launched in May. At the beginning of the month, we chose a specific topic related to Rwandan history and encouraged Rwandan youth in our city to do their own research. At the end of May, we held a zoom session where we shared our research findings. We continued to hold virtual sessions and share findings throughout the lockdown,” said Iriza.

In August, lockdown restrictions were lifted that their community organized the celebration of National Harvest Day known as ‘Umuganura’.

During preparations to celebrate Umuganura, two Rwandan elders were invited to deliver talks on the tradition of Umuganura where they shared deeper insights into the history of ‘Umuganura’.

Linda Iriza has explained that the majority of youth living in Peruth town didn’t get chance to learn about history and culture of their native country because some arrived in Australia aged 3 while others were born there.

“That is why they are interested in learning more about Rwandan culture and the country’s history. We were delighted with great ideas and the support we are receiving,” she said.

As she said, they are looking forward to making ‘Amateka Series’, a project that encourages the youth to carry out research on Rwanda’s culture, write and share outcomes.

Last year’s discussions about Rwandan history and art were led by a great panel including Hope Azeda, the founder of Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company; Moses Turahirwa, the founder of Moshions and Amb. Uwihanganye Jean de Dieu representing Rwanda in Singapore among others.

All the panelists shared how they are continuing to honour Rwandan history through the work they are actively doing in their respective backgrounds.

Iriza thanked Rwanda’s embassy in Singapore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Youth and Culture for relentless support to implement the project.

Iriza concluded by requesting Rwanda youth across the world to attend the next session scheduled on 6th February 2021 where they will host a talk on the genesis of Rwanda and performance by Jules Sentore. These discussions will go live on all social media platforms of Amateka Series (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube).

More details about ‘Amateka Series’ can be accessed on: www.amatekaseries.com.