By Ange Theonastine Ashimwe

Comedy is not something we do just because we ran out of choice. – Michael Sengazi

Burundian-Rwandan comedian Michaël Sengazi, who has been featured on show stages for nearly a decade, has won the 5th edition of the Talents du Rire prize, awarded by RFI.

Growing up in a society that has a lot of taboos, Sengazi finds his inspiration from either the family, but also taboos. He tries to bring the conversations that society skips around, like sex and religion.

He decided to do what he does because he saw how humor brought people together: “We got closer by humor and we were able to put our differences aside thanks to humor. This is where I decided that this is what I wanted to do.”

Driven by his passion and talent and then doing it with professionalism, he has written and performed numerous one-man shows, created different humor festivals in Burundi and Rwanda and participated in many festivals and for him, that is only the beginning.

“Africa is now watching us, we should take more advantage and show what we are capable of if we want to reach more milestones,” says Sengazi.

He received his award at the Abidjan Capital of Laughs Festival in the Ivory Coast. The Prix RFI Talents du Rire was initiated by the humorist Mamane, a columnist on the antennas of world radio, in collaboration with RFI (Radio France International) and Gondwana-City Production.

The RFI Talents du Rire prize, endowed with 4, 000 euros, is devoted to new talents in humor, and it rewards a young French-speaking artist from Africa, the Indian Ocean, or the Caribbean.

More than a hundred other comedians were also eyeing this prize, and Sengazi is quick to mention that he can not take that for granted. He adds that it is a motivation not only for him but for all his fellow Rwandan comedians that the future of comedy within East Africa is nothing if not bright.

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