Tag Archives: documentary

Inzozi Nziza hits prime time

Things have been so busy here in Butare that we haven’t even told you that a short version of the Inzozi Nziza documentary aired recently on the global television network Al Jazeera!

The documentary is the work of brother-and-sister film-making duo Rob and Lisa Fruchtman. We’ll keep you updated with their progress as they work towards releasing a full feature-length piece on the Inzozi Nziza and Ingoma Nsyha projects, but the chance to share their work so far with the world through Al Jazeera was one that they didn’t want to miss. As well as the film, Rob and Lisa also wrote an article for Al Jazeera about their experiences filming in Rwanda, which you can read here.

We don’t have much access to satellite TV here at the shop, so we had our own mini-screening on a laptop the following day. Thirteen of us clustered around the computer for the strange experience of seeing ourselves and our friends on television.

Squeezed in for the big screening!

Here’s what our acting shop manager, Marie-Louise, had to say about the experience of watching Sweet Dreams for the first time.

What was it like seeing yourself on TV?
I think it’s nice, because what we’ve dreamed is real and is on show everywhere. If many people see what we do, they can know that the women of Rwanda develop themselves; they have a chance to see the women of Rwanda work hard, think of things that they can do themselves in a similar way. In many countries, when they think of Rwanda they just think of war. But if they can see us working now, they can change their minds. If the world sees that film, because they know Rwanda in bad conditions, they can see Rwanda in good conditions.

How has Inzozi Nziza changed your life?
Before working here, I didn’t have a way of earning money. Everything I wanted, I had to ask someone else. But now, I can have something I want and I can help my child and my family to live. I am thinking of going to school to help myself. In the past it has been hard for me to be happy. I don’t have my dad – how can I live in peace and be happy? But now, I have many friends here. I’m very happy. My life is full.

Anything else you’d like to say?
I like many things about the movie that Rob and Lisa have made. For example, the world can see what we are doing in Rwanda, from honey to milk, where we make the coffee. They can see the development of Rwanda and how we have good things here. For the women, they can see how they drum and show their happiness to everyone. They are very unified, and the drumming is helping us resolve our problems. We see in the interviews with Martha the problems that were here before, but also how we have made our lives better.

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Training starts here

With the interviews out of the way, Nikki, Marie-Louise, Kiki and Gloria faced the difficult task of choosing who would make our list of 17 trainees. Each of these would complete our full educational programme, beginning with food safety, extra English lessons and basic accounting, then culminating in a week of intensive training from BPeace that would cover everything from customer service to managing personal finances. In the last week they’ll learn about the food itself – including actually making our soft-serve ice cream! – and then we’ll whittle down the list of 17 to 10 official Inzozi Nziza employees. We haven’t forgotten about the rest of Ingoma Nshya, though… even though we can only offer employment to ten women, English lessons are continuing to help everyone improve their skillsets and employability.

So, following English lesson (and with the cameras once again in attendance), we announced the names of the trainees. Congratulations Aline, Alphonsine, Chantal, Drocelle, Eugenie, Florence, Julienne, Leatitia, Leocadie, Leontine, Marie-Claire, Marie-Jeanne, Marie-Rose, Olive, Restude, Seraphine and Valentine!

Inzozi Nziza's trainees take the plaudits as Nikki and Marie-Louise (left) make the big announcement

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Rwanda’s got talent

Now that we’ve found our wonderful assistant manager, the next job is to recruit the rest of the employees. After all, our opening date of 5 June is now less than a month away!

So far, ninety women from Ingoma Nshya have attended English lessons provided free of charge by Blue Marble Dreams. The next step is to pick 17 of the best – not just in terms of English proficiency, but equally their commitment, initiative and enthusiasm – for our full training programme. The Business Council for Peace (BPeace) is arriving next week to teach our potential employees the art of customer service and the basics of book-keeping, whilst also giving them a crash course on managing personal finances. After that, we’ll whittle down the 17 to a final total of just ten in time for the big opening.

To kick things off, it was time for a (friendly) grilling from our interview panel.

From left to right, Marie-Louise, Gloria, Nikki and Kiki form our team of judges

Many of the co-op had never been to a job interview, so beforehand we provided a few tips about what to wear, how to behave, what kind of questions to expect, and what interviewers tend to look for (good and bad). We know that not everyone we’re currently working with can get a job from Inzozi Nziza, but we hope that we’re passing on skills that will benefit anyone who has come to one of our classes.

Fully briefed and well prepared, our potential employees came to the shop for their big moment. And if that wasn’t nerve-wracking enough… it was all on camera!

Inzozi Nziza... the movie!

Blue Marble Dreams’ pilot project is the subject of a documentary following the Inzozi Nziza concept from start to finish – and, of course, they didn’t want to miss the emotional drama of the selection process! The film-makers are due to arrive in Rwanda next week, so for the meantime we “borrowed” a cameraman from the National University of Rwanda to capture the interviews on film.

Some people are just naturals in front of the camera...

Want to know who got through to the next round? Stay tuned…!

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