Launched in November 2013, Zamuka (Rise Up), is a reality television series in Rwanda designed to encourage entrepreneurship and creative thinking among young people. The weekly series follows three budding entrepreneurs who overcome obstacles and receive coaching to set up new businesses. The series is produced by Search for Common Ground, with funding from the Belgian government.
Zamuka seeks to demystify the term “entrepreneurship” by illustrating the steps involved in starting a business in Rwanda. At the same time it also seeks to increase dialogue and creative problem solving among youth between the ages of 18-34.
In order to achieve these objectives, the show provides real role models of young, typical Rwandans who are putting in the effort to create a sustainable livelihood for themselves, their families, and their communities. The role models are from different backgrounds but with similar goals:
- Augustin Nsengiyumva is a 27 year old Computer Science student at Kigali Institute of Education. His big dream is to start the first cyber café in his hometown of Nyamasheke.
- Noella Mugisha is a 23 year old Kigali Institute of Science and Technology graduate with a degree in Computer Engineering. She dreams of setting up a security company offering networked surveillance cameras for individuals, private companies and other institutions.
- Samuel Zizinga is a 26 year old Kigali Institute of Science and Technology graduate with a degree in Creative and Communication Design. He aims to open a creative studio that produces original computer-generated animation.
The series began airing in November 2013, every Saturday evening at 8:30pm. Over the course of six episodes, the contestants tested out their business ideas in front of potential clients, learned from mentors, and competed for the final grand prize. At the end of the six episodes, an independent panel of experts named Sam the winner of $1,500 for the best idea and most feasible business plan. Sam Zizinga has subsequently opened a creative studio that produces original computer-generated animation.
Following the success of the first season, SFCG launched the second season of Zamuka in 2014. After the casting, the following three challengers were selected:
- Gilbert Masabo, a 26-years old from Muhanga district, who aims to design water heaters with low electricity consumption;
- Jean de Dieu Sayinzoga, a 28 year old who dreams of setting up a chicken farm business in Kicukiro district;
- Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, a 21 years old, whose big dream is to start a business producing biogas and bottling it in cylinders for sale. His business will be located in Kitabi, Nyamagabe district.
In the last episode of Season II, Jean de Dieu Sayinzoga was named the winner. Search for common Ground awarded him with start-up financing of 1,000,000 Rwandan Francs.
A third season is being planned by Search for Common Ground for 2015.
Click here for the Zamuka blog spot.
Youth Employment, Economic Development
Search for Common Ground, Belgian Cooperation