My talent, my break through: Youth showcase creativity at a talent show in Rwamwanja settlement

Elvis performs his music at the Youth Talent Search and semi-final competitions in Rwamwanja settlement.


It’s 7:00 am on a Wednesday bright morning here in Rwamwanja settlement. The Youth Centre is noisy and crowded with young people. But, this is for a good cause since the youth are practicing their vocals and drama, others are playing music instruments while some are sketching art pieces as they get ready for today’s Youth Talent Search semi-final competitions.  

Elvis is seated in one of the music room corners, despite the noise in the room, he’s focussed to his guitar, playing it while he sings along. Elvis is rehearsing for the competitions which he describes as his potential breakthrough to Uganda’s music industry.

“If I win this, I’ll be trained by professional vocal trainers and instrumentalists, and then I’ll present my talent to Uganda’s music industry.” Says a hopeful Elvis who specialises in the pop music genre.


A group of youth showcase their drama skills at the Youth Talent Search and semi-final competitions in Rwamwanja settlement.


Elvis is just one of the many contestants at the Youth Talent Search semi-final competition in Rwamwanja settlement organised by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the United States Bureau of Population, refugees and Migration (PRM). At the competitions, youth showcase and compete in their skills/talent in Fashion and Design, Music, Dance and Drama, Art and Sculpture as well as Sports.  

The best 2 in every talent component are set to compete with finalists from Adjumani district’s refugee settlements at the final competition scheduled for 16/May/2018 in Rwamwanja settlement. LWF’s Evans Mubangizi says the winners will be rewarded with exciting prizes and also get an opportunity for professional training and mentorship in their specific talents.


Some of the event attendees at the Youth Talent Search and semi-final competitions in Rwamwanja settlement.


An event to remember

Attended by hundreds of people, the event which occurred on 28/03/2018 was started with national anthems for Uganda and Congo as well as the East African anthem. This was followed with Ugandan and Congolese cultural dances before the talent competitions were unwrapped.

The contest showcased various performances from street and free-style dance moves, melodious original composed music, stylish cloth designs, stand-up comedy as well as Art and Sculpture. Spectacular presentations from all the contestants left event attendees regaled.

An Art and Sculpture contestant showcases his art piece at the Youth Talent Search and semi-final competitions in Rwamwanja settlement.


“Their creative talents are unquestionably incredible. These young people can achieve their dreams through talent if well guided and supported.” Said Abel Kabuye the LCIII Chairperson for Nkoma Katalyaba Town Council in Rwamwanja settlement who officiated the event that was attended by guests from the local government, humanitarian agencies, refugees and host community.

Happiness and a feeling eminence filled Rwamwanja settlement when the judges selected the best 12 participants who were informed that they will contest in the second edition of the final Youth Talent Search Competitions. They were also rewarded with gift hampers including; mattresses, beddings and sanitary materials.


20-year-old Espoir Rugajo is a music contestant displays some of his prizes after winning in the music component at the Youth Talent Search and semi-final competitions in Rwamwanja settlement.


A talent competition for a deserving cause

Mubangizi explains that the talent search, competition and mentorship is aimed at identifying and nurturing talent among refugees to enable them earn a living from it. “The activity also facilitates peaceful living among refugees and host community residents, its entertainment to them and also helps in keeping youth engaged in meaningful activities and away from trouble.”

20-year-old Espoir Rugajo is a music contestant who describes the competition as an entertainment platform on which he practices his passion- hip-hop music. “Music is food to my soul, it keeps me happy and helps me forget about my problems and worries.” “Through music, I also get to preach love and peace as well as hard work and resilience to my audiences.” Says Rugajo who is glad to have a bigger audience at the Youth Talent Search competitions.


A Fashion and Design contestant (second on left) displays some of his stylish African print pieces.


Esther Akeza is a Comedian who says the competition is like a ray of hope to achieving her dream of becoming one of Africa’s best Comedians who earn a living from the art. “I want to start earning from my passion and talent so that I can provide my family a better life in Uganda.”

Graal Bukombo is a professional Fashion Designer who acquired a scholarship for vocational training in the art from LWF with funds from PRM. He is participating in the competitions to showcase his skills and designs. “With my skills and designs, I can easily be retained or recommended for a job in Uganda’s big Fashion Houses. But, I can only achieve this if I win and get the opportunity to be trained by the big-shots in Uganda’s Fashion and Design industry.”

Funds towards the Youth Talent Search and Competition activities are a gift from the United States Government.