It’s a known fact that the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village is brimming with talent. From award winning dancers, singers, and sports teams that compete on the national level, the students here are more than willing to show off their unique abilities. I thought it was time for a talent competition in the Village. Fourth year student, and creator of the Village’s first entertainment TV show, Bruce Nshimiymana, had the same idea, so we combined forces to create the “Come Up and Be Unique” talent competition.

The talent show was comprised of two components, Sports, and Arts. We held a two-week event where kids were able to sign up to perform their abilities in various ways. The first week we held the sports competition with kids competing in various events in football, basketball, volleyball, track and field, and acrobatics. When we asked them to Come Up and Be Unique we were not disappointed. Some of the highlights of the day were, Damascene Rutegengwa first-year student from the Albert Einstein Family, who dribbled a soccer ball on his foot 1,000 times. Emmanuel Niyonsenga first year student from the Nelson Mandela Family, who preformed acrobatics. And Ally Ngabonziza second year student from the Adam Smith Family, who did what could only be described as break-dance basketball.

The following week we held the arts competition, but before we could have the village time event, we had to narrow down 15 singers who signed up, to four. The stand out performance of the audition process was Didier Muhire, a first year student from Albert Einstein Family. When Didier arrived to ASYV, no one in the village knew he was hiding a gift for singing. Perhaps the surprise is what made his performance so electrifying. Since then he has preformed again for other events, and even began working on his own material. The hope for this competition was that it could be a platform for new kids, with new talent. Didier's performance validated that hope.

The final art competition was held at village time. Christian Icyimpaye, a third year student from King Menalek Family performed a comedy routine, Joel Mutuyimana, a third year student from Steve Jobs Family balanced a traditional drum on his head and wandered the whole auditorium, while simultaneously playing it. Yvette Uwamahoro a third year student from Amelia Earhart family, combined traditional Rwandan dance with modern dance music.