Hope Azeda

Creator and Director

Hope was raised as a refugee in Uganda and returned to Rwanda after finishing her theatre studies at Makerere University. She is one of the leading figures in contemporary Rwandan theatre. As the founder and artistic director of Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company, a leading theatre company in Rwanda since 1997, the group collaboratively created Africa’s Hope which was performed in Kigali at the 10th anniversary commemoration of the genocide. The play also premiered at the G8 World Summit in Edinburgh in 2005, toured in the UK in 2006 and 2008, and was also featured in the biennial festival in Sweden in 2008. In 2012 Africa’s Hope made its premier in Los Angeles USA.

To this date, Hope has been involved with 77 productions through Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company. On her own, Hope has been involved with countless other productions through partnerships and workshops acting as director, writer, mentor, and advisor. In 2015 after being tasked with creating a legacy based project, she created the Ubumuntu Arts Festival which brings together many countries from around the world to create and showcase drama for reconciliation.

Ms. Azeda’s work as a writer, performer and teacher has taken her to many theaters and universities around the world, including the Biennial Festival in Stockholm and the Caravan Festival in Copenhagen, the International Festival of the Arts in Sophia-Bulgaria and tours of the USA, Canada, Austria, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Italy Australia, South Africa and Northern Ireland. She has also been an artist-in-residence at the Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue in Cambridge-Massachusetts, an alumni of Brown University International advanced research institute in 2013, and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Ms Azeda is also a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI-ASPEN-Institute). Hope acts as a cultural facilitator throughout Rwanda working to coordinate important events such as the gorilla naming ceremony Kwita Inzina, the Miss Rwanda pageant, and acting as the creative director for the 20th genocide commemoration in 2014.

In addition to her theatre work, she served as a casting director for the films Sometimes in April, Shake Hands with the Devil, Beyond the Gates, and White Light Africa United. Hope is also currently the curator of Ubumuntu Arts Festival.