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Katese Odile Gakire

Director- Woman Cultural Centre (WCC), Rwanda


Katese Odile Gakire is a professional dreamer. She is a Rwandan actor, playwright, director and cultural entrepreneur. Currently, she is the director of the Woman Cultural Centre (WCC). 

Odile Gakire Katese (Kiki), as she herself describes it, is a professional dreamer and a woman of firsts. Born and raised in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Katese, decided to forge a strategy where people can start speaking about memories of their loved ones. Among her many accomplishments in Rwanda are the first women’s drumming company (Ingoma Nshya, Women Initiatives) which she created in 2004, the first professional contemporary dance company (Amizero Dance Kompagnie), the first international festival (Festival Arts Azimuts), the first national festival in Rwanda (Rwanda Drum Festival), the first coop ice cream store (Inzozi Nziza – Sweet Dreams) and the first recipient of the League of Professional Theatre Women’s Rosamond Gilder/Martha Coigney International Award. Kiki is a grand person with a warm, generous, insightful outlook on life. She has a vision that is a long one, of how art will heal and inspire her country.

In 2009 during the 15th commemoration of Genocide against Tutsi, she embarked on writing, but found it better to involve all Genocide survivors. Kiki is the founding director of Rwanda Professional Dreamers and is currently working on “Mumataha, Remember Me” and “The Book of Life”. More than projects related to the commemoration of the 1994 genocide, they are dressing of wounds and come to lessen the sounds of tears and sorrow and to accompany the dead and the living on their respective journeys.