I WANT TO BE A STAR

She’s studying tailoring but spends her free time singing and dancing

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When you know exactly what you want to do with your life, it’s easier to accomplish your goals. And the path to success is even clearer when you have a role model to help guide you! Yvette is 18 years old and is from the Kayonza district. She’s studying tailoring but spends her free time singing and dancing– she dreams of becoming a famous performer. Yvette’s role model is Oda Paccy, rwandan hip-hop and Afropop artist. Ni nyampinga caught up with Yvette and invited her to meet Paccy to talk to her about her life and career.

YVETTE: I’m so excited to meet you and to be visiting Kigali for the first time! You’re my idol and I’ve always wanted to know more about you. How old are you, and when did you start making music?

PACCY (smiling): I’m excited to meet you too! It’s flattering to know that someone your age thinks of me as her role model. My name is Oda Pacifique Uzamberumwana, but you know me by my stage name, Paccy. I started making music back in 2006, when I was 16– younger than you are today. I’m 26 years old now.

YVETTE: You’re someone really special to me, my favourite artist. I’d love to know what your typical day looks like.

PACCY: Every day is different! Usually, I’ll wake up at 6:00 am and pray, eat breakfast and plan out my day. Where it goes from there depends on what I’ve got on my plate.

YVETTE: I would love some advice. Singing is my passion, and my dream is to become a famous performer like you. What should I do to make it happen?

PACCY: It’s great that you already know what you want, that’s a crucial first step. What’s left now is to work hard and never give up. You’ll come up against all sorts of challenges and it’s important to keep moving forward.

YVETTE: What helped you get to where you are today?

PACCY: Self-confidence– I knew I was capable so I was confident I could be a success. Also, the media helped me get my music out there. That’s still a big help today. I believe I’m going to take my career even further.

YVETTE: Do you still have goals you haven’t accomplished yet? Or are you already exactly where you wanted to be?

PACCY: Yvette, I can’t even imagine getting to a place where I no longer have any big dreams. In general, as soon as you accomplish one goal you should immediately set your sights higher to a bigger goal in the distance. Yes, I still have dreams I haven’t accomplished. I want to keep building up my music career, to do that I need to be known internationally. I know I’ve got some hard work to do.

YVETTE: Sometimes I listen to entertainment shows and occasionally they’ll talk about some of the tough times you’ve been through. How do you overcome obstacles in your life?

PACCY: Well, I’ve had challenges thrown my way ever since I started making music – you get used to it. What matters is to find solutions to problems that arise so you can move forward and keep fighting for your dreams. As you know, I perform hip-hop music. When I started, it seemed impossible to get people to believe that girls could perform hip-hop just as well as boys could. So believing that I’d be able to succeed as a girl was the hardest thing. But I did it. I made my dreams a reality. And people really love my music.

YVETTE: So tell me, does someone famous like you have a role model too?

PACCY: I do! My role model is the President of Rwanda. When I look at his actions, his self-confidence and the hope he’s able to give to Rwandans, I know he’s a person worth learning from.

YVETTE: Have you learned any lessons from your experiences?

PACCY: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to be patient. I knew that it was going to take hard work to achieve my goals but I learned that being patient is equally important.

YVETTE: What was the happiest moment of your life?

PACCY: It was the first time I heard my song, “Ese Nzapfa? (Will I Die?),” on the radio. I was so moved. Now it’s my turn to ask you a question! You look like you’re in a really great mood–why are you so happy?

YVETTE (smiling): I’m overjoyed that I’m talking to you face to-face. When I found out I was going to get the chance to meet you, I was thrilled. I’ve been wishing this would happen forever and I couldn’t believe my dream was actually going to come true. I used to watch your videos all the time and I saw you in person once when you performed in our district. I was so excited that day. I’m so happy I don’t even have words to express it.

PACCY: Why am I your role model? What is it about me that you love so much?

YVETTE: I’ve been a fan of your music since I was young–I love the messages in your work. People in my neighbourhood actually call me Paccy because I’m such a big fan. I dream of becoming an artist just like you. I believe I have the talent and now I’m even more determined to work hard to make it happen.

PACCY: I’m rooting for you. I’m happy to help you with your song ideas whenever you need it.

YVETTE: Thank you so much!

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