Samantha MBONABUCA INARUKUNDO is the founder and Executive Director of TwoFiveSeven Arts; the first ever permanent art gallery in Burundi and a platform dedicated to the promotion of visual arts with the mission to represent artists evolving in Burundi by assisting them in the production, showcasing and commercialisation of their artistic works and careers while also providing community outreach through various art programs, events and activities.
As the selection of laureates is merit based and conducted by Roland Berger, one of the top strategy consulting firms in the world, this win prevails and validates the work that the artists, the gallery and its partners have been putting in to promote art in Burundi
Today, it was announced that Samantha has been selected to be among the 54 winners of Women in Africa Initiative WIA54 2020 as a representative of Burundi. Each year, the WIA54 Award recognizes 54 women entrepreneurs from each of the 54 African countries.
According to Miss INARUKUNDO, it was good fortune to be among the 143 finalists selected from 3800 applicants from the whole Africa. “I was very happy to see that we were three Burundian finalists. This means that many more others have applied, though, usually we Burundians, especially women, are not many to apply for such opportunities. I was therefore privileged to be alongside Marlène IRADUKUNDA, who represented the creative company CIRORE, and Leila KATEFERI, who represented the development company, KTF concept”, she recounts.
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For Samantha, the fact that 2 of the 3 Burundian women selected are in the arts means a recognition of the value and importance of the arts but also that the work that has been put in lately has paid off: “I’m honored to represent our beloved country Burundi. I’m very proud that the art sector, which is emerging in Burundi, is the one carrying the Burundian flag in this WIA54 2020. As the selection of laureates is merit based and conducted by Roland Berger, one of the top strategy consulting firms in the world, this win prevails and validates the work that the artists, the gallery and its partners have been putting in to promote art in Burundi. I believe it will give hope to the younger generation of artists and confidence to anyone who wants to try art as a viable entrepreneurial venture”, she rejoices.
I will also benefit from a personalized follow-up by WIA54 which makes this competition different from the others as the work they do with laureates extends beyond the 1 year since they want to make sure that each of the winners becomes a success story
As stated by Samantha, being among the 54 winners is something sort of a big deal. Of course quite a number of opportunities are at hand. “I will benefit from a bootcamp which will help me improve on my skills in order to take TwoFiveSeven Arts to the next level as well as a much needed networking opportunity with other women entrepreneurs not only in Africa but also worldwide to learn from and support each other. To that, there is an international visibility of the work we are doing in Burundi which will be a contribution towards the positive narrative that our generation is fighting for the world to have about Burundi”, she mentions.
Another take out from the selection comes in the form of a yearlong mentorship “I will also benefit from a personalized follow-up by WIA54 which makes this competition different from the others as the work they do with laureates extends beyond the 1 year since they want to make sure that each of the winners becomes a success story”.
It’s worth mentioning that Samantha MBONABUCA INARUKUNDO birthed TwoFiveSeven Arts less than two years ago. Yet the business has so far collected many accolades and sold tens of paintings by various local painters, in addition to running social programs such as Art for Education for children from vulnerable backgrounds, Art Talks and Art Workshops for artists to sharpen their skills, Art for Teams for companies, and many more.