Carole Karemera

Carole Umulinga Karemera (born 1975) is a Rwandan actress, dancer, saxophone player, and playwright.

She was born in 1975 in Brussels, the daughter of Rwandan exiles. As a child, Karemera excelled at mathematics and dreamed of opening a bakery. Karemera studied at the National Conservatory of Theater and Dance in Brussels. She performed in several plays, such as The Trojan Women by Euripides, The Ghost Woman by Kay Adshead, and Anathema byJacques Delcuvellerie, before starting her film career. Between 2000 and 2004, she played the leading role in Delcuvellerie’s Rwanda 94. Her uncle, Jean-Marie Muyango, composed the score for the show.

Karemera first discovered Rwanda on a motorcycle in 1996. In 2005, Karemera starred as Jeanne in Raoul Peck’s film Sometimes in April, about the Rwandan genocide. The same year, she decided to settle in Kigali. Upon moving to the country, Karemera became involved in cultural projects, including staging interactive plays in bars and in the streets of Rwandan cities, to create a common history. Along with Cécilia Kankonda, she set up a “sound cathedral” built from recordings of memories in which participants could tell their memories of Rwanda before 1994. In 2006, Karemera and seven other women established the Ishyo Arts Center in Kigali to support culture in the capital, which did not have a theatre until that point.

Karemera starred as Beatrice in the 2007 film Juju Factory. She received the Best Actress award at the Festival Cinema Africano in Italy. She wrote the play Chez l’habitant, about the experiences of women in Brussels, Kigali and Sevran.

Karemera has served as the Deputy Secretary General of Arterial Network, as well as the Arterial Network Country Representative in Rwanda. She starred in Peter Brook’s 2016 play Battlefield, based on The Mahabharata. In 2018, she received an award at the Les Journées théâtrales de Carthage, honoring her work in the theatre in Rwanda.