While growing up in Rwanda, Africa, Didier Ganza was never encouraged to pursue a career in the arts, but he did it anyway. He was a well-known dancer and radio host before deciding to move to the United States for school, where he enrolled in Full Sail’s Film program, but soon after switched to Digital Cinematography. Since then, he has made a name for himself as a music video director and cinematographer, both here and back home.
Stateside, he’s produced short films for both class and his own personal interests and has directed music videos for hip-hop artists Hoodwink and Alpha Rwirangira. He recently signed a deal to produce several music videos and documentaries for popular African artist Hip Hop Pantsula. The deal just took him to South Africa for two weeks, where he shot the video for Hip Hop Pantsula’s song, “Animals,” and worked on a short documentary about the artist and the opportunities he has created for himself. Pantsula, who was recently on the cover of Rolling Stone South Africa, has worked with artists like Nas, Talib Kweli, and Snoop Dogg.
“The video featured some of the most respected [hip-hop] artists in Africa,” says Didier. “All who are individuals who want to see Africa grow.”
Didier has used this success to start SO Afrika Entertainment, a collective of artists, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, rappers, and filmmakers based in the U.S. and around the world. The group encourages positive thought through artistic work and hopes to inspire young Africans to follow in its footsteps.
“Our primary mission is to put African artists on the map by providing all the tools necessary for them to showcase their talents,” says Didier. “And to also inspire African youth to dream, create, and be active in the arts.”
Didier, who will graduate next summer, hopes to open his own studio and continue to create art with an inspirational message. “I want to gain enough knowledge to go back home and share it with those who were not fortunate enough to come to the land of opportunity,” he says.