Banner Image



Republic of Rwanda
Biography collected and written by Divine Irakoze


Clementine, also known as “U-Cley” is a young photographer living in the Dzaleka refugee camp. When U-Cley was growing up, her goal was always to become a photographer, but when she looked around her, the field was dominated by males.

“Growing up, I lacked female role-models in the field of photography and the people around me felt that this was not a field I could go into. I lacked confidence and thought this was something a girl like me could not pursue.”

Clementine joined Plan International’s Girls Get Equal Club at the Dzaleka refugee camp and learned that society is filled with stereotypes that even she can tackle; this includes entering a male-dominated field. Within a short period of time, an opportunity came through: there was a call for applications at Vijana Africa in Dzaleka seeking people who would love to learn photography. U-Cley soared through the 6-month photography and videography course, but the next challenge she faced was the lack of photography equipment in the camp with which she could establish herself.

“As a Champion of Change, one of the things I learnt was the importance of not losing hope. Even though I had no materials, I knew it would happen someday.”

Plan International Malawi was implementing the Spotlight Initiative within Dzaleka Refugee Camp. During a project monitoring event, U-Cley narrated her story. Personal pledges were made by the European Union Ambassador, the UNHCR Country Representative, and Plan International Malawi to procure equipment for the determined girl. She now owns a camera which she is currently using as a source of income.

“With my camera, I have been able to earn income to support myself together with my family. I shoot music videos, weddings, documentaries, and photo-shoots. This is exactly what I have always dreamt of.”

In the future, U-Cley hopes to open her own studio and to have a full-time career as a photographer and videographer. She has already created a brand and given it a name, which is where “U-Cley” comes from. She hopes to inspire many other young girls who look down on themselves not to reject their own career goals simply because they are in fields dominated by men.