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Sonia Rolland
Sonia Rolland in 2009
Born (1981-02-11) 11 February 1981 (age 40)
Kigali, Rwanda
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
TitleMiss France 2000
Miss Burgundy 1999

Sonia Rolland (born 11 February 1981) is a Rwandan-French actress and was Miss France in the year 2000. She was also a contestant in the Miss Universe competition. She was the first African-born winner of the Miss France pageant.

Born in Kigali, Rwanda, to a Rwandan mother and a French father, Rolland and her family fled the country due to safety concerns with the Rwandan genocide instigating, especially since her mother is Tutsi. In 1990 they moved to the neighboring country of Burundi. With the growing unrest that led to the Burundi Civil War, they moved to France in 1994. At the age 13, Rolland settled with her family in Burgundy in the small town of Cluny.

In October 1999, Sonia Rolland won the "Miss Burgundy" beauty contest that allowed her to compete for the Miss France 2000 title and at the age of 18 she was the first woman of African descent to win. At the Miss Universe 2000 pageant, which took place in Cyprus, Rolland was a top 10 semi-finalist, placing 9th overall.

Rolland once lived in Paris with Christophe Rocancourt, an impostor, confidence man and gentleman thief who scammed affluent people by masquerading as a French member of the Rockefeller family. They had a daughter together, named Tess. They announced their split on 10 April 2008. Rolland has another daughter, Kahina, with actor and director Jalil Lespert, who is her partner since 2009.

At twenty years old after serious acting lessons with renowned actor Alain Delon, Rolland embarked for a new career as an actress. Following an unsettling incident during which she was attacked in the metro she took kickboxing classes that later proved advantageous as they helped her land the role of Léa in the television series Léa Parker that ran for two seasons from 2004 to 2006.[1]

Literary work

Rolland’ s first book was published in 2007 titled “Les gazelles n’ont pas peur du noir” which in English translates to “ Gazelles are not afraid of the dark”. The book is her testimony to her childhood in Rwanda, transition to a different culture, her modeling and acting career, her philanthropic work and her family. [2] Her next book was "Beauté Black" which was collaboration with Sandrine Jeanne-Rose, an expert in ethnic and black cosmetics and hair care. This collection of practical guidelines is mainly meant to reach women of African descent. The two beauty enthusiasts focus on three areas: the face, the body and most importantly the hair essentially afro-textured hair as it is an important subject in the black community.


Rolland's work is mostly concentrated in Rwanda where she focuses a lot on education, as it is one of the things children survivors of the Genocide have missed on.[3] She is currently collecting funds that will go towards building a school. With her new documentary “Rwanda Mon Amour” (Rwanda My Love)[4] in the works the former miss France is hoping to inspire other African nations to follow the example of Rwanda by encourage the people to participate in the ongoing changes but at the same time Rolland promises to be impartial and objective about the achievements of the country over the last 20 years. The documentary is expected to make an appearance at the Cannes film festival. [5]


Year Title Role Director Notes
2001 C'est pas facile... TV Series (1 Episode)
2002 Les pygmées de Carlo Désirée Radu Mihăileanu TV Movie
2004 Le p'tit curieux The optician Jean Marboeuf
2004–06 Léa Parker Léa Parker Jean-Pierre Prévost, Robin Davis, ... TV Series (50 Episodes)
2006 A City Is Beautiful at Night The Transsexual Dancer Richard Bohringer
2007 Les zygs, le secret des disparus Lise Jacques Fansten TV Movie
2009 Moloch Tropical Michaëlle Raoul Peck TV Movie
2010 Affaires étrangères Clara Lecuyer Vincenzo Marano TV Series (1 Episode)
2011 Midnight in Paris Josephine Baker Woody Allen Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Les invincibles Vanessa Alexandre Castagnetti & Pierric Gantelmi d'Ille TV Series (7 Episodes)
2012 Désordres Marie Etienne Faure
Toussaint Louverture Marie-Eugénie Sonthonax Philippe Niang TV Mini-Series
2013 The French Minister Nathalie Bertrand Tavernier
Cherif Ludivine Delaunay Vincent Giovanni TV Series (1 Episode)
Nos chers voisins Sabrina Emmanuel Rigaut TV Series (1 Episode)
2015 Le vagabond de la Baie de Somme Aurore Debac Claude-Michel Rome TV Movie
Caïn Betty Christophe Douchand TV Series (1 Episode)
2016 Windows The Woman Jules Sitruk Short
2017 Madame Amanda Sthers
La Colle Alexandre Castagnetti (2)


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Le Figaro". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Miss & Philanthrope".
  4. ^ "Sonia Rolland: Rwanda mon amour". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Sonia Rolland to star in 'Rwanda Mon Amour', a movie about Rwanda's untold story". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
Preceded by
Mareva Galanter
Miss France
Succeeded by
Élodie Gossuin