Iconic singer and songwriter Josiane Uwineza has been absent from the public eye for over a decade. During this time, she has not been involved in any musical performances or compositions. She revealed that on top of her 9-5 job, she has a few things up her sleeve that go beyond music. Born in 1983 and raised in Eastern Province of Rwanda, Uwineza, popularly known as Miss Jojo, rose to fame in 2007, after winning the National University of Rwanda Rector Excellence Award as Best Female Artiste. In 2008, she put Rwanda on the regional map when she took home the Pearl of Africa Music Award for Best Rwandan Female Artiste. She then took a break in 2012 after releasing her second and last album titled ‘Woman’. ALSO READ: Miss JoJo wants to make history “When I started music, I had a very specific message to share and I did. I really enjoyed my prime time and I’m glad that I was able to provoke and contribute what was necessary to the community. Yes, it was full of fun, but I also realised that my choice and personal goals were broader than making music,” she said. As a pioneer of Rwandan music, the artiste, who has won multiple awards, recognises the significant growth of Rwanda's music scene. It has expanded beyond borders by embracing new forms of creativity and genres that resonate on a global scale. “Art is a very fluid thing and it is hard to give it boundaries, basically because of diverse creativity. I cannot reassure you that they have gone overboard, instead they are exploring their creativity.” She added: “However, much as the visible and positive changes occurred, the rhythm has lost its values. There is a lot of infusion and rubbish from the internet. Yes, competition is needed but people need to reintroduce Rwandan values.” ALSO READ: Confidence is from within Speaking to The New Times, the 40-year-old expressed her readiness for a fresh endeavour. However, this time it is not focused on creating new melodies, but rather on a significant initiative called ‘Igikari Holiday Camp’. The aim of this philanthropic project is to increase awareness and provide support to girls in overcoming their daily obstacles. The ‘Igikari Holiday Camp’, a non-profit initiative, is a series of gatherings designed to address issues facing youngsters today. From societal pressure, family conflicts to gender inequality, the camp provides a safe space for essential conversation, provides support and networks as well as mentorship opportunities. The legendary R&B singer shared the motive behind the initiative: “After taking a break from music, I just gave enough time to my own things—behind the curtains—including my family. During this time, I decided to come up with a support system, specifically for the youth, to create a safe space and brighter future for them. “In a span of two weeks, we gathered a total of 99 young females aged 13 to 23, where we discussed pressing issues facing girls today while suggesting innovative ways to tackle them. Issues such as mental health, sexual health, how to seize opportunities and certainly make a right choice in the future, as well as essential tips from the history of our country,” Uwineza explained. “What we intend to offer is a safe space to discuss those challenges. It is not about training but rather listening to them. This will give them hope, guidance and a sense of purpose,” she said. From Uwineza’s of view, the youth are overloaded with lots of information basically from what they consume from social media. “They lack enough mentorship on how to digest that information about what is right or wrong to do.” “Factors such as divorce, economic status, and lack of parental care contribute to a series of endless challenges for these young people. Parents and caretakers should take note, there are a lot of things in play, and addressing each one is very essential,” she added. Uwineza is famously recognised for her songs ‘Tukabyine’, ‘Siwezi’, ‘Mbwira’, ‘Nganirira’, ‘Beletilida’, to mention a few.