On December 4, the family and friends of music icon Yvan Buravan announced the 'YB Foundation,' an initiative responsible for rebuilding his legacy and campaigning to combat the rapid growth of cancer cases in Rwanda as well as taking the next generation in Rwanda’s music industry to unimaginable heights. The late R&B singer who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in India on August 17, was known for his philanthropic efforts towards his community and Rwanda’s music industry in which he played a big role to make it recognised internationally. The YB foundation, according to Ciney Aisha Uwimana, head of YB foundation’s communication, was launched in honor of Yvan Buravan and it is dedicated to continuing the work he began of preserving Rwandan cultural heritage and protecting it through music and art. A foundation for culture and music Speaking to The New Times, Uwimana who is also Buravan’s relative said that although the foundation aims to tackle the rapid growth of cancer cases in Rwanda among other issues, the main focus of the foundation is to make change in Rwanda’s music industry as Buravan wished before passing away. “YB Foundation is here to continue Twande, a culture initiative Buravan launched in 2021 funded by the 'Imbuto Foundation' through the Ministry of Youth and Culture which aimed to preserve our culture and give it a room in today’s art, which is something Buravan had already started by releasing his latest album, Twaje,” Uwimana said. The majority of Buravan’s songs on Twaje were a fusion of modern and traditional music which was his goal of showing interest in bringing a cultural vibe in his music to maintain the identity of Rwandan music. The album, according to Uwimana, is one of the best projects ever produced in the Rwandan music industry because of its fusion of Rwandan traditional sounds with modern sounds, an innovation YB foundation wants to instill in other musicians. “The foundation is responsible for taking the next generation in Rwanda’s music to unimaginable heights. We are trying to create clubs and hubs where talents can be facilitated to grow as well as working together with Rwandan musicians who are in line with 'Twande' spirit of making music that promotes Rwandan culture.” “We have already started working with different schools including Green Hills and we want to reach more in the near future. Legacy of responsibility, accountability, and the ability to succeed and make a difference is what we want to see in the next generation,” she added. Uwimana further noted that the YB Foundation will also focus on the fashion industry by keeping Buravans style alive and promoting his brand that holds a YB logo. “Everyone who met Buravan noticed how his dressing code was a mixture of traditional and modern fashion. He was a man that liked to wear 'Urunigi', a traditional necklace among other jewelry that represents Rwandan culture, which is something we want to keep alive. We are soon launching hoodies, Tshirts and shirts with a YB logo,” Uwimana told The New Times. Artistes welcome YB Foundation According to Ish Kevin, one of the best young musicians who appeared on Buravan’s recent album, YB Foundation is a move to celebrate in Rwanda’s music industry because it’s the first foundation to be named after a Rwandan artiste who passed away. “YB Foundation coming to life is something to celebrate on a national level. Buravan played a big role in the rise of Rwandan music and having a foundation to preserve his legacy means that he will live forever. This was a necessity!,” Ish Kevin told The New Times, adding that he is ready to work with the foundation to push Rwandan music to greater heights. For Masamba Intore, one of the best traditional singers in Rwanda, YB foundation comes at the right time when the country is calling the youth to know about Rwanda’s history and how Rwandans lived before. “We can use this foundation to teach the young generation about our culture and traditional music which is rarely done by young people. I am very sure that this will not only continue Buravan’s legacy, but also play a big role in maintaining the identity of Rwandan music,” he said. According to Ruti Joel, Rwandan musician who is also part of the YB Foundation, the innovation was a necessity to make Buravan’s name live forever after everything he did for local music to grow. He said, “There is no way Buravan’s legacy could die after everything he did for the culture. We are more than ready to make this happen.” YB Foundation comes after four months since Yvan Buravan passed away.