Shanel on her role at Hamwe Festival

Ruth Nirere Shanel is scheduled to perform at the 'She Matters' concert. / Courtesy

France-based Rwandan artiste, Shanel, real name Ruth Shanel Nirere, is scheduled to perform at the debut Hamwe Festival organised by the University of Global Health Equity, on November 8 - 13.

Speaking to The New Times, the 34-year old Singer, songwriter and actress, was grateful for the opportunity to take part in celebrating the role of artistry in improving the health sector.


“I rejoice for this initiative that is giving space to art, and bringing awareness to the people that art has and can make a role in the well-being of people,” she said.


“I have been a living proof of that, because I have been healing myself through my songs and I have seen people getting confronting the problems they have in their lives, because of one song”, she added.


Hamwe Festival aims to provide an enabling environment for strong collaborations between the creative and health sectors, so that new insights into global health challenges and their corresponding solutions can be found.

During the concert, Miss Shanel will be celebrated because of her song, Atura, Kinyarwanda for ‘break the silence’, that encourages women facing domestic violence to speak out, about the injustices.

“I am tired of people being told ‘ihangane’ (sorry),” she said. According to the singer, it has become more than just a song but a movement as she received many testimonies from women,

“After I released Atura, I had a campaign for one month, called ‘Atura campaign’. I was sharing two testimonies a week, from domestic violence victims. Some of the people were sharing them for the first time, and they would later testify that they felt much better.”

She will perform in the concert dubbed ‘She matters’, taking place on November 10, where artistes who have used their voices to advance women’s health will perform.

Shanel has been in the music and film industry for over 20 years. She looks up to Angelique Kidjo, a Beninese singer-songwriter, actress, and activist, who she thinks is giving back to the community through charity and activism.

Several artistes from Mali, Zimbabwe, DRC and Rwanda will also perform. According to organisers, the festival will be an annual event.

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