She is a celebrity no wonder she plays hard to get for an appointment. Why did she lie to me and switch off the phone at the last moment? She should have told me because I also had other things to do. She even lies on the very first date?
After a series of failed call attempts to reach her, this is the frustrated mood in which I was on this ill-fated evening of the 6th December. Little did I know that I was destined to meet the warmest and kindest person I have ever met in my life.
When I teased her whether this was pride or conceit, she flashed her trademark smile and explained: “No my friend, it’s just that my battery was low that’s why my phone was on and off,”
It was my first time to meet her and the reality that I found was different from what I had thought.
She was in the company of two gentlemen both called Thierry and it was around 8pm when I finally met Josiane Uwineza aka Miss Jojo famously known for her respect. You don’t need to be a regular radio listener to know her.
“Hey Sam? Les apparence sont trompeuses,” she addresses me trying to make everything appear normal even with awe and marvel written so conspicuously on my face.
“You are very welcome,” she said with a broad smile.
After we exchanged pleasantries, she took me to another table nearby so that we can talk.
Dressed in a wave like hair style, a pair of blue jeans and white snicks, she began by telling me the three most significant days in her life.
Jojo was born in Nyamata, Bugesera on 30th June 1982. Unfortunately her dad passed away six months latter. She also remembers of an incidence at the age of twelve when her mother Bantegeye Leocadie was shot during the 1994 Genocide.
“It was during the war when our killers shot all of us except me. I lied that I was not a Tutsi in order to survive. It was when I exchanged the truth for my life.
I couldn’t help but wonder how Mother Nature could be so unfair,” she narrates staring at her alcatel phones as if trying to remember every single detail of that fateful day.
“I still wonder why people do bad to each other. My prayer and wish is that Rwanda continues to grow and become the best mother land it can be,” she hastens to add.
She told me why she likes music. That first of all it’s her hobby but most of all, it’s her duty.
“I feel happy that I can express my self and best of all I can pass on a message. I fear that God may ask me why I never used my talent like in the parable of the three servants in the bible,” she said softly and lightly looking with pleasure at her beautiful watch.
Jojo’s music carrier started way back at the age of six as a traditional dancer and it’s her ability to listen and reproduce, that encouraged her to try out singing even if it was against her deceased mother’s wish.
She then proceeded to tell me some of her songs and the people she attributes her success to.
“My musical approach adapts the necessary ability needed to memorize what I hear and analyze various contexts that comprise the interpretive process. With all this in mind, nothing was ever going to stop me from singing” she explains.
“My first song was recorded at shushu studio here in Kigali. It’s called mbwira. I thank Jay P productions at contact fm for supporting me since then.
I attribute my success to the press, my family and friends, my designers; Dadmax and Bellisma plus all my funs,” adds the young ambitious songster.
What took me aback me was that she has lived in Rwanda all her life and she does not wish or hope to leave. For me, she is the right description of a true nationalist.
“I studied in Rugunga, rwamagana, Kibungo and at saint Benerdate. I have lived here all my life because the feelings I have for my country are sometimes heavier than life in its full context,” the enthusiastic super star said quickly adding that she latter went to Butare where she studied literature in English language.
She didn’t forget to tell me how she broke her incisor tooth on her way to school while still at the university.
“I was being ridden to school when I fell off a motor bike straight into the middle of the road. Luckily I dint get hurt so much, I only broke my front tooth.
This has eventually become my trade mark because most strangers know me by my tooth,” she reminisces reaching out for her phone to show me a picture she took on that noteworthy day which she describes as unfortunate and I guess a blow beneath her wings.
When I had finished having coffee with her, she walked me to the taxi and as we stepped downstairs I asked if he has a boy friend.
“All my past relationships have not been so good yet I hate heart breaks. I hope to settle down if I can get a man who truly loves me,” she replied
As she gave me the last hug, she got a taste of ‘good luck’ as the rain poured, prompting her to dash to a nearby special hire taxi that sped her off.