I am Josiane Uwineza a.k.a Miss JoJo, a Rwandan singer and songwriter. I was born on June 30th, 1983, in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. I lost my parents during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. I was adopted and my new family has been supportive all my life.
Although I attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature at the National University of Rwanda, my passion is music. As a child my dream was to become famous, meaningful and have an impact in my society. I decided that I would perfect whatever career I pursued.
While growing up, I realized that I had to discover my talents and that’s how I ended up in the music industry although acting and being an author were one of my priorities.
When I released my first track ‘Mbwira’ meaning ‘Tell me’ in 2006, I had no idea that it would be a hit. The first time I appeared on stage during a concert, I was nervous and a little shy.
It was a brand new venture that freaked me out because in Rwanda’s society, a woman standing in front of people trying to do what they expect to be a man’s job, is scary. I had to overcome my fears and take on the challenge.
I dream that more Rwandan girls would be ambitious to join the Music industry. When you give the best product, society values it.
My dreams became real in 2007, after winning the National University of Rwanda Rector Excellence Award as Best Female Artiste. In 2008 I was Best Rwandan Female Artiste during the Pearl of Africa Music awards in neighbouring Uganda.
My first two songs ‘Mbwira’ and ‘Ndinde’ which means ‘Who am I’ will always be at heart because they gave me something to hold on to. They instilled hope and strength in my life.
‘Ndinde’ is a song that uplifts women. It encourages them to earn the respect they deserve in society. We should work hard to maintain our values.
As a woman, I feel we should derive our confidence from within and aim for greater heights without letting people trump on us.