Interview: “Image of God” song writer Nishimwe speaks out on her career, inspiring artistes

Growing up in a Christian family inspired me to grow up with the spirit of serving Lord. I wanted to give people something that can comfort and heal their hearts.

Henriette Nishimwe a musician, worshipper, student is a promising gospel musician. Harri (that is her stage name), is doing her bachelor’s degree in the faculty of Automation Engineering at China Three gorges University in Hubei Province and served in different worship teams and choirs before flying to China last year. Her childhood situation inspired her to become who she is today and who she wants to be in the future.

The twenty-one lady has recently (April 5th) released her second and latest song called “Image of God” that brought much attention to the huge audience. Currently, Nishimwe lives in the City of Yichang in Hubei province of China and she is a worshipper at St James church in the same city.

The Gospel Time Rwanda has caught up with Nishimwe and below is the interview.


Tell us about your background

My name is Henriette Nishimwe, known as (Harri). I am Rwandese. I was born in a big Christian family of 11 children (10 sisters and one brother). I grew up serving God in the same choir with my parents. I attended primary and High school in Rwanda. Currently, I am pursuing my university studies in China at Three gorges University in the faculty of Automation Engineering.

When did you start singing and why did you choose to do gospel music?

I started when I was young as I used to rehearsal the songs of other artistes mainly a popular Tanzanian Rose Muhando.I like her song called “Yesu we nakupenda,” and I would sing it for my aunt’s visitors.

Growing up in a Christian family inspired me to grow up with the spirit of serving Lord. I wanted to give people something that can comfort and heal their hearts.

Growing up as a child, did you dream to be a musician?

Yes, I grew up dreaming to become a gospel artiste.

How have you developed your talent?

Collaborating with other singers in worship teams and more practices as a back- up singer developed my talent plentifully.

Which gospel musicians inspire you and why?

There are many gospel singers who inspire me a lot. I follow and learn from them.

Abroad, I like Tasha Cobbs. Her songs deliver inspirational messages and bless many. Also, Deborah Lukaru. I like the way she praises God with creativity. This inspires me a lot.

In Rwanda, Israel Mbonyicyambu known as Mbonyi inspires me. I like the way he composes his songs within the spirit Of God.

Aline Gahongayire is unique in worshipping God in every situation. I also like Serge Iyamuremye, Gentil Misigaro, and Adrien Misigaro among others.

So far, how many songs have you composed?

I have composed many songs, and I gave some to my teams. So far, I have released two songs including the recent one titled, “Image of God”. My first song is “Merci” that I am planning to do its remix. I have many songs that are not yet released.

How do you mix your career and studies in China?

Aah…… Music and studies .It’s not that hard.

First, I have to study because that’s why I am in China but that can’t stop me from doing music. There is a time to focus on studies and also free time like weekends. For any occasion of free time, I do rehearsal and pray.

What is the difference between Rwanda and China in terms of your career development?

I can really say that releasing a song here (China) it is very expensive comparing to Rwanda. Everything happens in God’s right time. In Rwanda, I think I didn’t get a lot of chances or opportunities to release my songs. When I came to China, I get support from my colleagues among other students as well as my church mates. This helped me to release my latest song and all is from God.

What is your vision in the gospel industry?

My vision in music industry is to cement my career with the purpose of sharing the Word of God. Before, I complete my studies I want to release my album.

What would you say is really exciting about the gospel music scene in Rwanda?

What’s really exciting is the mutual collaboration between artistes. They support and encourage one another. Also, I have noticed the way they treat the upcoming or young artistes in the industry. I wish they did more for better future of gospel industry in the country.

How do you get inspiration for your songs?

I got an inspiration for some of my songs from the Bible while for others an inspiration might come from different situations or my life experience. I also experience others’ living conditions and come up with a song to comfort them.

What advice can you give to young gospel singers or anyone in this industry?

My advice to young artistes in Rwanda is to have faith in God with the vision to serve Him with all their hearts. They should like what they do and believe in themselves. “Don’t let anyone define a gift you have, work, fight for what’s making you to be you and listen all ideas and take a decision.”

What are some of your future plans in your music career?

As I said I want to cement my career and take it to the higher level. I have a dream to organize a huge live concert and feature local gospel artistes who have an experience in the scene as well as featuring my favorite worshipper Deborah Lukaru.

Message to female gospel artistes

To my fellow young female artistes, be confident. What you sing alone in your bathroom can be a transformative message to many. Go out and tell the world. Many are likely to be healed by your songs.