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Biography

About Subtitle

My name is Jeanette Ntakiruntika, my artistic name is Shine Vira, a singer-songwriter, from Edmonton, Alberta Canada with African roots. I grew up as a Refugee living in different countries in Africa. My life was not easy as a child, but God kept me alive. In a life of confusion, being immersed in music was my hope and my strength, and I sang in and led several choirs. Outside of music, I grew up in an environment of fear and shame. I chose to be alone or hide from everyone as other people were not safe. I was misused by many people and did not know who I was or where I came from. In 2014 I received the opportunity to come to Canada. I was so happy to come to a new country where I could be safe and have the opportunity to get an education and experience freedom and human rights. When I arrived I started a new life where I could go to school and work as I had hoped.


Being in a new country wasn’t easy, and my social communication was stunted because of what I had lived through. I realized that I needed to reach outside of myself for help when my driver’s license was suspended and I didn’t understand why. In a step of bravery, I asked a man who spoke my language for help to understand the laws and get back my car. He later broke my trust, forcing himself on me, which led to a pregnancy and a return to darkness and mistrust of people, even in Canada I was not safe. 


But out of the darkness came light. I now have a beautiful four-year-old daughter named Mehetabel Heavenly Joy. I have now met people who are trustworthy and love me for who I am. My music brings me healing and hope for the future. I am currently working on my first album  as a testimony of hope for myself and others who have come through trauma or darkness. 

 
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Artistic Background

A Musical Journey

I have been singing and writing music most of my life. I have been a participant in both English, Ikinyarwanda, and Swahili choirs. Over time I became a choir leader, helping choir members develop their talent and composing original music for the choirs to sing, and organizing their concert schedule and logistics. I have never had formal vocal training, but as I joined choirs from a young age I have had a lot of experience with singing and even mentoring others in singing.