Plan b dreams: In an industry where new kids are cropping up each day, the fate of some artistes hangs in balance. For some they are only as lucky as their first hit while others will hang around for a season; it has become a bubble gum industry really. We have seen artistes such as Sweet Kid giving up music and now he manages Beverly Hills, a bar in Kansanga, Grace Nakimera is into real estate, Peter Miles is in the marine business and Mega Dee is said to be working in a restaurant in the US.
Lawrence Ogwal talked to some of our musicians to find out what their plan B would be if music ever did a dirty on them.
Sam Lucas Lubyogo known by stage name Levixone is one of the artistes that have raised the Ugandan flag so high with songs such as Turn The Replay, Ponya, Esaala and Watching You. Levixone is one of the few artistes that is bold enough to admit that he did not make it to university. The gospel artiste only made it up to Senior Four after finding trouble paying his school fees.
Levixone does not believe that he will be singing all his life. Even before he starts struggling musically, Levixone is already looking into another venture. “I have always wanted to study a managerial course.” he says. He says he had opted for an institute in Kampala but because he is a busy person, he decided to enrol online and will start studying next month. What inspired this decision? “I own many businesses which I will be comfortable managing myself. I am also a pastor and in future, I am thinking of starting my own church and leading church services”.
He is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Bodjmoktar in Algeria, so it is surprising to hear that after four years of studying chemicals, Ykee Benda’s plan B if music ever failed is lawyering. The Singa singer (see what we did there?) has been doing music for about four years now and when asked what life after music looked like in his head, Wycliffe Tugume said he has always wanted to reason with people, a thing he can only achieve as a lawyer. Besides lawyering, Ykee also wants to join football but not as a player but rather somewhere as part of management of a team. Sqoop hopes he knows being a lawyer means five years of school.
Cinderalla Sanyu has been doing music for a long time now. She is one of the female artistes that have kept the fire burning ever since she started with girl group Blu*3 in 2004. Cindy left the group in 2009 and focused on a solo career and unlike the other members of the group, she has unstoppably registered successful. She may have a band going strong right now, but if things ever went south for her, Cindy thinks she can be a good artiste manager. “If I stop singing today, I will immediately become an artiste manager for an artiste who no one knows,” she says, hinting on names such as Kevan, Ekky and Prodigal. Cindy dropped out of school while in Senior Six when she was signed to Blu*3. She has also never known any other job apart from singing.
Real estate and fashion
Lydia Jazmine started her music career in the Watoto Church choir before joining Radio and Weasel as a back up artiste. In 2014, she collaborated with Rabadaba on a song titled You Know and this was how she was introduced to the industry as a solo artiste. The rather shy singer has since gone on to drop some hits but her music is seasonal. When the time ever comes when she cannot make hits at all, Jazmine says she is ready. “I would want to do real estate and fashion because I believe there is enough money that comes out of these kind of businesses.” Jazmine, real name Lydia Nabawanuka, says she sees herself owning houses and property in and out of Kampala and probably one of the biggest fashion stores. Did the Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Multitech Business School set a firm foundation?
Farming and church choir
First of all, it is hard to imagine this industry right now without King Saha but life is life and we all have no control over fate. King Saha, real name Mansur Ssemanda, joined the music industry after graduating with a diploma in Business Studies at Buganda Royal Institute. He did not practise what he studied and dived right into music, signed under Leone Island. Riding successfully solo now, Saha says he does not see himself failing musically and in case he retires, he will return to singing in a church choir since after all, his music genius was spotted while as a member of Mugonga Church Choir. “Besides music, I am a farmer and I think in future I see myself balancing music and more farming”.
Rabadaba is one of the Ugandan artistes who has never been consistent. He hits and sleeps, he comes back again, hits and then back to slumber. Rabadaba has been doing music for at least 10 years now and has many songs to his name. Before joining music, Faisal Seguya was at Makerere University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. At campus, he had a side hustle; an events company. He did this until 2006 when music came calling and he went all in. Seeing as he is inconsistent with music, we wondered what his plan B would be. “When I stop music, I want to become a drug dealer, yes a drug dealer.” We thought he was joking, but you must have seen the emphasis. The Mukyamu singer insists if opportunity knocked, his goal is to be Uganda’s Pablo Escobar. Why? “I want to make lots of money.” There you go…even with some experience in film, he feels being a drug lord is the real deal.
Telecom company shareholder
Before she became Vinka, her parents knew her as Veronica Luggya and Irene Ntale called her Vero until about three years ago. Vinka was born when Swangz Avenue decided to give this girl a shot as a singer, relieving her of her role as Ntale’s manager. In her about three years in the industry, she has served some sauce and made hits such as Level, Malaika, Sweet Love, Love Doctor, and Mapozi, among others. Although Vinka has a degree in Leisure and Hospitality Management from Makerere University and a past as a dancer, she would not be taking any of those paths if things turned sour musically. “As we grow up, we have new ideas to make money and I always think about any business that will bring in money even when I am in my bed sleeping. One of the businesses that I would get into is buying huge shares in big telecom companies,” she says. Now that is one we did not see coming.
Music mentor and family man
Ronald Magada, Maro, is a graduate of Development Studies from Makerere University. Before joining the music industry, Maro was working at Cineplex Cinema at Garden City as an usher until 2008 when he registered his first hit song, Yanjagala. Since then, the self-proclaimed RnB kyabazinga has been doing music from which he has established a music studio. He may have a studio, but what happens when music cannot win him bread anymore? Maro says he is a business-minded person who believes he will still find a way to do business in music. “I feel like I can make money from a music school where I can model youngsters into superstars,” he says, adding that he is looking at starting a family so besides music, he can always be home with his family. Before university, Maro attended Upadenge Primary School in Kamuli, Light College in Mukono for O-Level and Buloba High School for A-Level.