Breaking up to make up: She has left her “hubby” and returned several times, each episode accompanied with a song. Tonight Kusasira launches a new album to mark her nth return to the father of her two children, writes Joseph Ssemutoke.
If a Ugandan musician ever had a love life so full of melodramatic twists and turns, it is Golden Band singer Catherine Kusasira. Over the last decade or so, she has broken up and made up with her longtime live-in boyfriend (fellow Golden Eagles singer Fred Sseruga) a number of times. She has always publicly dated other men while away from Sseruga, sometimes even appearing set to walk down the aisle; but then abruptly returned to Sseruga, the father of her two children.
In the same vein, if a Ugandan musician has made hit songs, won a big following and organised successful concerts courtesy of the endless drama of her love life, it is Catherine Kusasira. When she released the song Mujjawo Taba Muyekera after snatching Sseruga from another woman in her earliest years on the Ugandan music scene, she quickly became a household name.
After one of her earliest break-ups with Sseruga she released Wafuka Bikadde, telling off Sseruga that he had become history. It was a big hit and she held several successful concerts. In 2011, she released Enkola Ya Taxi to indicate she had a right to quit a man who was no longer meeting her standards, it became a mega hit and the concert to launch it was mammoth. Just to pick out a few.
Now flip the remote to the present, and tonight Kusasira launches another album that is centered around yet another melodramatic twist in her love life, and her fans are loyally following every bit of the drama. The album Kusasira launches at Hotel African tonight is titled Sonyiwa Banno, and the title song has been such a big track (especially among band music loyalists) ever since the singer dropped it against the backdrop of another massive twist in her love life.
The latest episode, on which the song Sonyiwa Banno is based, is her return to Fred Sseruga for the nth time. Mid last year, Kusasira left Fred Sseruga’s home for what she swore was the last time and went on to hook up with a then State-House-based Special Forces Captain named Titus Kiwanuka. For months it was even reported that plans were underway for Kusasira to introduce Kiwanuka to her parents, but at the start of this year Kusasira suddenly dropped the bombshell that she had broken up with Kiwanuka and returned to Sseruga’s home. She told whoever cared to listen that she had finally realised her mistakes and several times she publicly begged Sseruga for forgiveness, vowing that this time she would never again desert him or be unfaithful.
It culminated in the recording of the song Sonyiwa Banno, on which Kusasira acknowledges that she has previously erred and needs to be forgiven. With Sseruga himself singing a verse on the song, in which he proclaims his forgiveness and swears that he will forget everything that went wrong so he and Kusasira can reignite their fire.
“Sseruga forgave me and I’m almost going back to his home,” Kusasira says about the latest twist. “And this time I’m in forever because I’m now older and more experienced. He is the father of my two children and my true love. After erroneously trying out other men I have realised he is the one made for me. You see, mistakes are also valuable teachers in this world’s short life.”
Among other songs on the Sonyiwa Banno album which Kusasira launches tonight, is Tombusabusa, also a plea to Sseruga not to doubt her anymore because she has finally settled, and Pain Ya Love on which she waxes lyrical about the discomfort one feels when they are hankering after love that is present (an undisguised allusion to her having suffered in the absence of Sseruga’s love when she was away from him).
Interestingly, Sseruga is a major part of the current concert, where he says him and Kusasira are going to take their fans through their relationship to where it is today, performing the songs they previously sang to scorn each other whenever they broke up as well as those they sang to make up.
On another front, Kusasira has clearly been trying to diversify her music by recording outside the typical Golden Eagles Band style, and she says that nowadays she looks forward to concerts so as to showcase more of her increasingly diversified music. She is eager to perform her songs with the likes of Chameleone, Dr, Proper, Ragga Dee, Hilderman and Gravity Omutujju.