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Date With a Celeb: Guitarist Myko Ouma meets fan Edward Agaba

Ouma shows Agaba how to play the guitar. Photo by Ismail Kezaala.

(Agaba caught up with Myko Ouma at LittlePenny studios in Mengo, and ended up learning to play the guitar that same afternoon.)

Hullo, I’m Edward Agaba, a student at Kyambogo University.
I’m Ouma Myko, a guitarist.

What did you study? Did you start playing guitar because everything else had failed?
I have played the guitar for a longtime in my life. I was introduced at an early age because my dad was a guitarist. I have a Bachelors degree in Statistics. So I am a trained statistician and a practising musician.

For how long have you been practising music?
About 13 years now, but professionally about nine years and most of them out of Uganda. I have mostly been doing tours outside Uganda and it’s just recently that I did my first show. Most of the time I have been doing support acts for different artistes both in and out of the country. Out of the country, I have done more solo gigs on my own.

You belong to the contemporary category; do you find the industry tightly competitive?
Actually, I consider fellow musicians as family, not as a bunch of competitors. That’s why I have spent most of my career backing up other musicians, otherwise if I was regarding them as competition, I would have spent most of my time building only my career.

Do you practice statistics?
Yeah, in terms of finance. I do so many other things, I part time as a statistician, I have businesses as well. Music is one thing I do out of love and passion.

So you think talents are worth taking on for a career?
Yes of course, otherwise why would God have given it to you? You can do both something you are qualified in either fulltime or part time as well as what you are talented at.

When does one get their breakthrough, because so many people wish we could also make it like you have?
The main reason so many of you fail to succeed is the fact that everyone hopes for a breakthrough but no one considers the sweat and struggle before breaking through. In most cases, the most memorable moments are before you even breakthrough. For example, I have been doing this for over 13 years and my breakthrough came just recently, though I have done a couple of big gigs like the Kora awards, festivals around Africa in SA, Zambia, West Africa and tours in the US and Europe. Let me teach you how to play that guitar.

A few hours later, Agaba had picked up the basics.

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