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Mampi: Swililili means sweeter than sweet


Zambian singer Mampi is set to perform in Kampala on Valentines’ Day. She told Edgar R. Batte about music and more.

Tell me a little bit about Mampi?
I am Miriam Mukape, a Southern African diva born in Zambia. I have a sibling who is younger than me.

Your song Swililili is a massive hit in Uganda. Your Ugandan fans are still wondering, what does Swililili mean?
It means something sweeter than sweet.

Who wrote this song?
I wrote it myself.

What has been the reaction of your fans to this song?
Very good. When the song plays or when I start performing it, everyone stands up to dance.

Is this your first hit song?
No, I have lots of great songs, just come and watch me at Hotel Africana on Valentine’s Day and then at Resort Beach over next weekend. I am all geared up to hit Uganda with a lot of my music come Valentine’s. Fans should look out for a good show.

Is Swililili a single or off an album?
It is a title song on a 10-song album.

You represented Zambia in Big Brother Africa last year, share with us some of your outstanding experiences in the house.
It was a great experience, I loved it all. Everyone now wants me to dance for them because I used to dance a lot on the show.

What was your best moment in the house?
I can tell you every other day was a good moment.

Which was your worst moment in the house?
None that I can point at.

If you had a chance to do it all over again in the house, would you do it differently?
No, I wouldn’t do it again. I would like to give a chance to other people to experience what it means to be in the Big Brother house.

Who was Mampi before you became a celebrity and how has your life changed since?
It was a life of working hard and I am still hardworking.

Working hard? So, apart from singing, what are your other interests?
I am into business and real estate.

Is there anything you miss about not being a star or celebrity?
I am a star and celebrity and I am not missing anything because this is what I always dreamt of becoming.

There is talk of you being Zambia’s hottest female star, how true is this?
I am the hottest in SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries not only Zambia.

Why of all music genres did you chose to do Rn’B?
It is simple. It is because I know how to dance great on Rhythm and Blues (Rn’B).

How is the music landscape like in Zambia?
Being a land locked country our music opens to only seven boarders. But that is not a major barrier as you can see we are hitting even in Uganda.

You describe yourself as diva who is spontaneous, unpredictable and sexy, how spontaneous, unpredictable and sexy are you?
Oh, you will discover that at my show when I come down to Uganda.

You will be performing in Kampala on Valentine’s Day, what should your Ugandan fans expect?
Uganda should expect a diva in a full stage performance.

Swililili is the big song we know, which other one should we expect you to perform?
I have several others like Why and Walilaworera, which I am told are also hitting in Uganda. I also have also done a song in Luganda called Otunulaki (what are you staring at?) Ugandans should look out for this one too.

Your Swililili song has dialect that is akin to a Ugandan language called Luganda, are you aware? You have words like Mutima (heart), which we also have here.
Yes, one friend of mine from Uganda told me but even then, we are all Bantu, so it is not surprising that there are similarities in the language.

In which language is this song?
It is a mixture of three languages, that is Lozi, Nyanja and some Bemba, all Zambian languages.

Have you been to Uganda before?
Yes, I came last year to watch the Uganda versus Zambia football match, you know we are the former African champions and that qualification match was important to us.

Since you have been here, what’s your impression of Uganda?
It is a country with great and loving people.

There is word that you were meant to perform in Uganda at an end of year performance gig, how true is this?
It is true, but the show was postponed and we are performing on Valentines. But let our promoter, Mr Kavuma of KT Promotions, explain that, I am sure you know him.

Now that you already have a Luganda song should we expect a music collaboration with any of the Ugandan artistes, or are there any Uganda artistes who have approached you for a collaboration?
I have been approached by several artistes and I have so far worked with His Excellency Bobi Wine. We have done a remix to my song called Why.

There is word that you are suing a local artiste called Ragga Dee, who plagiarised your Swililili song and made a song he called Switititi. Are you pursuing the case and at what stage is it?
I don’t handle that. It is my manager who handles such issues. But you know February is a month of love, so let’s enjoy the love.

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