Born for music: Artistes have distinctive backgrounds on how they started their careers. For Masaka’s Mick Pako, when his father was painfully sacrificing his little earnings to get him school fees, the radio presenter and singer had other plans for the money – diverting it to recording songs. He spoke to BRIAN MUGENYI.
Who is Mick Paco?
I am a 33-year-old reggae singer, radio presenter, music promoter and also a God fearing person. Mick Paco ‘Omujowaje’ is my trademark name, and Michael Ssemugga is my real name.
How did you end up doing music and radio?
When Dickson Mutambuze, a media personality discovered my talent in acting, he went ahead and taught me all the principles of the business. I always dreamt of working on radio since I was a child. I started out at Buladde FM, Masaka.
What show do you present?
My show is called Saagala agalamidde and it is all about inspiring people, educating them and also entertaining.
Who would you say held your hand when you joined this business?
Herbert Yawe, a programs manager at Bukedde FM. He taught me all the tricks; how to speak, controlling the machines and other things. This was while he was still at Buladde FM in 2013.
What makes you different from other presenters?
I have a unique style, a language called ‘Olujowaaji’, which I use while presenting. It has earned me credit from listeners.
When did you start singing?
I used to be in the school choir until my S.1 at St Henrys College-Kitovu. In 2001 I used my school fees to record my first song, Munabuddu. I recorded it at Hypercom Studios on william street, Kampala.
Your parents did not kill you?
When I got home, I told my father that I had misplaced the money. He got my left leg, punched me and beat me up with a brass wire. Eventually, my mother asked for forgiveness on my behalf. That’s how I survived that day, although I still have a scar on my knee.
Who inspired you to join music?
I cherished Menton Summer and Buju Banton’s music, a Jamaican reggae artiste. These two made me fall in love with music.
How do you balance singing and being on radio?
There are times where I am booked to sing, and unfortunately I won’t make it since I have to honour my job at radio. But I am planning to set up a firm so that in case I fail to go for a show, other group members can represent.
What have you achieved in your career so far?
I have bought plots of land in different areas. I have two plots of land, I have planted eight hectares of eucalyptus and pine trees.
How many songs do you have?
I have 20 recorded songs, including the Muteere Embwa song, which educates people on what to do in case someone annoys you. Instead of fighting just stay away from them.
Do you have any collaboration with other artistes?
I did a song with Jose Dembe, the brother of Ann Ssebunya of CBS FM. The song is called Sagala Mannya.
Whom do you wish to collaborate with now?
Many artistes; David Lutalo, Mesach Ssemakula, Dr Propa and Sk Brian.
Any artistes that have helped your career?
SK Brian, David Lutalo, Eddy Kenzo, Stabua Natooro, Mesach Ssemakula, Mulongo Babirye Sarah, Meddy Ssebabi, and Dr. Rashid Lukwago-Nyendo Masaka.
What is your most memorable moment in life?
It was in 2004 when I shook hands with Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. I can’t forget that day.
When my father died.
Do you have a family?
Yes. I have a wife and children.
Primary: Kimannya, Nyendo Public School, and St Paul-Kitovu for my primary education.
Secondary: St Henrys College-Kitovu, Light Secondary- Kitoma, Secret Heart College, Stella Maris SS and Archibishop Kitovu SS.