MEETING FANS: Sgt. Kifulugunyu is perhaps the only notable soldier to do music. But ever since he has disappeared from the scene, Magz Wey hopes to fill that void. The UPDF soldier aims at being the next big thing in music.
What does you name mean?
Magz comes from my name Mugisa, which means blessings in Kasese, where I come from and Wey means Well Equipped Young star. But my real name is Abdul Calvin Mugisa Kikomeko.
What part of Uganda are you from because you cannot possibly be ‘Mugisa’ and ‘Kikomeko’ at the same time?
My late father was called Kikomeko and my mother is from western Uganda. I am a typical Ugandan.
When did you decide to join music?
I started music at a very tender age. In fact, I started earning from music when I was five years old. I was paid to sing and dance to other people’s songs. I also sang in the school choir.
When did you decide to take on music as a career?
I have not started earning from music yet. I entered studio in 2007 and I have 10 songs already, including Chuki Ni Mbaya’, Genda Okole, Pangoka Saayo, True Fire Anthem, ‘Tahere Sita Ayo Maama, Uhuru, It’s All About You, Uhuru, Mpenzi and Komawo Eno.
That’s 10 songs in nine years? Does that mean you have been recording one song every year?
Nine years is a very long time but I had financial challenges in my career yet I want quality things. So I had to take time to do songs and I am not disappointed at all.
Why did you join music?
Music is a talent. I am a UPDF soldier and I have been in war zones. So it is music that comforts me.
What is your style of music?
I do dancehall, afro, reggae.
What is your rank?
When I had just joined the army, I was a Private, but I am now a lance corporal. I command 10 soldiers, but I hope to be added another rank.
Do you expect to retire from the army anytime soon?
Yes I will, especially after I make a breakthrough in the music industry.
But we understand that it is not easy to retire from the army.
If you serve a minimum of 13 years, then you can retire. I have served for 14 years now.
How grateful are you to the army?
The army helped in shaping and instilling discipline as well as helping me become humane.
How Magz Wey ended up here…
I was born in 1985 to the late Corporal Sayd Kikomeko Asuman. He died when I was just one day old. He died during the liberation war in Semuto and my mother is the late Rodah Kusemerera. She passed away last year.
He attended Bugoye Primary School and Kamayiba Primary in Kasese, Bwera High School and Asa Model for Senior Three. In 2001 he failed to get school fees for his third term and he was forced to drop out.
BALANCING MUSIC & ARMY
Magz Wey was part of the Iron Fist operation which was successful in kicking Joseph Kony out of Uganda and South Sudan. Unfortunately he was shot. But for him the experience was more of a blessing in disguise as it gave him time to do music.
After his shooting, he returned to Kampala and after recovery his seniors said he was not in position to return to the bush. He was sent back to to Mubende.
In 2005, Magz Wey got permission from his seniors, who allowed him to represent the army in the music industry.