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Features

Date with a celeb :Fidempa meets fan Frank Kabugo

Frank and Fidempa.   PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA

Frank and Fidempa. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA

What is your real name?
I’m Joseph Peterson Mitaawo.

Alright, of what descent are you?
I have three heritages; Jamaican and two tribes in Kenya, Taita and Kamba. My dad is half caste.

That’s why you flow like Sean Paul!
No, that’s not the reason, it’s not the descent but rather the love for music and dancehall. It’s what makes me the “beat killer.” I appreciate the compliment.

How long have you done music?
Professionally, I have done four years but I have been in the system since 2004. Uganda appreciates me. I started at home in Kenya but it’s a different industry. There’s a lot of bias and many people don’t “feel” stuff. There is a lot of dancehall music here, people love the vibe, it’s crazy. In Kenya however, only Jamaican music rules.

What happened in Kenya that made you seek asylum here?
There are a lot of people who don’t want to appreciate their own talent, and Kenyans are such people. Kenyans will refuse someone who does something with real swagg, so you have to avoid people like that because they want to kill your dream. When you have a dream, don’t stick with people who tell you that your dream could never be.

Then, how do you find it here in Uganda?
It’s fun, no threats … threats from who anyway? No one threatens me musically. In fact, the kind of music I do, people here will do it five years from now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I disrespect others. There are some good guys. Peter Miles is good, in fact he is one of the best dancehall artistes in East Africa. However, outside dancehall, Chameleone is definitely the only one.

How come you are not releasing songs?
The main reason is producers. To get a studio with a real dancehall vibe is very hard. People here are very used to Kidandali (the local music style). Getting a real dancehall vibe is very hard. So since the last song I released, which is 90 Degrees, I have not found the vibe yet.

Are you married?
Not yet, almost. I have a two-months-old baby.

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