In his 2012 song titled Vumilia, Jose Chameleone recounts part of his musical journey to stardom that started in Nairobi, ‘seated on a stool in a bus corridor’.
“I never knew my breakthrough would be there. All I had was a dream, courage and prayer. No mummy, no papa (father), no sister, no brother there, but I had to make it through,” he sings, in one of the opening verses.
He portrays the struggle that he endured when he crossed the border to neighbouring Kenya in search of a breakthrough. Every artist has his story but the consensus is that it is no mean fete to get a breakthrough.
A new programme, ‘Penda Uganda’, has launched a song contest through which young Ugandans between 16 and 25 years, will get a head start in the music industry with established songwriters, audio production, recording, performance and marketing.
These will be identified through an audition process headlined by judges who include artistes Geosteady, Sandra Suubi, artiste and music producer Benon Mugumbya and Sylver Kyagulanyi who has recently graduated with bachelors in laws
According to the brainchild of the project, Shadrack Kutesa of Platinum Concepts, the theme of the first edition of the ‘Panda Uganda’ arts program will run under the theme ‘Celebrate Uganda’ with a catch to promote patriotism and positive values of national unity and pride using music.
It will run from this month, April through to October. Successful artists in the auditions will be given a recording deal for an album and sponsorship to shoot two music videos.
The winner of the songs of the year will bag Shs10m. Finalist will enjoy the exposure. “Interested eligible participants should apply by filling a registration form which can be obtained at National Theatre, Power FM, NBS Television and Galaxy FM. Online forms are available at www.ugandajubilee.org/penda-uganda,” Kutesa added. Uganda Jubilee Network is the organiser of the programme in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.