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Celebrity Profiles

Engwedu, the 10-year-old who plays Jazz drums

Jazz drums, a musical instrument not so common or known to many children is what Engwedu decided to learn and it has greatly impacted his life. He shares with  Godfrey Lugaaju about life, the talent and what is in the future for him.

Engwedu playing the drums during one of the school functions. PHOTO BY GODFREY LUGAJJU

Tell us briefly about yourself?
I am Emmanuel Engwedu, 10, a pupil of Hills Preparatory, the last born in a family of four (two boys two girls) living in Naguru. I like music, learning, swimming and football. I am, however, known for playing jazz drums.

When did you start playing jazz drums?
It was in my Primary Four when our music teacher started trained me upon realising that I had a passion for them. I would go to the music room and familiarise myself with the drums. My mother also inspired me to take it up.

How was it learning to play the drums?
It was easy because I was sharp and had the knowledge and love for what I wanted. It took me a month to fully learn them.

Why jazz drums?
They are unique instruments that most people are not well versed with. I like to stand out hence opting for them. It is also interesting to play something that people do not know much about.

What are some of the songs you play?
I play Jabulani by PJ Powers and other tutorial beats that I use for training.

Where have you played from?
I mainly play at school events. I have not yet got an opportunity to play outside school although I play in my church, God Deliverance Church, during holidays.

Which other instruments do you play?
I play the trumpets, trombone and the baritone but I love the jazz drums most because they have nice beats.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a mechanic. When I am at home, I repair small things such as wall clock and small radios.

What is your memorable moment playing jazz drums?
I played at our school’s anniversary and many parents were excited with what I did. I felt humbled by the gestures and screams I received from the audience.

Do you plan on going to a music school?
Yes, I plan to enrol so as to learn many musical instruments. It is one thing being talented and it is a bonus being multi-talented.

What are some of your future plans?
I want to move and cross borders. I plan to buy musical instruments and start up a music school to train young children how to play instruments.

Who do you attribute your success to?
My neighbours play church drums and they give me tips. My teachers and my mother also always believe in me and my talent and have always supported me willingly.

What have you benefited from playing jazz drums?
Many teachers get to know me and this has greatly helped me in my studies. I have also made friends.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I will be one of Uganda’s great instrumentalists and also mentoring young children in this field.

What are some of the challenges you face?
It is straining with the hands as I have to maintain my foot down which is strenuous.

What is your advice to children?
If you know where your talents are practised from, go there and learn. Be open-minded about life.

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