The rebirth: Grace Nakimera, a renowned musician, went off the music scene for three years to deal with a private spiritual battle. She is now back on the scene not as a secular, but gospel artiste. She opened up to Isaac Ssejjombwe and Esther Oluka to discuss what took place during her break and why she is now venturing into gospel music.
There was a time Grace Nakimera was one of the most popular musicians in this country. She was dishing out hit after hit and getting booked for shows across the country. Nakimera churned out songs like ‘Kawonawo’, ‘Kiva Kuki’, ‘Anfukuula’, ‘Ani Akumanyi’ and ‘Onyambanga‘, among others which were favourite club bangers. Then, suddenly she went quiet.
Often, when this happens to artistes, critics conclude by saying, “yagwaamu” (the person is no longer productive).
In Nakimera’s case, she was out of the music scene for three years and only made a comeback this year with a gospel track titled Avirideyo. So, why the break?
Dealing with spiritual matters
During this period of time, Nakimera says she got eddogo, a luganda word translated in English as a spiritual attack which almost ended her life.
“I got sick during that time and every doctor who checked me failed to find a diagnosis. They failed to trace what was wrong with me in that some started assuming I was probably anxious or depressed, yet it was not the case. ” Nakimera says.
At one point, the musician says she almost lost her life.
“This thing was attacking, paralysing and taking control of my body. I could neither see nor hear it, however, could feel its evil presence, ready to get to me,” she says.
No one knew what to do or how to help Nakimera exactly. In addition, the artiste says other things around her starting breaking down as well including family life, music and finances.
Before these episodes, Nakimera says her life was normal and she was not sick. There was nothing physically wrong with her.
According to the singer, the spiritual attacks were instigated by some unscrupulous individuals because she was competition in the music industry.
“… and competition is often deleted,” she says.
The experiences pushed her to find solace in God.
Taking matters to God
In the end, Nakimera was pushed to the wall and it’s when she decided to seek help from God.
“I remember praying to God crying out to Him that if He saved me, I was going to serve Him. I was not ready to die just yet,” she says.
Seeking God during that time made Nakimera do a lot of reflection on her faith.
“I knew deep down in my heart that I had not gone to church for a while or done anything Godly in a long time. This were things I was now willing to change about myself,” she says.
Nakimera says with persistent prayer, God finally came through for her.
“I called upon his name and began feeling better,” she says.
According to Nakimera, Pastor Tom Mugerwa of Mutundwe Christian Fellowship Church was also very instrumental in helping her restore her faith in God. And today, Nakimera says she is a proud Born Again Christian who gave her life to Christ.
“It’s been two years now since I made the commitment. I read the Word often and go to church,” she says.
Addressing the rumours and critics
During her time off the social scene, there were some pertinent rumours that kept cropping up from time to time on the artiste. One of those allegations stated that she was dating King Oyo of Toro.
“At some point, I actually addressed that matter urging tabloids to stop telling lies. These tabloids make up all sorts of stories. Those were baseless rumors. That’s a king for God’s sake. He is not a common man. Let’s not disrespect him,” she says.
Nakimera says there are other things that the tabloids have written that were completely false.
“They assume all sorts of things. I remember one time they mentioned I was pregnant and I remember muttering to myself saying, ‘really? People just talk fwaaa….’”
It’s for these reasons Nakimera says she hardly speaks about her family during media interviews.
“I am very protective of them. Anything I say can easily be taken out of context,” she says.
The only information she proudly reveals is that she and her partner have a daughter who will be making 13 years in November, this year.
To the critics who keep saying she is faded, Nakimera responds by saying, “Everyone has a moment they shine. I shone at the peak at some point, now, I have to leave room for others as well.”
Regardless, Nakimera says she is not going to stop singing. After taking a three-year break, she came back onto the music scene this year with the gospel track, anviriddeyo, which she says is about how God saw her throughout thick and thin during the ordeal.
Nakimera says from now onwards, her songs will have inspirational, motivational and gospel messages,
“I will no longer disrespect God in my music because He got me out of the pits of hell. It’s why I am going to focus on singing about Him,” she says.
To anyone going through a difficult situation, Nakimera advises them to call upon the name of God as well as find a supportive system to see them through the difficult times.
Giving back to others
Still about the transitioning, the 34-year-old also decided to start a Christian charity called Feed the Streets, which she has made a priority after her traumatic life ordeal.
“It’s no longer about me and the music. Basing on what I went through, with a Norwegian partner, my brother and mother, we started a charity to give back to society,” she says.
It kicked off a year ago to look after orphans, abandoned children, children with special needs and single mothers.
They constructed a three-bedroom house in Nakalama Sub-county, Iganga District which offers shelter to 36 children. They also look after some children in Mukono, look after single mothers (those whose husbands abandoned them), sheltering them in Mpelerwe.
Nakimera, however, acknowledges that charity organisations have been abused.
“I’ve heard of musicians and other people stealing funds meant for running activities of these charity organisations. The difference with mine is that I have never asked for money from anyone,” she says.
Nakimera adds that, “I do this from the bottom of my heart. I am using the little I have with my family to make a difference in these people’s lives. That is why you don’t see me doing interviews soliciting for money. I know who I’m serving. I am not running this charity to get money but as a way of serving God and his people,” she concludes.
I have forgiven and now I am at peace…
“I forgave the people behind the attacks, and, it’s because of that forgiveness I am at ease with myself. I am at peace. You know, people often don’t want to talk about these kinds of spiritual kinds of stories. I don’t know why. The topic is like a taboo of some sort, yet, these attacks are happening not only in music but also in business. But, if you are to ask me why I came out to share my experience, I will tell you it’s because God came to my rescue and what I am sharing is a testimony.”