Upclose. Naira Ali is a singer whose songs include Sinze, Masala, Tulo and Sikyalinda. Isaac Ssejjombwe brings us an insight into her life.
First thing you do when you wake up….
I pray before using my phone.
First thing you do when you get to work…
I look through my schedule, then check my emails to check progress and to check on my to-do list before taking breakfast. I then get to chat on my phone.
Earliest childhood memory…
I played with dolls for so long and loved to prepare green vegetables in broken metallic tins.
First best friend…
Haula, a cousin I grew up with in Masindi in Primary Two and Three. Her mother had gone to London, UK while I insisted on living with my cousin. We were so attached and almost inseparable. But later, her mother took her away, I cried for days after and didn’t make any more friends for a long time.
I was in high school at East High School in 2004. I think with Andrew, my then boyfriend. I felt like heaven on earth. We kissed but it was all for fun and games, nothing serious.
For how long did you date Andrew ?
Only two years. I was in Senior Three while he was a class ahead of me. Then I changed school for my A-Level.
First book you read….
Many books but I cannot forget a bedtime story I loved so much to a point that I made songs out of each story (still even remember one particular song until today). I thought I would be a writer after attending writers’ seminars and boot camps and I was also a certified member of ‘The female writers association in Uganda’. I loved Mills and Boon; I read a bunch of them and wrote a few stories of my own.
Your first job was…
Featuring in an advert for Bic pens with my young brother.
What did you do in the advert and how old were you?
I was about 10 years old. I was a model, they needed children in the advert and they used my hand to show how well the Bic pen writes.
How much did you earn from it…?
We each got an envelope but I do not know how much money it was.
What did you do with the money?
I used some to buy sweets, ice cream, and gave the rest to mum for safekeeping. I was too young to understand money.
What do you like about your job…
It is my passion and it fulfills me. I am best at it and it comes with benefits such as respect, trust from random people, freebies, free passes, travel opportunities, and meeting many new people.
Most memorable experience…
Giving birth to my girl. It was and still is mind-blowing.
Biggest regret in life…
I never regret because I am always ready for the outcome. I take failure as lessons and move on.
Best moment on stage…
Singing for children because they hold a special place in my heart. They are genuine and real. Also, when I perform for my fans.
Worst moment on stage…
Performing in clubs where silly boys touch you in the wrong places. It inspired me to work harder so that one day, I would not have to perform for such disrespectful people.
Inspiration in music….
Love is all around us and in all of us. We all experience love whether for our lovers, our children, families, God, to mention but a few. Life is all about love.