Up-close. Shakira Kamulegeya is a Ugandan recording artiste who is also a nurse in the US. She has songs including Nfa nawe, Rainbow, Call me, Tinkula with Pallaso, and Local with Daddy Andre. Isaac Ssejjombwe finds out more about her.
First thing you do when you wake up…
I do stretches, then pray.
First thing you do when you get to work…
When I get to the hospital, I clock in, greet colleagues, review the sheet notes and report before starting on my day’s assignments. In music, when I get to studio, I greet people, enter the booth, and listen to whatever beat the producer comes up with and start humming to the beats.
Earliest childhood memory…
I took part in a political campaign. I was in Primary Five and our aunt’s friend called Kalungi was contesting in Makindye Division. We were told to support him. I climbed the campaign truck, got the microphone and started asking for votes. Someone saw me and reported me to my mother, which earned me a whipping of my life.
First best friend…
Royce Asimwe, we were classmates at Wanyange Girls’ Secondary School in Iganga. She was caring and selfless.
Are you still in touch with her?
No, I do not know where she is. She is not even on social media. I once went to her place but she had shifted.
About your first kiss…?
It was with Oscar Kimeramu in Louisiana, US. We were driving and he was wooing me at the time and as we talked, he grabbed me and that was it.
What was your reaction?
It was my first time, I was surprised but spent the whole night thinking about it. We dated for two years and but lost contact after he went to study from a different state.
What is the first book you read?
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. It is a book about love.
Tell us about your first job.
I was a sales associate at Payless, a store in Boston. I used to welcome customers and talk them into buying shoes, pilling shoes, getting rid of old ones. I did it for three months and went into health care.
Your First salary was…
$11 dollars per hour for 40 hours a week.
Current job is…
Nursing at Springhill’s, a rehabilitation centre in Las Vegas.
Some guy called Rukundo at Ntinda View College. I was suspended because of him. I used to spend so much time with him yet he was in the science class. A meeting was called and one of us had to leave.
What do you like about this job?
Making a difference in someone’s life. You see somebody fighting for their lives and you help rehabilitate them, and tomorrow you find them better. Music on the other hand relaxes me, doing something I am passionate about that I did not go to school to study.
How do you balance both?
When I am in Uganda it is strictly music and back in the US, it is primarily nursing.
How often do you come to Uganda?
I have taken long because of Covid-19 but I come annually and spend about a month.
Most memorable experience…
I was performing with Pallaso and a fan touched my rear in 2015 in Mukono.
How did you handle that situation?
I talked to Pallaso and he said I should ignore that person.
First thing you do before you get on stage…
I pray and take a deep breath. Look at the audience and find a strategic spot to look in the audience to concentrate and groove and vibe of the performance.
Worst part of your work…
When I am not communicating with the producer or when we are in disagreement. I find an excuse not to return to that studio. Then the unprofessionalism in Uganda’s entertainment, especially not keeping time.
Best part of music…
It is fulfilling when the fans are excited and enjoying my performance.
My mother told me to treat people the way you want to be treated.
What are you listening to right now…
Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Tina Turner. The trio are do different runs with their music.