The Ugandan music industry has been over the years blessed with many artistes. Some have been one-hit wonders, while others had several songs to their name. During their merry moments, artistes always believe that they can be more and release better music.
Like gamblers, many of them invest their all in music. However, when the returns usually don’t come out as expected, frustration and poverty kick in and in the process, your once favourite musician gets off the scene. A few lucky ones get a comeback but it’s usually short-lived. Others become successful businessmen and women and live a comfortable, normal life.
Looking back, there is a long list of musicians whose music once ran the industry but is currently nowhere to be seen. Here is a list of our once favourite musicians that had their 15 minutes of fame in the music industry.
Singer turned businessman Moses Sserwadda alias Sweet Kid had made a name in the 2000s with hit songs like ‘Mama Brenda’, ‘Siri Kyusa’, ‘Nze Wuwo’, and ‘Sirinayo Mulala’ among others. For someone who had a couple of hit songs to his name, no one expected his career to be short-lived but unfortunately, it was.
Spark TV took the lead and hosted him on the lost and found live wire segment. During the interview, Sweet Kid told his fans that there is a life away from the music. Some of the business ventures Sweet Kid sacrificed his music career for include restaurants, bars, and a recording studio called D-Records, an events company called Sweet Events, a secondary school, and moneylending. But just like gamblers get addicted to gambling, the long-lost musician recently made a surprise guest appearance at Juliana Kanyomozi’s concert at Serena hotel.
Despite the long hiatus from the music scene, Sweet Kid sounded as fresh and smooth as ever when he stepped onto the stage. He has since been seen on different stages entertaining his ardent fans.
Sweet Kid last released a song in 2011 ‘Tegulifa Bukadde’ and has since been off the music scene, a move he says has been intentional. He however says he can never quit doing music because an artiste never retires.
Musician turned nurse Desire Luzinda was one of the top female musicians and media personalities in Uganda in the 2000s. Desire rose to fame and managed to keep up her game with songs like ‘Mubiite’, ‘Nsonyiwa’, ‘Nyumirwa’, ‘Equation’, and ‘Tweyagale’ among others.
Her career was shaken when her ex allegedly leaked her nude photos. After the saga, Desire’s career became a roller coaster. Fans were more interested in her ‘Kitone’ than her voice.
She later accepted Christ through Phaneroo Ministries, relocated to the US, studied, and graduated as a Medical Assistant at San Leandro Adult School in California. She also launched the Desire Luzinda Foundation to help the less privileged. She recently held a secretive introduction ceremony with gospel singer Levixone.
Magla Da Raggamuffin Ghal
Former dancehall singer Maria Gladys Namuleme alias Magla started her career with a song dubbed ‘Nobody’ featuring NTV hot steps dancer Arafat. She later got a place in the dancehall genre with songs like ‘Tinku’ and ‘Onkyusa’. Life later became hard for Magla she revealed that life had squeezed her into the wall.
“Most of the celebrities you see that side leave in pretence just to keep up with the status but in real life, things are tough and tight. Life gets tough on them without anyone to open up to. I reached the extent whereby I even shifted to the slums of Bakuli and that is where my hideout was,” she said.
Fortunately, Magla managed to relocate to Germany. She is currently married to a German man and together they have two children and spend most of her days updating her fans on body goals, education, and family.
Michael Ross Kakooza
He became popular in the early 2000s as a break dancer and singer. Besides the cute face and the abs, Micheal Ross won the hearts of female fans with RnB songs like ‘Senorita’, ‘Yoyo’, and ‘You’re the One’ among others.
His song Senorita won the award for best RnB single in the first-ever Pearl of Africa music awards
In 2018, he was shamelessly bounced off stage by bouncers during America’s RnB singer Ginuwine’s concert at Speke Resort Munyonyo. After the dance of shame, he relocated to the United States where he later accepted Christ.
Michael Ross is currently on a mission to help young people quit drugs. The other good news is Kakooza can now pose with the big boys like Rotimi without any interference from bouncers.
Musician turned businesswoman Liane Nakaweesi’s name will always ring a bell in the hearts of music lovers. She started professional music in early 2010 and became popular for songs like ‘Singa’, ‘Holiday’, and ‘Omusawo’.
During an interview with Spark TV, the former musician said she quit music because it is a gamble, and very expensive to maintain yet the return on investments doesn’t make sense. She is now content with a perfume shop in town.
Before Ceaser Kayemba alias Sizza Dictionary resorted to sharing memes on his social media, he had built a fan base with songs like ‘Angella’, ‘Mafalanga’, ‘Ina Di Dance’, ‘Taxi money’, and ‘Lusama’, not forgetting his staged wedding with former popular TV host Straka Mwezi.
It has been a while since he last released a song. Currently living in England with his British wife and two children, the dance hall musician currently feeds his fans and followers on memes.
Priscilla Kalibbala joined the music business with songs like ‘Gumikiriza’ and ‘Mwana Gwe’ which received enormous airplay. Besides her dance moves and infectious smile, her other songs included ‘Tokyuse’ ‘Mwami’, ‘Ansana’ remix, and a collabo she did with Yoyo.
In 2012, Kalibbala said “I do” to Prince Michael Kalema Kimbugwe and she relocated to the US with her hubby.
Thereafter, she started pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
When was the last time you heard of a song from the Ngoni music duo? Music duo Ngoni was very popular in the mid and late 2000s. With successful hit songs like ‘Digi’, ‘Mimi Na Wewe’, ‘Bigula’, ‘Sirimba’, and ‘Nsotta’ among others, the thought of them disappearing would be doubtable.
After years of silence, Aydee Dumba and Patrick Nyanzi alias Pato returned one year ago with a seasonal song ‘Sekukulu Besti’. They pushed the song on different digital platforms and went back into their hideouts to focus on their families.
Singer Barbra Ndagire aka Bella was at one time the self-proclaimed queen of Di dance hall. She started her career with ‘Anekute’, a song she did with Yvetta. She later claimed the Queen crown with dance hall vibes like ‘Faasi’, ‘Dodo’, ‘Doi Doi’, and ‘Endigi’ among others.
In 2009, Bella introduced a picture of her London-based fiancé to her parents. She later joined him in London. Bella’s career started dimming until she became untraceable. She came back in 2019 to revive her glory and she is still working on that.
She recently collaborated on Karole Kasita’s ‘Balance’ with Bafana.
Gen Mega Dee
Born Amos Kigenyi, Gen Mega Dee was once the best music export from the Busoga region. His songs ‘Karibu’, ‘Nkulowozako’, ‘Nga Walaba’, ‘Woman Of My Life’ and ‘Ate oba Wanchawa’ among others were reasons enough to get his name on the PAM Awards nominee list in the 2000s.
He then left Uganda for the US where he recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management.
Gen Mega Dee is not about to return to Uganda. In an interview with the Daily Monitor, he said that his focus is on his wife and children. He however performs for fans in the diaspora every time he gets the opportunity.
Joy Tumusiime alias Empress rose to fame in 2009 with songs like ‘Empress’, ‘Awete’, and ‘Tonelaga’ among others. Along the way, she fell in love with fellow singer Nutty Neithan and they have been together for the past ten years.
During an interview with Spark TV, she revealed that she chose her family over the music industry and that she can always return to music even in old age.
Singer Roy Kapale was a star in the late ’90s and early 2000s. His songs ‘Bitaala Bintadde’, ‘Mukyala Neigbour’, ‘Tebayambika’, and his Lingala dance moves made him the heart throb of many ladies. In 2013, many Ugandans were heartbroken when news circulated that Roy Kapale had been hanged in China over drugs. He refuted the death news three years later after he graduated from Grand Canyon University.
Through his social media, he said: “They can go ahead and say whatever they wish, I am not bothered after all I’m alive.”
Musician Henry Tony Kirumaganyi alias Henry Tigan rose to the limelight under Suudi Entertainment. With songs like ‘Muzudde’, ‘Abogezi’, ‘Lwaki Oninza’, ‘Wadawa’ and ‘Out Of Control’, it was hard for a fan to believe that his music stardom would be short-lived.
Tables turned for Tigan when he fell out with his then manager Suudi Lukwago. He later joined Bobi Wine’s firebase but could not fully get back from his fall. During the lockdown, he opened up a metal works and fabrication workshop in Makindye.
Henry Tigan continues to release ballads he doesn’t promote. He is also one of the lead musicians of the ‘Roots Band’ that plays at Chambers lounge and restaurant every second and last Friday of the month.
Singer turned actor Martin Nkoyoyo alias Yoyo is one of the most talented but unlucky musicians Uganda has had. He does good music, gets hyped, and when he organises a music show, it flops.
Yoyo is the voice behind the famous ‘Ansaana’ song, both the original and the remix he did with Priscilla Kalibala. Some of the other songs he has done are ‘Jimpe’, ‘Mata’, ‘Love Box’, ‘Nzija’ and ‘My Love’.
Today, Yoyo juggles music with acting. He last released a song in January and also plays as one of the helpers of the Kintu family in pearl magic prime’s drama dubbed ‘Prestige.’
Musician Hamidu Sekyeru alias Papa Cidy’s popularity is attached to Singer Jose Chameleone. Singing alongside Chameleon under Leone Island, they released songs like ‘Tolina Kisa’, ‘Daniela’, ‘Joselina’ and ‘Meeme Katale’.
While he had been regarded as silent on the Ugandan music scene, Cidy had international music collaborations in 2020. Some of the songs to be noted are ‘Sweet Mama’ with Papua New Guinean singer Justin Wellington and ‘Blessing’ with USA-based musician Olga Naruta.
Papa Cidy is currently focused on tailoring. In July 2022, he rebranded his social media page to Billar Store. However, during an interview with Spark TV, Papa Cidy expressed interest in working on a music project with songbird Juliana Kanyomozi.
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