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At the peak of 2011, Iryn Namubiru was the real deal. She swept awards, stretched airwaves and she looked very comfortable at the top, making everyone believe that she had finally settled where she’s supposed to be, in the number one spot. That was later never going to happen, given that she has since remained second to Juliana.
Unfortunately, Iryn has since struggled to establish herself as the number one Ugandan diva. The million dollar question is why would such a talented diva fail to make it to the very top? Well, before I explain why, let’s look at some facts.
I’ll kick off with a fact that is beyond contestation. Iryn Namubiru is one of the most talented divas that God ever blessed Uganda with. She is vocally apt and has such an amazing vocal range and strength, that listening to her sing is one of the sweetest experiences.
Whereas Iryn’s professional life can be traced to way back in 1995 when she had a stint with Da Hommies, her real deal was in 2006 when she released Nkuweeki. Nkuweeki was so big that it can’t even be compared to Viva La vie [a song she did alongside Juliana Kanyomozi].
It was at this stage that everyone believed Juliana had got a diva that would dislodge her from the top position. After Nkuweeki, Iryn has since hit us with song after song, including Y'ono, Lwaki, Bonna Obasinga, Begombeko, Birowoozo and Tebiba Bingi, among so many others.
That takes us back to that original issue. Even when she is so overly talented, she has remained second to Juliana over the years. I’ll give you a detailed explanation of the reasons that have led to that kind of scenario.
Iryn has over the years failed to brand herself as Uganda’s number one diva, a spot that comes with a whole package. It calls for much more than talent and also encapsulates the amount of respect fans attach to the brand.
Do you remember her 2009 Bonna obasinga video, in which she cut a swimming costume? That was terrible branding. You may consider me conservative, but the reality is, very few people in Uganda would respect a mature diva in such a costume.
That took away so much from her, a thing that she too definitely realized. The video attracted so much criticism that she had to do a ‘cleaner’ version. Like I’ve said already, when a brand loses respect, it loses value.
Then comes in her controversial life, a thing that has definitely deducted a lot from the brand of Iryn Namubiru. You’ve definitely had one story too many concerning Iryn’s marriage and several other men that she is alleged to have dated.
Ideally, that should not be the yardstick for weighing a brand; yet unfortunately, it matters so much in show business just like it does in every other aspect of business. The more the scandals, the less the value of a brand.
We can’t ignore Iryn’s drug trafficking scandal in such a discussion. In May 2013, Iryn Namubiru was arrested in Tokyo, Japan due to possession of drugs. She probably never had the drugs and was definitely innocent, yet that’s a thing whose damage on a brand can last a lifetime.
In all therefore, it is no doubt that Iryn is very talented. However, failure to manage aspects beyond her talent has weakened her brand and denied her the chance to be the number one diva in Ugandan.