Medkimbugwe [at] HiPipo.com
This is an opinion I harbor and believe it will not attract an intricate and obnoxious debate, given that the case of Juliana’s success is rather palpable and self explaining in the Ugandan music industry.
First, she won the award for Best International Afro beat Act at the 2012 BEFFTA, after shoving off competition from Jose Chameleone, WizKid, DBanj, Wande Coal, Zahara, Iyanya, Ice Prince, Fally Ipupa, Sarkodie, Nameless, Nonini, and Itz Tiffany.
Then at the 12th version of the Kora Awards which were held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Dec 30, 2012, Juliana won the award for Best Female Artist from Eastern Africa after beating tight competition from Marya, Helen Berhe, Asther Aweke, Saida Karoli and Ikraan Caraale.
It is against such a backdrop and more, that I find Juliana probably the most successful Diva Uganda ever had. This vocally apt princess and a judge at the Tusker project fame did not find it all on a silver platter like some of you can think.
On a professional note, Juliana’s fame can be traced back in the late 1990s, when she turned out with Iryn Namubiru in the all-girl duo I-Jay. The group's single titled Vive la Vie got a reasonably massive reception in the Ugandan music audience.
In her solo career, Juliana has churned such songs as Say Yes Nabikoowa, Nkulinze, My heart, Diana, Alive again, Seven days, Usiende mbali, Libe'esanyu, Kanyimbe, Malaika Wange, My Heart, Dont wanna try, I am Ugandan, Omutima oguluma and Ndi Bulungi among so many other.
Some of Juliana’s most prominent collabos include All I wanna know ft Klear Kut, Taata wa'baana & Mama Mbire with Bobi wine, Usiende mbali with Bushoke (Tanzania), Alittle bit of love with other Ugandan musicians(AIDS awareness song), Haturudi nyuma-with Kidum(Burundi), Sirina mulala-with Sweet kid, Kwekunyakunya-with Vamposs,Cindy,keko, My Lady remix with Jay Ghartey (Ghana), Oja with Peter Miles, and Mpita Njia with Alicios (D.R.C) among so many others.
Apart from international accolades, this princess from Toro has won regional and local awards in recognition of her outstanding talent and works. This old student of Namasagali and a onetime radio presenter has had such a colorful journey in music.
Allow me sign off with a question. Given such achievements as mentioned above and more, has Uganda ever had a more successful Diva than Juliana?