Female Musicians in Uganda; a Case of Misplaced Credit

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Medkimbugwe [at] HiPipo.com

The bitter but very obvious fact is that divas such as Catherine Kusasira, Stecia Mayanja, Iryn Namatovu, Sophia Nantongo, Maureen Nantume and several others in that category are more hardworking than the divas we consider to be the best.

These ladies not only produce music on a consistent basis, but also have successful concerts on a more consistent basis than the divas that we hype! They do indeed satisfy their target audience.

However, just because they don’t do “urban” music, we have on several occasions awarded credit to the wrong Ugandan female musicians. Simply because ladies in Eagles Production and other bands do not sing “urban” music, we as fans and critics end up sidelining them and hyping their less hardworking “urban” counterparts.

Urban musicians for example Cindy, Lillian Mbabazi and Jackie Chandiru, though talented, have over so many years remained just above average! Why then do we hype them above their hardworking counterparts that do not do “urban” music? That is crazy and unfair.

Truthfully, Uganda has very talented “urban” female musicians with such amazing sweet voices, yet it confuses me beyond measure that their segment of the industry is rather less competitive and close to static. Save for a few swaps here and there, the status quo when it comes to Ugandan female musicians, has been the same for such a long time.

For such a long time, the competition at the top has been perceived to be between Juliana and Iryn; but that competition is exactly what it is, perceived. It is not real and only leaves in the minds of the fans. I don’t remember the last time either of the two had a concert or a launch.

This is not to say that a launch or concert is the yardstick by which we measure competition or success, but lack of one can indicate a musician’s inability to attract a serious crowd. These concerts sometimes help to show that a musician is still alive musically and appeals to a following; yet these divas have failed to give their male counterparts a run for their money.

There was a time when we all thought that people such as Samalie Matovu were here to change affairs and create some competition at the top, yet she too disappeared to where only God knows.

Samalie aside, why on earth have talented musicians like Grace Nakimera, Cindy or Jackie Chandiru failed to stir some competition at the top?

There was hope that Grace Nakimera, the female musician with the record of holding the biggest concert in the past very many years would surpass Iryn and Juliana musically. This has however only stayed on paper.

The Blu 3 ladies were amazing as a group, but have failed to go beyond just above average as individuals. In short, there’s no doubt that these people are talented; but as a matter of fact, their non “urban” counterparts are much more hard working and ripping more.

We must give that credit where it is due.

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