HiPipo Music Awards 2016; Best Female Artist Review

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Mohamed Kimbugwe

Ugandan female musicians are generally perceived by many as being less aggressive than their male counterparts. Much as a lot of them are immensely gifted, the trend over the years has been that the men carry the day.

That has not been the trend in this music year. Female musicians have come out to hold their place at the top and done well. They have pushed hard and fought for their rightful place at the top. It has been more about new generation female musicians, with just a few veterans holding out.

This category therefore hosts the best female musicians in his music year, as nominated by the fans and other stakeholders in the Ugandan music industry.

Let’s kick off with Rema Namakula! When she earned her big break with Cease and Sekkle, it was evident that she was gifted, but very hard to imagine her this far, given how precarious the Ugandan music industry is.

Fast forward and Rema was covering more ground with songs like Oliwange and Atuuse and like the adage goes, the rest is history. She left Gagamel and kicked off “solo” career, which many thought would be her end, yet Rema continues to score more success.

Here we are and not even her maternity leave has stepped in her way to glory. She has kept going and this year alone, she has released such songs as Lean On Me, Akatonotono and Linda; a strong statement of her durability.

We immediately go to Juliana Kanyomozi, a Super Diva that gets better with time, just like wine. It would be right for anyone to conclude that Juliana has been there, seen it all and done it all, yet every passing day seems like she still has more to offer.

Her insatiable thirst for growth remains amazingly admirable and keeps pushing herself every day, with the desire to cover more room at the top. She’s probably the most successful Ugandan Diva in regards to gaining ground outside Uganda and she seems slated to gain more.

This year has seen her resurrect her freshness and release splendid music. She has released Woman, Kalibatanya and Twalina Omukwano, but most remarkable among them all should be Woman.

Woman has crossed borders and earned regional and continental airplay. It has also effortlessly crossed over to other parts of the world, thanks to its message and the passion with which Juliana Kanyomozi renders it.

Her most recent success includes her astounding Coke Studio Africa run that saw her earn numerous slots on their first ever album. This has sure been a great year for her.

Irene Ntale is the other contender here that needs no introduction. She has maintained her focus and reaped success out of it. With songs like Bikoola (with Radio and Weasel), Otubatisa (with Sheebah), Nzenna Nzenna, Something About Jesus, Easy (with Jose Chameleone), Kabugo and Ono Omwana, Ntale has a fruitful year.

She has also received massive airplay, ripped dance floors apart and kept revelers on their toes.

Let’s then look at Sheebah! Ever since she got her big break, Sheebah forgot the way backwards and has since moved only forward. With hard work and focus, Sheebah has sure reaped enormous fruits this music year.

She has released songs like Tunywe, Onkuba (with King Saha), Nipe Yote, Okikola Otya (By the way), Otubatisa (with Irene Ntale), Siri Zari and Malidadi, in addition to crafting some creative and imaginative videos.

Sheebah has also received massive airplay and ripped dance floors apart.

Finally, let’s take a look at Lillian Mbabazi! She has since her Blu 3 days proved that she’s one of the most gifted female musicians Uganda has ever had. However, when Blu 3 disbanded and she entered maternity leave, Lillian’s career hit a low note.

This music year, Lillian rediscovered her winning formula and reminded us that class is permanent. She resurrected her form and hit us with some of the sweetest songs, which earned her widespread acclaim.

In addition to such amazing songs as Simple Girl and Memories, Lillian held a successful concert at the Kampala Serena Hotel, where her fans and skeptics alike were wowed by her impeccable live performance, thereby reasserting her prowess.

Her return gave freshness not just to her, but to the Ugandan music industry. Her music has received a warm reception among the fans and she must be credited for crafting nice videos, especially the one for Simple Girl.

In all, women have come out to erase the stereotype mentality that they are underdogs to their male counterparts. They have explored both their hard work and talent to earn equal footing with their male counterparts.


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