Uganda’s political scene is not the only thing hot in the country. The nation may be in the news almost daily for the resultant effects of President Yoweri Museveni’s refusal to respect term limits, but as with most nations of the world, the citizens cope and thrive with an admirable arts and music scene.
So what female artistes are revolutionizing the Ugandan music scene and giving the citizens something else to talk about? We look at five of them below, hopefully you will go out and stock up on their music if you are not already a loyal fan.
The five female artistes revolutionizing the Ugandan music scene;
Jemimah Sanyu is known in fan circles as the ‘stage gladiator’. She embarked on a professional music career in 2007 when she joined Grace Records. Her favor with fans grew as she towered above her peers wild live performances and a powerful voice.
With the release of her single ‘Ziba Amaaso’ in 2010, Sanyu earned her stripes in the Ugandan music scene, scoring widespread radio airplay and embarking on a national tour. In 2011, she was the lead singer in one of East Africa’s biggest bands, Bantu Band.
These days however she performs with Unit 446, her own band and her debut solo album Amaaso Go Googera achieved considerable acclaim.
Tshila, full name, Sarah Tshila got on the Ugandan music scene in 2005; a member of the pioneering Ugandan hip-hop group Bataka Squad. She was the group’s female MC, later branching out to explore a solo career as an ‘Afro-fusion’ artist.
From opening for Jaqee (a Berlin-based jazz artist) on her first unplugged show in Kampala to singing with UK group Kinobe, Tshila quickly made a name for herself as a versatile musician. In 2007 she participated in the BBC World Service talent search called The Next Big Thing, and was named one of the 20 best unsigned artists in the world.
Her music was considered by one of the judges as being “a perfect soundtrack to nice summer day”. One fascinating fact about her is that she gave up a promising career in computer science in the USA to pursue music.
In 2011 Angela Katatumba made history when she was chosen as the first artist to accompany the police, army and prisons bands by singing the Ugandan national anthem in front of 13 heads of state.
Her debut however came in 2005 and has so far released two albums: ‘Peace’ and ‘Glad I’m Alive’. She is currently working on her third album, Supernatural Girl, and has collaborated with other Ugandan artists such as Keko.
Angella is more than just an artist. Besides working in her family’s hotel business, she is heavily involved with humanitarian works. She was also one of the judges of the “airtel-trace music star” competition.
Rema Namakula has a musical repertoire full of uplifting songs celebrating life and love. Rehema ‘Rema’ Namakula (her full name) began her music career as a backup singer for Ugandan star Bebe Cool in his Gagamel crew.
In 2013, they parted ways and Rema embarked on a solo career, releasing the single ‘Oli Wange’ that year to much acclaim. Since then she has released singles consistently, including the 2015 hit ‘Katonotono’.
Irene Ntale is a singer, songwriter, and guitaristwho expresses herself in the varied genres of RnB, reggae, and acoustic soul. She has been hosted on Focus on Africa and is the campaign ambassador for the Red Card to Drunk Driving campaign by Uganda Breweries Limited.
She started out singing at school and in the church choir where she learned how to play the guitar. Her hit songs include; Gyobera, Love letter (a collaboration with Bebe Cool), Stay with me, and Olindaba