I have more than five years’ working experience in the media industry.
I wield a skilful pen as a writer and Iam presently one of the most proficient features writers at the "Features Desk" of the “New Vision”- Uganda’s leading premier Newspaper.
At the “New Vision”, I have given a good account of myself as a features writer and that has shown in my well thought out and deeply researched human interest stories, which have been published on topics such as maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancies, climate change, the importance of cultural customs, rising sexual harassment in Uganda’s health sector; amongst other topics.
Several of my standout feature stories have been published in the "Big Read" section of the New Vision.
For good measure, I also write for my personal blog called MasaabaChronicles.com.
Before I joined the New Vision, I had worked a broadcast Journalist with Signal FM radio in Mbale, Eastern Uganda.
My weekly show packed a punch and was very popular with the youth demographic in Eastern Uganda.
It was an informative and educative programme that essentially encouraged the youth to embrace initiatives that bring a value to their lives.
I am also into worthy causes.
Last year, I was awarded a medal and certificate for my participation in the Journey of Hope marathon walk; a walk whose set objective was to reverse the flow of child trafficking and unsafe migration from Karamoja-in the North-East of Uganda.
The 18 day- 467 walk began in Kampala-Uganda’s capital city and ended in Napak-Karamoja.
Iam also into marathon running for worthy causes.
For the last two years, I have excelled in the MTN Marathon.
I was the best runner from the New Vision and have gotten medals for my efforts.
My professional goal is to be able to open new horizons for myself as a multi media Journalist and to spread my wings as a writer; beyond my current environment.
I want to be able to bring my writing skills to bear with other platforms.
I believe writing further beyond my current environment will sharpen my creative writing skills for the better.
Playing basketball-Several medals and Certificates recieved for playing the game
Who really administers people with fake hepatitis B vaccines and gets away with it, scot free?
Could the people found in possession of falsified hepatitis B vaccines from 8 health facilities in four districts by the health ministry’s post marketing surveillance team, last year and those currently selling body parts from Mulago hospital [Uganda’s main National Regional Hospital] possibly be real doctors- who have predisposed to unscrupulous behaviour or quacks disguised as doctors?
The latter seems more plausible.
In recent years, many quack health care providers have brazenly taken mean advantage of the country’s weak health supervisory and regulatory laws, to set up shop in many villages and urban areas, across the country.
Numerous efforts by Health Ministry officials and the country’s Allied Health Professionals Council to rein in on them have bore little fruit and as a consequence, many innocent Ugandans continue to fall victim to their fake diagnosis and prescriptions.
“At the grassroot level, quack health care providers, operate right under the noses of health officials,” Fred Nayebare, the Gomba district resident district Commissioner, says.
While, to date, there are no reliable estimates on the numbers of quack medical personnel in Uganda and the extent of their services, it is an undeniable fact that weak health regulatory mechanisms have enabled their rise.
The issue of quack medical personnel is a harsh reality, which Winne Byanyima, the Executive Director of OXFAM international-alluded to in a commentary piece, she wrote, as the Ugandan government planned to import Cuban doctors, last year.
Uganda doctors had gone on strike, demanding better pay.
Weak regulation, she wrote enabled quack doctors to play with people’s lives.
In 2017, a rapid assessment of District Health Supervisory Authorities by the Health Ministry brought to light evidence of widespread quackery in the health sector.
Little has been done, since then, however, to address the problem.
In the village of Nsotoka in Kayunga district, for instance, quack medical practice has reared its ugly head, several times.
Brenda Nabisere, 26, had jarring experience with a quack health practitioner, late, last year.
The quack doctor has since disappeared from the village after Nabisere reported him to the Police after her ordeal.
Nabisere, a mother of two had gone to seek treatment for her malaria stricken daughter.
“I went to seek therapeutics from him for my sick daughter. I could not tell whether he was genuine or not. All I know is that, his clinic was accessible and many people in the village invariably sought his services,” Nabisere recounts.
The anticlimax came when Nabisere discovered he had been giving her wrong medicines to treat her daughter.
“My daughter’s condition did not improve, so I sought help elsewhere. I went to a clinic in Mukono and I asked the doctor about the mixture of pills medications, I had been using. I showed him some of the medicines and he was aghast,” she says.
Experts from the Allied Health Professionals Council, a body mandated by the Ugandan government to regulate, supervise and control allied health professionals and to supervise their registration and licensing, acknowledge that the incidence of quacks is a major headache for the country’s health care system.
“Quack medical personnel prey on the poor and ignorant. They put the lives of unsuspecting Ugandans at risk. Nobody wants to see a scenario where Ugandans are suffering irreparable physical and internal deformities or are having their ailments exacerbated by wrong medications and ill prescribed therapeutics,” Doctor Fred Nyankori, the deputy Registrar of the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Councils opines.
Why quack medical practice is rife
Several health experts are quick to point out that quackery in the health sector thrives on account of the scarcity of qualified doctors.
“A shortage of health human resources in rural areas and laxity on the part of the district health inspectors leaves most rural areas open to medical fraudsters. There is no sector free from quacks but their pervasiveness in the health sector is worrying,” Nyankori says.
“In some areas around the country, communities have been complicit in shielding quacks especially when personnel from the District Health Supervisory Authority seek to question and apprehend them. The quacks see these gaps and take advantage.”
Besides a shortage in the numbers and skills mix of human resources for health, there is also the problem of poor attitude on the part of the existing health workforce.
“The poor attitude is drawn forth by perceived unattractive remuneration, insufficient training capacity; whilst some medical personnel are indisposed to transfers. These challenges unfortunately present an opportunity for unqualified, unregistered and unregulated personnel to exploit,” David Ssekaboga, the Wakiso district health Inspector, says.
Experts suggest solutions
Patrick Mpiima the Registrar of the Allied Health Professionals Council says for the problem to be tackled in earnest, there will have to be a concerted effort.
“There is a need for a combined effort to rid the country’s healthcare system of frauds. The combined efforts should involve the Police, the district administrations, drug inspectors and communities. There are a big number of fake and unqualified people freely issuing medications and treating people, especially in the rural areas,” Mpiima says.
“People who pretend to practice medicine, but have no training, qualifications and registration from appropriate councils and authorities like the Health Professional Councils and the Pharmacy board should be outlawed. Anyone operating a clinic or a drug shop should be licensed by a professional body.”
Will the recently issued guidelines for Health Supervisory Authorities impact?
Doctor Katumba Ssentongo, the Registrar of the Uganda Medical and Dental Professionals Council says the guidelines issued by the health Ministry will come in handy in ensuring proper regulation of health practices in the country.
“The guidelines launched recently, outlaw any illegal medical practice. Local governments will have to step up efforts to ensure that no unauthorized drug shops or clinics operate in their jurisdictions without registration and without a license,” Ssentongo says.
“That is because there has been some laxity on their part, yet the local government Act 2001 gives them authority to manage health services in their districts. Henceforth, all local governments will be required to make a database enumerating all clinics and drug shops registered within their areas.”
In the Health Development Plan (2015-2020) Uganda’s health sector commits to ensuring provision of high quality health care for all its citizens.
Experts say if the above is to be attained; the sector must put into execution an effective supervisory and regulatory mechanism.
“Regulation of health practice and professionals is the mandate of health professional councils and the Pharmacy Board. Enforcement constraints and other challenges have however played havoc with their work and as a consequence, quack medical personnel continue to thrive. Our expectations are that these new guidelines will bring change to bear,” Ssentongo says.
Nayebare says for the quackery problem to be dispensed with, weaknesses within the District Health Supervisory Authorities will have to be addressed.
“A lack of integrity is stifling the District Health Supervisory Authorities.
How do unqualified people who on many occasions have the nerve to advertise their services operate without the knowledge of the authorities?” Nayebare asks.
“The apathy aiding this problem and the glaring other weak points especially those to do with integrity will need to be addressed. With the guidelines, our expectations are that there will now be regular and consistent crackdown on illegal drug shops and clinics run by unqualified people across the country.”
Doctor Susan Wandera, the deputy chief of party at IntraHealth Uganda; the entity that developed the guidelines and that has collaborated with the Ugandan government in training health workers, says the guidelines will strengthen health regulatory mechanisms at the national, regional, district and lower levels.
“The expectation is that the health regulations, principally those dealing with quack medical personnel will bear down. Registration and licensing of drug shops and clinics around the country is still low and that calls for action. In general, the public needs to be educated more about the dangers of seeking treatment from unqualified practitioners. The government should also disseminate helpful health information in various local languages to help people steer clear of unqualified health practitioners,” Wandera says.
Ssentongo says sustained enlightenment will be key in both rural and urban areas to enable health seekers know what to look out for whilst making up their minds on where to go for diagnosis or to undergo treatment.
In 2011, the government through the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Councils introduced a web based system for registering all medical officers and dentists in the country.
The system developed by IntraHealth was supposed to make it possible to find out which clinics and drug shops are registered and approved, who owns them, where the clinics are located, and what services they offer.
Needless to say, the system was intended to weed out pseudo health practitioners.
Plans for the future
Government plans to set up the National Health Professionals Regulatory Authority; to improve the regulation of health professionals and their practices.
According to the Uganda Medical and Dental Professionals Council, there are over 5223 registered doctors in Uganda.
The penalty for falsely presenting oneself as a doctor in the Uganda Penal Code is seven years in jail.
The Ugandan government has advised journalists affected by a stern directive by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to prominent media houses to suspend senior journalists and producers over abuse of the country's broadcast guidelines, to go to court.
The Uganda Communications Commission regulates the communication sector in Uganda, which includes among others, telecommunications, broadcasting, radio and data communication.
Addressing the Ugandan Parliament on Thursday, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Urban development State Minister and acting ICT Minister said the UCC didn’t error in issuing the directive.
“the directive was issued in view of an infringement in broadcasting standards. The Journalists who are aggrieved are free to go to court and challenge the directive. We should however allow the UCC to do their work,” Baryomunsi told MPs.
On Thursday, the Ugandan Parliament condemned the call for suspension of senior journalists and producers by the UCC saying it derails Media Freedom.
UCC served letters to different media houses instructing them to suspend some of their staff over an alleged breach of minimum broadcasting standards during the recent arrest of firebrand Ugandan Politician and Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Ssemujju Nganda, the outspoken Kira Municipality MP criticized the UCC directive, calling it a violation of media freedom in Uganda.
Raising the issue as a matter of National Importance, Ssemujju implored the government to rescind its directive saying it casts Uganda in bad light, principally on the issue of media freedom.
He said Uganda’s rankings on media freedom had dropped as a result of recent arrests and torture of journalists.
“A country that is battering journalists can only attract fortune hunters not tourists. Government should come out and explain the steps it has taken to improve the country’s press freedom index and put the UCC straight over the directives. It is incumbent upon the government to uphold the right to freedom of expression and media freedom,” Ssemujju said.
Baryomunsi however said the UCC should instead be commended for doing its work, in earnest.
“It is very wrong for us to condemn UCC, when it is Parliament that gave it authority to regulate the communication sector,” he said.
Uganda has since 2015, had a national strategy to end teenage pregnancies but that strategy has, largely, come up short, as teenage pregnancies in several disadvantaged areas of the country-continue to rise way above the national average of 25%.
Last year, for instance, Agago district in the North of the country, registered a 28 percent teenage pregnancy rate, according to Statistics from its Health department.
Similar statistics ring true for districts such as Amoro [28% teenage pregnancy rate-last year], Kole, Kamwenge, etc.
What that means, in essence, is that little has changed since the Uganda Bureau of Statistics released the 2016 Uganda Demographic Survey Report, which indicated that 25 percent of teenage girls aged between 15-19 in the country were pregnant.
The same report indicated that 19 percent of teenage girls, aged 15-19 had given birth; and another 5 percent were pregnant with their first child-at the time of interview.
An earlier report from the country’s Education and Sports ministry on the linkages between teenage pregnancy and school dropouts in 2015 -had indicated that over 97% of adolescent girl’s drop-out of school, due to early pregnancies.
Masaabachronicle looks at some of the reasons-a well intentioned strategy has not brought significant change to bear.
Uganda has through the years, scored high points, in expanding enrolment and ensuring gender parity in its education system, but the same can not said about its efforts to curb teenage pregnancies.
In many disadvantaged areas of the country, attitudes towards girl’s education, remain low on account of counter-productive cultural and traditional norms and practices.
“On the whole, it is the reason; the replication of the successes registered under enrolment and gender parity has proved hard,” Charles Wabwire, an educationist with Opportunity International, tells Masaabachronicle.
“Deeply entrenched negative traditional and cultural norms, which encourage teenage marriages and relegate girls to domestic roles in many poor areas of the country, lie at the root of the problem.”
Lydia Nakaweesi, an education consultant with the East African Partnership for education in Kampala, says the strategy has faced long odds, owing to the few and far between-engagements with local and traditional leaders, plus parents, in areas where teenage marriages and pregnancies are rife.
“In the Karamoja, Acholi, and Elgon sub regions, there are few engagements with local leaders, yet teenage girls in these places remain vulnerable,” Nakaweesi says.
Nakaweesi also adds that the strategy has been ineffectual, largely because if poverty.
“It is the preeminent driver of teen marriages and pregnancies in high risk areas.
The families that marry off their daughters early are, in most cases, living in narrow circumstances.”
Two experiential Anecdotes that speak to the tragedy of teenage pregnancy in some regions of Uganda
In a halting low toned voice; betraying anxiety, 17-year-old teenage mother Fortune Kansime points me to a wooden bench; outside her grandmother’s hovel in the sun drenched village of Rwengobe in Kamwenge district, in the west of Uganda.
Just inches away as I prepared to sit, was her visibly apprehensive grandmother.
Seated on a papyrus mat, she repeatedly clutched at her rosary as I said my salutations.
Unable to hold back tears, Kansime plaintively narrates how she unwittingly became a young mother at age 15.
“I was sexually exploited by one of the men, involved in the construction of the Fort Portal-Kamwenge road in 2015,” Kansime says
Needless to add, Kansime became pregnant.
Kansime says she was naively cajoled and later pressured into sex in a dark place where her cries for help went unheard.
I deeply regret the ordeal as it ruined my education. It shattered my dreams,” Kansime laments.
By then, Kansime was in P.6 in Rwengobe Primary school.
The experience of being a teenage single mother and not being able to continue with her education has admittedly eaten away at Kansime’s conscience.
Kansime has however not faced this challenge, alone.
Recent studies have shown that many other Ugandan girls, whose stories may not be reflected in this piece; have had their school careers cut short because of early unintended pregnancies.
The Population Secretariat indicates that of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually, 25% are teenage pregnancies.
A 2016 education ministry report shows that of the 28% girls who were sexually active, while still at school, 80.1% were pregnant. Of this, 97% dropped out of school because of pregnancy.
“Uganda has had a high prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the last decade. The prevalence is particularly high in poverty stricken rural areas and on occasion, in urban areas.As a result, a big number of adolescent girls, especially in the North, East and the West-as Kansime’s narrative shows; have had their education journeys prematurely ended,” says Wilfred Onoria, an education consultant in Mbale.
In the worst case scenarios, adolescent girls who get pregnant often bear the brunt of stigma and ostracization from their communities, peers and family members.
“Some few years back, in Kamwenge, Kibaale and Fort Portal, many school-going girls had their school journeys cut short after getting impregnated by men involved in the construction of Fort Portal-Kamwenge road.
18-year-old Harriet Kayesu, who now survives on earnings from odd jobs, was one of the victims.
Kayesu is from the placid village of Itaali, in Kamwenge and like Kansime, she dropped out of school on finding out she was pregnant.
“I did not want to drop out of school but I often felt tired in class.
After I gave birth, I found handling the double responsibility of motherhood as a student really hard. Seeing my peers still in school really puts a damper on me,” Kayesu says.
“There are many other disadvantaged young girls across the country with similar experiences like Kayesu who can be helped to rebuild their lives from a place of strength.
As the 2013 Adolescent Girl Vulnerability Index, showed, many of these vulnerable girls face disproportionate risks and distinctive consequences from their vulnerabilities,” Wabwire, says.
“The statistics of teenage pregnancies in the country are compelling enough to take action. There is a need to act now, especially in areas, where the issue is often glossed over and treated lightly, because of backward cultural norms.”
“In many ways, rural adolescent girls remain the most vulnerable segment of our population. Pregnancy affects not only their health, educational and social progress, but also their empowerment.
It is time to let our girls be girls, not mothers. A better future has to be prepared for them,” Angel Nakafero, the technical advisor in the gender unit at the education ministry says
Expert propositions on how the problem can be solved
“With the education of young girls at stake in many disadvantaged areas of the country, there is a need to go beyond the clichés, we-keep hearing from Education Ministry officials-regarding teenage pregnancies. The government has to recruit guidance counselors in schools to teach adolescents important life skills and to empower them with information about the dangers of early sex,” Onoria says.
“An education sector response in the form of sexuality education is needed. Sexuality education is still a point of contention in Uganda, but it can be an effective program in postponing sexual initiation among teenagers and youth.”
“Granted-there are already nation-wide community based initiatives to enhance girl’s education. More however, needs to be done to address the issue in the far-flung areas of the country, where girl’s education is trifled with,” Wabwire says.
“There is a need to more engagements to specifically pick the brains of local leaders in areas where the vice persists. They can provide the best ideas on how the vice can be dispensed with.”
“In the North and East, there is still a lot that needs to be done to educate the communities on the need to keep adolescent girls in school. Adolescent girls in these areas often walk long distances to school and are not supported enough by their parents. That predisposes them to rape,” Nakawesi says.
“The education ministry should as suggested in its 2019 National Strategy for Girls Education review report; earnestly create links with programs such as Operation Wealth Creation, the National Agricultural Organisation and the Uganda Women’s entrepreneurship Program to provide support to poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged girls,’ Onoria stresses.
Johnny Backri, a parent and teacher at Morulem Girls S.S in Abim district, says teenage pregnancies pose a challenge to the educational empowerment of young girls in the North.
“Child marriage and pregnancies have real trouble in the North, mostly because of poverty. More efforts need to be directed into tackling household poverty in the less privileged parts of the country,” Backri says.
Ugandan government policy
The government developed the National Strategy to end teenage pregnancies in 2015.
The National Strategy on Child Marriage is a holistic, comprehensive framework that reflects the commitment of the Uganda Government to end the practice of child marriage and other forms of violence against girls.
The goal of the strategy is to end child marriage in Uganda for enduring prosperity and social economic transformation.
The policy’s main focus areas are; improved policy and legal environment to protect children and promotion of the girl child’s rights; and improved access to quality sexual and reproductive health services, education, child protection services and other opportunities.
The others include changing dominant thinking and social norms related to child marriage in the communities; and then the empowerment of both girls and boys with correct information to enable them recognize child marriage and early pregnancy.
The Government, through the education ministry also introduced the Seed school programme where girls who drop out of school are helped to re-enroll in school and the guidelines on the retention of pregnant girls and their re-entry of child mothers in school settings, last year.
Under the guidelines, schools are required to amongst other things; create early safety nets for the prevention of early or unintended pregnancies in school settings and to support local by-laws that prevent teenage pregnancy.
There are also guidelines on how to re-admit teenage mothers into schools.
Uganda’s state minister for higher education Dr. DR. John Muyingo says that the Government has made considerable progress in improving the status of the girl child over the last decade.
A number of programmes started include Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education together with initiatives such as the additional “1.5 Points Scheme” for girls entering university to bridge the gender gap in higher education.
“These programmes,” Dr. Muyingo says, “Have led to an increase in girls’ enrollment and completion of school.”
In addition, numerous pieces of legislation that have been passed including the Penal Code Act, the Children’s Act, the Domestic Violence Act and the Female Genital Mutilation Act have all worked in synergy to create a sense of increased protection of the girl child in Uganda.
Since the likes of GNL Zamba, St Nellysade, Burney M.C, Cyno, etc, quietly took a hiatus, as it so often happens in the checkered Ugandan Hip Hop landscape, the genre has, for the most part, lacked that fresh and exciting spark.
In many ways, the bloom has been off the genre's rose.
Masaabachronicle assesses whether the new crop of rappers; such as 7 year old Fresh Kid, St Maxi Mayne, Judas Rap Knowledge, Fefe Busi and Recho Ray have what it takes to keep the genre's flame burning and whether they can bear the Ugandan Hip Hop flag for the long haul.
Is Fresh Kid just another nine day’s hip hop wonder; more like Raymond Kamara of the “Amasanyalaze negagenda” fame or is he talented enough to be the bellwether that Ugandan Hip Hop so desperately needs to elevate it to greater heights?
It is a question, I, like many others, have been asking myself.
A gaze into Masaabachronicle’s crystal ball serves to re-assure that Fresh Kid; unlike other child rappers-such as-Babaluku’s Ship crew; is not after-all over rated.
[For starters, the Ship crew were a group of young rappers, who were under the stewardship of Luga flow wordsmith-Babaluku].
Given his gift of gab and rhyming talent, a bright future is on the horizon for the boy wonder-Fresh Kid.
“Fresh Kid is not only way ahead of his time but he is as real as they come. That shows forth in his commanding voice, exciting rhyme skill set and stage presence. It is incredible for somebody of his age to possess such flair,” Ronald Odongo, a seasoned Blogger/radio host, explains.
Right now, there is a lot working in the Kid’s favour and if his minders are wise, they should be taking notes, on how they can take over the industry.
“A word to his minders, though, encourage Fresh Kid, not only to go to school, but to write more rhymes, or to hone his “on the spot” freestyle skills [more like those of Fefe Busi] because, let’s face it, the Kid seems to recycle, two of his verses, from his debut song, whenever he is requested to freestyle on shows,” Shawn Kiberu, a Hip Hop producer/ artist, says.
But why are we even talking him-honing his freestyle skills, yet we all know Hip Hop, has for a long time, faced long odds in striking a chord with the rank and file Ugandan.
IS GOING THE TRAP WAY THE BEST WAY FOR UGANDAN HIP HOP
The love for the genre in Uganda or what is left of it-like the trap genre in the United States has belatedly been shown forth; only when guys like Gravity, Mun G or Fik Fameica have recorded their watered down-rhymes on dancehall beats.
“Here is a fact, though-Hip Hop in Uganda, does need a saviour; because much as he tries to lay claim to the Hip Hop throne, Gravity inwardly knows he does not personify Hip Hop artist. As for Fik Fameica-it’s a moot point,”
The saviour of the genre, will sadly however, only be accepted in a watered down and not in a pure or thoroughbred Hip Hop way,” Kiberu says.
The reality now is that the Ugandan Kidandali music fan has at least, accepted to listen to some of the poetic braggadocio, hyperbole [Fresh Kid-nyingidde ne tanka], word play, metaphors, that are associated with Hip Hop; which the likes of Fresh Kid, Fefe Busi, Rachel Ray, Judas Rap, Jim Nola, JK Lubanto and Fik Fameica are showcasing.
“In the Ugandan setting, it is that danceable/dancehall beat/instrumentation, which will tickle the fancies of fans, not a Dr. Dre-like beat.
Fresh Kid’s minders seem to have figured that selling his rhymes, over pure Hip Hop beats would be as hard as nailing jelly to the wall,” Chris Okwalinga, an artist manager, says.
For Ugandan rap purists, the idea of having some Johnny come lately hip hop artists-rhyming and rapping over dancehall beats; instead of rap beats, is farcical.
Time has however shown that their reading of what Ugandan music fans are partial to is wrong.
Of late, guys from the GNL era, like Big Trill and Mun G, have predisposed to that dance-hall formula, to get into the good graces of Ugandan music fans.
“Mun G seems to have gotten some love for it; but the jury is still out, however, as to whether Big Trill-who raps in English-will have similar results with his dancehall-ish-Giddem song.
If my reading of his blueprint is accurate, however, Big Trill is looking at the bigger picture; more like what GNL has done, with his world fusion music formula with his wife-Miriam Tamar.
Their means to an end now is getting their music appreciated, not only in Uganda but in other countries across the globe,” Kiberu says.
FRESH KID’S STAR HIGH IN THE ASCENDANT
Is it possible, however that Fresh Kid will sink into the kind of oblivion; some erstwhile Uganda’s hip hop artists have sunk into?
“That Kid’s star, at a time, when he only raps in Luganda is that high, up in the ascendant.
Just ask yourself, how high that star would ascend if he learns some English and starts dropping some few rhymes in English, for good measure,” Arnold Muduni, a Hip Hop producer at KYA studios in Kirinya, Bweyogerere, says.
OTHER NEW HIP HOP WORDSMITHS WITH THE POTENTIAL TO PUSH UGANDAN HIP HOP’S ENVELOPE
Aside of Fresh Kid, there are other capable wordsmiths, with the knack to represent Hip Hop to the fullest.
The “Who is who” rap battle song-stood Hip Hop in a good stead in terms of publicity, eliciting media coverage and radio debates about who had the best punch lines, metaphors, flow, delivery, etc.
“More importantly, however, the song spawned new talent, personified by the likes of Fefe Busi, Fik Fameica, Da agent, Rechel Ray, etc,” Muduni says.
In the aftermath of the battle, Fefe Busi, Da agent, Recho Ray and Jim Nola were heralded as the new Hip Hop protagonists.
Busi aka the “smallest rapper” sounded more than convincing with his rhymes on his “who is who” version and on his breakthrough song-Yes/no.
Though Busi has for the most part, played second fiddle to Fik Fameica, he is one versatile guy who, barring any unforeseen circumstances, can surely keep the genre’s flame burning, for the long haul.
His draw card is his commanding voice, on the spot-spontaneous freestyles and a knack for witty punch lines.
To stand a treat, check songs like Iddi Amin Dada and Nawambye.
“If he does not completely go the Kidandali way, Hip Hop should be in safe hands,” Muduni says.
Busi has six awards under his belt, including the 2019 MTN hip hop awards male rapper of the year award, 2017 BTA teens hottest song award 2017, 2017 High Skool awards Hip Hop artist of the year, Central Rapper of the year, Hip Hop awards Uganda and to boot, he is a best Male rapper nominee in the 2019-256 Uganda Hip Hop awards.
That awards and nominations speak to the guy’s talent.
The other guy with flag bearing flair is Jim Nola [James Bulega].
Nola’s replete with clever punch lines version of “Who is who” was in every sense, rewind worthy.
“Nola’s voice may not be as strong as Busi’s, but he more than makes up for that with his lyrical creativity, interesting metaphors and good delivery, on either a pure hip hop beat or a Kidandali instrumentation,” Kiberu notes.
Songs such as wrap up 2018 and Babeleete, speak to Nola’s talent.
He has also got a nod for the best male rapper in the forthcoming 256 Ug Hip Hop awards.
By now, everyone must have heard Mirembe Recho Ray’s trending song-“Guma Bakunyige”.
The MTN hip hop awards Rookie of the year award winner has gotten herself many fans [even those averse to Hip Hop] on the strength of that groovy song alone.
Ray’s “Who is who” rendition was also equally entertaining, though her delivery was lacking.
Needless to say, she has got a nod for the best female hip hop artist in the forthcoming 256 Ug Hip Hop awards.
She had earlier won the MTN cipher-Uganda Hip Hop award.
“If she keeps her focus, she will reign as Hip Hop queen for long,” Odongo says.
The other Hip Hop wordsmith who will be a constant blip-on the radars of many rap fans, for the long haul, is St Maxi Mayne.
“Be on the lookout for this guy because he is a ball of fire with the rhymes as exemplified in songs such as "Lemerako", "Horror city" and his freestyle teaser for the 2019 Ug Hip Hop awards,” Kiberu says.
The 23 year old Masaka bred-wordsmith does a blend of Lugaflow, afro-trap and urban hip hop.
From the North of Uganda, Gulu to be exact; there is Judas Rap Knowledge aka Lapwong or teacher.
“I put respect on Knowledge’s name after I listened to his “Labong and Gipir” album.
Judas’s strength is that he is adept at rapping in both Acholi and English.
If there is one person, Hip Hop can look up to in the North, after the demise of Lumix, it is Judas,” Muduni says.