By Our Reporter
In the latest episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions, which aired Sunday on YouTube, music enthusiasts are treated to an intimate exploration of the Afro-soul maestro, Kenneth Mugabi.
As he takes centre stage, Mugabi effortlessly serenades the audience with an enticing range of his most cherished tracks. With a medley of his signature tunes; his guitar and his fiddle, he began his setlist with the lovely “Sanyu,” following it up with the emotionally charged “Ebinyuma,” and then “Nkwegomba.”
The artiste weaves through his discography with interludes of his own interesting ‘Conversessions”, culminating with his chart-topping hit, “Naki.”
However, it is the ‘Conversessions’ that makes the highlight of his beautiful serenade. Mugabi takes the opportunity to share the profound stories behind his compositions, emphasising the power of his own personal experiences that led to such musical masterpieces.
The revelation of the inspiration behind “Naki” is particularly captivating. Mugabi talked about how the song came from the context of some of his most embarrassing situations and childhood frustrations, narrating how he channelled feelings of being “unwanted” and “rejected” into the creation of the song.
Beyond the melodies, Mugabi candidly addresses the comparisons drawn between his sound and that of Maurice Kirya. Mugabi acknowledges that at the beginning of his musical journey, he indeed used to perform Kirya’s songs. The turning point came during the Rated Next show, where Kirya who was serving as a judge, encouraged Mugabi to pursue his career. This pivotal advice led to the release of Mugabi’s album, “Kibun’omu,” in 2016, featuring the beloved track “Naki.”
He goes ahead to share the fact that he fully immerses himself into understanding the characters of who he is writing about, declaring that he is a method writer, much like method actors.
“I am not a woman, but I had to first understand how a woman behaves, what is a woman about. I love ladies so much, whenever I write a song I think about them first,” he says.
“I want to be remembered as the person who sold Uganda to Ugandans. In my mind when I’m performing anywhere, the first thing I want is for Ugandans to feel proud to be Ugandans, because I am a Musige from Busoga,” he adds.
Mugabi also opens up about his personal life, revealing that he is in a serious long-term relationship with a particular lady he doesn’t name, attributing the successful navigation of the relationship’s challenges to his faith and God’s protection.
The Kenneth Mugabi episode is the fourth in the show’s second season.
Watch the episode below.