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Creative musical wind blowing all the way from Uganda

Saturday October 13 2018

Kathy Ngolobe.

Kathy Ngolobe, who sings in Lusamia, English and Luganda. PHOTO | COURTESY 

AMOS NGAIRA
By AMOS NGAIRA
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Talented singer Kathy Ngolobe, who sings in Lusamia, English and Luganda, is taking eastern Uganda and western Kenya by storm.

Ngolobe, who hails from the Samia community that straddles the Kenya-Uganda border, has a new sophisticated sound that is music to the ears of the lovers of the urbane sound.

In a recent interview with the Saturday Nation,Kathy said she was happy with the support she has gotten since venturing into music.

“My musical journey like any another journey has had some challenges so I waited for a while off the scene. I come from a humble background and I have had a lot to learn,'' she says.

She made her debut recording in 2011 with the song “Njala”, which has been getting good airplay in some Ugandan TV and radio stations such as Bukeede TV and Jogoo FM.

During this initial recording she was backed by members of the Maraka band that was based in Kampala.

Incidentally it was in Kampala that two other Kenyan artistes -- Harriet Takaah and Doreen Bahati -- are based.

“The Maraka band members were inspiring to me during my initial days in music as they backed me both in vocals and in terms of instruments,” she says.

CREATIVITY

Notably, according to Kathy, the Maraka band has its roots in Toro language meaning “Voices”. The group is no longer active as most of the band members joined other groups and only team up occasionally for performances.

As she points out, “Njala” is a song which depicts the “struggle to fulfil an inspiration that has been lacking in the hearts of many young people from my ancestral home in Busia."

Through her performances she is now encouraging up and coming artistes from Kenya to try and have their songs produced.

Her other singles “Unjala” and “Suubi” have also been getting good airplay.

She is looking forward to touring some Kenyan towns in the near future to popularise her music.

“I am still trying to see the prospects of getting a Kenyan producer or promoter who can liaise with me in facilitating a musical tour to Kenya soon,” she says.

The popularity of the songs has been based on her ability to sing in English, Luganda and Samia, her mother tongue.

"Swahili is a language I would love to learn.

“The ability of singing in three languages has really helped me in reaching out to music fans of different lifestyles,” she says.

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