The Observer (Kampala)

3 February 2013

Uganda: Able 4 Comes of Age

In 2001, they were only known at Noah's Ark Secondary School for mimes, karaoke and dancing.

Little did they know it that the forum was a stepping stone for their future career in music. The group is now known as Able 4, a name that describes their abilities to sing and perform for the glory of God, thanks to Rosemary Lukholo, the group's patron for the guidance and moral encouragement.

After 13 years of persistence and hard work, Able 4, comprising Eric Bbossa, Richard Luswata, Emmanuel Bagenda and Bond Matsiko finally held a concert of their own. The fairly attended concert was held last Friday at the Sheraton Kampala hotel's Lion's bar. At least by 6pm when the concert was set to start, people had started trickling in, and by 9pm, it was full house, something unusual for gospel gigs.

And as always, the group had curtain raisers like Kushe, Mac Elvis, Xabu, Antonio, Sami-k and Bedford set the mood. The Xabu group comprising of three girls Brenda, Tonya and Sandra, gave their best when they performed love songs. They wowed the audience with pretty voices that evoked memories of the fading gospel group, Makoma.

At half past nine, the long-awaited group, Able 4, hit the stage, dressed casually amidst cheers from the audience that constituted mainly youths. Backed by a live band, First Love, the group kicked off their performance with Ebigambo and later Mama Africa, a song that kept women on their feet as they danced along to the reggae style.

According to Bond Matsiko, a group member, the concert dubbed "Cross Over" signifies their maturity into a fine group that is now ready for the market. Inspired by Boyz 2 men, a secular group, Able 4 took the audience through their first worldly hits like Kagiiko, Tondeka, Amapenzi and Tuli ba Beeyi Nnene, all love ballads.

And as is the norm at concerts today, Able 4 took time off to thank everyone who changed their lives. It was also an opportunity to auction their CD, 'Rebirth of change.' With the help of Ronnie Habasa of Power FM, Sh300, 000 was raised.

Even as the skies threatened to open, the crowd was in one piece as the group crowned their performance with Lord I want to come back to you and No one like you. Gauging by the turnout, Able 4 is good to go.

Background:

Able 4 started in 2001 at Noah's Ark Secondary School. At the end of 2001, they started writing their own songs and since music was clashing with their education, they put it on hold to further their music careers. Today, the group sings about love, hate, desires, passion, and societal issues like poverty, injustice and oppression. And becasue all group members are born-again, most of their music is gospel-centered. Currently the group does performances in schools and social functions.

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