Uganda: Eddy Kenzo Talks About Music, Fame and Rema

interview

From a very trying 2019 that saw him get dumped by Rema Namakula for Dr Hamza Ssebunnya, and Sheikh Nooh Muzaata reducing him to tears after calling him a love nigga - ssemyekozo, Eddy Kenzo, 30, is indeed making 'lemonedi' out of his 'lemoni'.

Quick Talk took a ride with him in his brand new Toyota Land Cruiser V8 during a recent chat.

How have you been, Kenzo?

I have been good. I am not complaining.

First things first; this upcoming Eddy Kenzo festival...

The festival is happening on March 28 at Kololo airstrip. It is a show that is going to take the whole day from morning to evening with performances from so many artistes both local and international. We shall have helicopters to fly revellers around the city and a mini zoo for children. We are also going to give away prizes like boda bodas to fans.

Ah! You have prepared quite the lemonade from last year's lemons! How did you come up with this idea?

I got the idea after travelling to many different festivals around the world and [finding] out that these festivals actually employ a lot of people and so many people benefit from them; that is why I decided to organize the same here.

Is it going to be an annual fete?

Yes. It is going to be happening every year.

Artistes who have held concerts at Kololo have infamously got it for free due to their close association with President Museveni. Were you also gifted the venue?

I don't know why many people have that perception; perhaps because I met the president last year [duh!] but I actually paid for the venue and each and everything.

Speaking of meeting the president, what was the purpose of the meeting?

My meeting with President Museveni was to introduce him to the several awards I have won for the country internationally and also tell him about my works for the country through the music industry. Our meeting was purely about Uganda's music industry and finding ways of helping the youths out there.

That's nice! You used to be a big supporter of People Power and quite vocal when it came to politics but that seems to have changed after 'the meeting'.

I have decided to keep quiet on political matters because I do not want to divide my fans along political lines. So, come 2021 I definitely won't be seen supporting any political candidate.

OK. But are you still friends with Bobi Wine?

Yeah. We are still very good friends. I would actually say we are brothers.

Moving on: how did this whole Rema-Hamza [krinkum-krankum - to borrow lawyer Fred Mukasa Mbidde's words] affect you?

Well, I was not affected in any way [eh, but Quick Talk saw that weepy video... but okay... ] I accepted it and embraced the fact that it happened and I have moved on. Do I have a choice, anyway?

No. But do you see yourself falling in love soon?

You cannot tell when you will fall in love next, but anytime when the right woman comes along, why not? But I am not on pressure to get into a new relationship.

What kind of woman would you be looking at?

I want someone I can trust, who is supportive of what I do, with a good heart of welcoming and sharing with other people [sharing with other people? Haaa... ] I want someone innovative so we can grow and develop together. A woman who can manage a husband. I don't want a selfish and self-centered woman.

Very telling. Anyway, how has being a father to two beautiful girls impacted your life?

It has helped me to know my worth. I now know it is not only me but I also have other people who depend entirely on me and I always have to be there for them.

When did you last see Aamaal? [His daughter with Rema]

I think I have not seen her for about eight months now.

Why are you not able to see her?

I do not know, but probably the person who has her has her own reasons [Aamaal stays with Rema and her new hubby].

It is said you had abandoned Rema in the Seguku house for two years...

We had misunderstandings and I am someone who respects women a lot. I loved my mum so much and all my children are girls; so, instead of fighting, I decided to move out. We lived together for five years and when she got another man and was ready to move out, she did.

Does she still have your land titles, car logbooks and other valuables you had asked her to keep for you when she was moving out?

No, she has given them back to me.

Who exactly is a love nigga (ssemyekozo)? [The words immortalized by Muzaata were first lyrics in Rema's song, Gutujja. Kenzo has since produced a hit song, Ssemyekozo, from that debacle].

A love nigga is basically a young man with money and love, and I agree that I am one and actually the president. It was started by my fans who called themselves Team Love Nigga during that period of Rema getting married and they were calling me Mr President; so, I accepted the honor.

You have had an amazing career. What have been the highlights?

It is difficult to single out just one. I have international awards like BET and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award. I have performed at international festivals; I have a huge fan base not only in Uganda but also in other countries. There are just too many highlights.

What does it take to go international?

Creativity and, of course, hard work. You have to come up with something new... be original and come up with your craft and style.

You are a very fashionable guy.

I just love fashion and looking good. People accord you respect according to the way you look and that is why I always take it upon myself to look good.

What do you think of Uganda's music industry?

The future is very bright. There is fresh new talent cropping up. The quality of audios and videos is improving and we can now compete favourably on the Internet.

What would you tell the huge following of youths you have?

Work hard, be humble even when you make it big, and always remember to put God first.

Kenzo fact file

Edrisa Musuuza alias Eddy Kenzo was born on Christmas day, 1989 in Masaka.

His mother died when he was only five years old and he spent almost 13 years on the streets of Masaka and Kampala. Initially he wanted to be a footballer and that got him a bursary at Lubiri secondary school but he never finished his studies.

In 2008, Kenzo broke onto the music scene with his first song titled Yanimba with Mikie Wine under Bobi Wine's Fire Base Crew, followed by his smash hit Stamina in 2010. In 2014, Kenzo had his international breakthrough with Sitya Loss, whose video featuring the Triplets Ghetto Kids went viral and won him a BET award.

He has more international music awards than any other Ugandan musician.

Eddy Kenzo has four albums: Sitya Loss (2014), Zero to Hero (2016), Biology (2017) and Roots (2018).

He is a father to Maya and Aamaal Musuuza.

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