WABC 21 Creatives #4 Kadongo Kamu

So let us talk about music and Kadongo Kamu it will be. As an old man and local music enthusiast, I love songs for their lyrical value.

Kadongo Kamu remains one of the richest genres we’ll ever have in Uganda. I love the imagery and the word play. One only has to listen a small collection of works from different artistes to appreciate it.

When Vincent Segawa sings about “Sisiri” the tired song, he is not really talking about an actual song, but rather a monotonous love-making style that many couples default to.

In “Tooki”, he urges men to have well maintained torches that will always have a bright beam of light. In actual sense, he is talking about men’s virility. He almost gives away the hidden innuendo when he says “Emwanyi nemilondo mugigaayenga” in the song’s chorus.

Paul Kafeero sings about post-natal depression in “Galenzi Mwe”, and how the affected parties usually want to blame it on witchcraft. He covers a whole lot of related topics in the same song rather effortlessly, in such a way that by the time you get the interpretation, the song has already rolled over.

Kafeero decries our apparent loss of identity in “Olulimi Lwange”, wondering why today’s children interact and ask for school necessities in the local language, only for them to give their graduation speeches in English. He wonders why most shopping mall owners opt for Western and/or fancy names, when the could have gone for local alternatives.

He gives a great lecture on alcohol and its adverse effects in “Dipo Nazigala”, blending humor and creativity to deliver the complete package. In “Buladina Ndibakooya”, he narrates a story of a man who chose to raise a daughter that was not his own, and explains circumstances under all this could have happened. He keeps the secret to himself until the day he is giving her away in a marriage ceremony. The way he recounts the tale keeps the listener on suspense until the latter stages of the song.

Afrigo Band (I am not sure whether they would qualify to be classified under Kadongo Kamu), is one of the greatest bands ever, to have come out of Uganda. In “Amazzi Genyama”, they tell of a seemingly innocent tale. Of a man whose meat was snatched by one of his best friends. The actual meaning of this song was lost on many a listener for some good time (Some still dont know what the song meant, todate).

Walukagga sang “Namboole”, a song that could easily have earned him a brush with the law had it not been for the clever euphemism that he laced it with.

Fred Sebatta decries the copycat syndrome that has seen our morals go to the dogs in “Kilimanjaro”. Not many understood what he was singing about when “Dolly W’omwana” was first released.

Herman Basudde in “Baasi duniya” talks about a bus that has lost its way because the driver is bad. This song is used to dig at Tibuhaburwa who’s likely to retire in the state house. Lukyamuzi Koloba in the late 80’s sensitized people on the use of protection ( condoms) in the song that went like,”amasanda ganemeseza okulya fene”. Literally meaning that you will catch amasanda if you eat fene ( only legends will copy).

One could go on and on. We’ve had great story tellers – Herman Basudde, Fred Masagazi, Fred Sonko, Willy Mukabya, Dan Mugula, Misusera Segamwenge, Vincent Kasozi, Eclas Kawalya and many others. The list is endless. Theirs was timeless music. Music one plays 5 years later and it sounds fresh. I could listen to Paulo Kafeero a whole day and this music is timeless. These musicians are the greatest creatives we have. I know people have different taste in music but Kadongo Kamu simply works for us (etukorera).

12 Comments

  1. I could go on and on…Kafeero’s Omukanzi Anzita, and Dipo Nazigala definitely have a way with me…but Buladina Is also very classic! I don’t know many many men that would have done that. Fuleedi Sebatta’s Circus and Gogolimbo…and others can rally tickle. Amaka ga basyomyeeko is another killer one…when the volume is right and the I have gweke; give me kadongo kamu, anytime!

  2. Recently I listened to ‘Taso Ggwanga’ by Herman Basudde. The song is too funny especially following his lifestyle and that he had now become a ‘mulokole’. Basudde starts by assuring people how they know him a lot but just ‘on top’ (ku ngulu ngulu)

    The one on postnatal depression also I love that statement “…nga oli yeetamiriza mu byafaayo byennyininnyini…”

    Great storytellers indeed. Music for all times and generations. I am an enthusiast of this genre.

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