On the international scene, the external influence of our industry was most our award-winning exports in George Okudi (KORA Award, 2003), Maurice Kirya (RFI Discovery award, 2010), Joel Ssebunjo (Visa Pour la Creation, 2010) and Eddy Kenzo (BET, 2015), Bebe Cool (AFRIMA), Irene Namatovu (AFRIMA, 2018) and Sandra Nankoma (AFRIMA, 2018) among others.
Perhaps one could say a decade is too long to be devoid of sad news, and 2010-2019 was no exception. It was a decade that, once again, saw the industry lose players, significant or otherwise. In 2013, Martin Angume lost the battle to kidney, liver and lung complications, while Akay (2015) and Mowzey Radio (2018) succumbed to injuries sustained in nasty, separate bar brawls, while a controversial motorbike accident claimed little-known Ziggy Wine’s life in 2019.
The close of the 2010s decade would see yet another new crop of artistes. Sheebah Karungi hit her peak, often leaving spellbound crowds melting in awe of what looked like a sudden rise to musical stardom. And the man responsible for her meteoric rise? Jeff Kiwa, the seasoned music manager who had also handled Jose Chameleone, Akay and the Goodlyfe duo of Radio and Weasel.
By the time the sun set on the 2010s decade, the industry had evolved into a diverse ecosystem that also had lots of new entrants and new styles. In 2017, Wycliffe Tugume, the artiste better known as Ykee Benda traded his Chemical Engineering degree for a music career. Today, we live in the era of Fik Fameica, Rickman, Vinka, Sheebah Karungi, Nina Roz, Spice Diana, A Pass, Fresh Kid and a host of hundreds of musicians.
Several industry generations since the first of the sweeping changes happened to a post-war entertainment industry, the conveyor belt of Ugandan music remains on an eternally revolving journey, withering storm after another; and churning out new faces, methods and industry dynamics.