June 16, 2024

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Remembering Mowzey Radio: The Myth, The Legend

5 min read
Last Week, Mowzey Radio Would Have Celebrated His 35th Birthday. Today, Proggie Remembers And Celebrates Him.

It’s nearly two years since the tragic passing of Mowzey Radio (born Moses Nakintije Ssekibogo), one of Uganda’s most prominent artists. The passing of time however has neither erased the memory of nor the impact Radio had on the Ugandan music scene. Mixing his smooth mellow RnB vocals with Weasel’s husky Reggae and dancehall vibes, the Goodlyfe duo made incredible music that wowed not only Ugandans but also East Africans far and wide.

Mowzey Radio - remembering the legend on Proggie - Events, lifestyle, entertainment in Kampala, Uganda

Mowzey Radio – remembering the legend on Proggie – Events, lifestyle, entertainment in Kampala, Uganda

Starting from his earlier hits like ‘Nakudata’ to his peak when he seemed to release bangers every other month, Radio and his music partner Weasel (Douglas Mayanja) dominated the airways with tunes like ‘Bread and Butter’, ‘Breath Away’, ‘Talk and Talk’, ‘Neera’ and so many others. The list is nearly endless, as you would rightly expect from some one who penned over 220 songs. His lyrical mastery, vocal proficiency and genius was always sure to get the stiffest corporates and other elites swinging to his rhythm, not forgetting the youth who always partied to his beat. One can be forgiven for forgetting that it was not always like that for him.

Early Life

Born on January 25th 1985 to Jane Kasubo, who ground hard to take him through Holy Cross Lake View SS Jinja r his Olevel, Radio’s brilliance started showing as early as then, when he as President of his school’s Youth Alive Club, led them to winning the Inter-School Competitions with musical projects he wrote. He joined Kiira College Butiki for A level, taking on prefectorial duties, showing once again his exceptionalism. His love for school leadership and talents is exemplified by his very own words, “Young people should go to school, not just to learn mathematics and science and the like, but to learn something. Something good. They can learn how to sing, act and develop their talents and good behavior”

A Music Career Starts: The Birth Of The Goodlyfe Crew

Mowzey Radio & Weasel – Photos: Various sources

His true musical journey started when he joined Jose Chameleon’s Leone Island Crew in 2004 as a back up vocalist, going ahead tor release solos like ‘Jennifer’ and the much loved ‘Sweet Lady’. Eventually he broke off from Leone Island, forming Goodlyfe Crew with Weasel Manizo, Chameleon’s younger brother. It was the that their star truly exploded.

Starting with the well liked ‘Nakudata’ album and their second ‘Nyambura’, his music gave witness the rise of an A-list musician. On ‘Nyambura’, he attained that perfect blend of English, Kiswahili and Luganda to create a poignant tune that transcended borders. To top it off were tracks like ‘Bread and Butter’ and ‘Ability’. With this, Radio knew he had captured, charmed and dazzled his Ugandan audience. The years that follow are no different, with 9 more albums including Ngenda Maaso, ‘Tonjagala’, ‘Fantastic’ and ‘Obudde’. His last album was 2016’s ‘Omwana Wabandi’.

Mowzey Radio wrote about many things, but the mist recurring theme was Love and Relationships (Nyambura, Bread and Butter, Neera, Am in Love, Byagana), but he occasionally penned subtle diss-tracks, stemming from his ego battles with fellow music heavyweights. Zuena is one such masterpiece, a song celebrating the beauty his rival Bebe Cool’s wife, Zuena. Radio also spat out at detractors with hits such as ‘Talk and Talk’ (for those with all talk and no action), and ‘Ngenda Maaso’.

An Award-Winning Spree

Not only did he have the Ugandan populace eating out of the palm of his hand, but also the critics, considering he bagged 15 HiPipo Music Awards in big categories like Song of the Year (Gutamiza), Best Duo, Album of the Year (Amaso Ntunga), Best Song Writer and more. Across the borders he won Best East African song twice at the Tanzania Music Awards, a Channel O Music Award for Most Gifted east African Video (This Is How We Do It). He also received nominations for Best Group at the 2010 MTV Africa Music Awards, and in 2013, a BET Music Awards nomination for Best International Act, the same category for which Eddy Kenzo won his BET award.

Mozey Radio and Weasel - The Goodlyfe Crew on Proggie Uganda, events, lifestyle and entertainment

Radio and Weasel at the HiPipo Music Awards in 2015

Perhaps more telling of his legacy was the massive respect and adoration he had amongst his musical peers. He in fact wrote hits for some of them, like Irene Ntales’s Bikola, a collaboration with Rabadaba on Ability and B2C’s breakout hit, Gutamiza. He also briefly revived Desire Luzinda’s career with ‘Ekitone’, a boost to her staked career amidst her scandals.

His Family Legacy

As much as he loved his music, he loved people, more so those in his life. He had two kids, Asante and Izuka with fellow artiste Lillian Mbabazi who he had met at his Makerere as he studied a Psychology degree (perhaps that’s how he always knew what we wanted to hear). Lillian described him as a ‘responsible father, who always did what had to be done’.

A Life Gone Too Soon

Radio, however, was not free from controversy. He was well-known for his drinking and various fights; in fact, it was under similar circumstance that he met his demise. On a night out at a hangout in Entebbe, Radio was thrown onto the floor by a bouncer, sustaining heavy injuries that required surgery. He was treated at Case hospital, receiving five-star treatment, and yet in the end, he succumbed after 10 days.

On that dark day of 1st February 2018, hundreds gathered at both his residence and the hospital to mourn with and comfort the family of the deceased. Tributes flowed in from fellow celebrities and other prominent Ugandans, with the President describing him as a ‘talented young person with a great future ahead of him.’

The days that followed were littered with controversy as his former associates were accused of trying to steal from his family, and his past flames squabbling over a share of his property. Like a true brother, Weasel stepped him to protect the interests of Radio’s family, saying that they had hustled for their attainments and no one would steal from them.

Having died at 33, this year would have marked his 35th, and age at which many music legends are still at their peak, with many years ahead.

However, we cannot turn back the sands of time, or undo the hands of fate. He was as great as they come, and the good thing about legends, they never die.

For that, we shall always sadly miss him

Mowzey Radio Portrait by Ezi (@eziwear)

Article by Proggie.

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