By John Abimanyi
There was a time when everything Weasel and Radio touched, just seemed to turn into gold. It is now 10 years since I was introduced to the auditory pleasure that has been the voice of Moses Ssekibogo aka Mose Radio. He and his partner Weasel caught us unaware, shuttering their way into the music top drawer where Jose Chameleone, Bobi Wine and Bebe Cool had built fiefdoms since 2000.
There was an X-factor about Nakudata on its release that made you feel you were listening to something special then. It was a powerful statement of intent, a sounding of war drums that announced the arrival of a new music force with real staying power. Soon, Lwaki Onumya, Ngamba, Where You Are, Potential and many more followed to underline the credentials of the duo as a music powerhouse in their own right.
Observers then wondered just why they had taken so long to break free of the Leone Island chains, which, although having groomed them, had not allowed their talents to shine bright and achieve their true potential.
Radio was special talent, a man whose vocal chords handled chorus lines with the ease of an eagle soaring in the skies. And special talents are not containable, just ask Sir Alex Ferguson about David Beckham. As the duo’s star continued to shine, so did stories of fights and various forms of beef with rivals and non-rivals alike continue to stream through. Songs like Sitani, Ability and Mukidula are not entirely about Lucipher, inner strength and a nightclub, but are an example of how Radio used his talents to fight his battles for him. So uncontainable was Radio that an entertainment journalist once referred to him as a solido that carries live current.
My all-time favourite from this music duo was Bread & Butter, an Afropop earworm that infected every ear in its wake. It showcased the sheer quality of song writing that they employed, the use of allegory and symbolism to carry messages, all the while pushing the frontiers of auditory pleasure even farther.
Anyone who has witnessed Uganda’s music scene will tell you just how difficult it is to stay a top artiste for more than a year. Yet more than a decade since he broke loose and warmed our hearts, Radio’s music still commanded airplay on the radios and on dance floors across this country.
Those vocal chords have now gone silent, leaving us with a bountiful archive from which we shall eternally remember the un-containable, wild, free-spirit of Mose Radio, aka, Moses Ssekibogo. Rest in peace.
This tribute first appeared on the author’s Facebook page on February 1, 2018.