By our reporter
Uganda’s intentional musician and arguably the most selling artist out of this country, Geoffrey Oryema has passed on in exile. He was aged 55.
Oryema, recently had a concert in Kampala after a long period out of the country in exile.
Born on April 16, 1953, Geoffrey became the world famous musician after he was fled from Uganda following the death of his father in 1977. He was just 24. His dad Erinayo Wilson Oryema was a cabinet minister under the Idd Amin regime.
Geoffrey’s songs are in Kiswahili, Acholi, French and English.
According to Wikipedia, Oryema earned his international reputation on the release of his second album, Beat the Border. He has collaborated with Peter Gabriel and others, and was backed by French musicians including Jean-Pierre Alarcen (guitar) and Patrick Buchmann (drums, percussion, backing vocals), touring with WOMAD in Australia, the USA, Japan, Brasil and Europe. In 1994 the band performed at Woodstock 94 celebrating the 25th anniversary of the legendary festival. Gabriel’s record label, Real World, helped with the first three of Oryema’s albums, before his move to Sony International, a label established in France.
World musician Joel Sebunjo wrote on his Facebook page:
Sad news for Ugandan Music .. African Music.. World Music.. The legend Geoffrey Oryema has passed on !! What a tragedy .. in september this year we had plans to record Lyon France; unfortunately it didnt come to pass. Condolences to his family, friends & fans all over the world. This man is a true Ugandan Legend. rest in peace Big tree.. you partly inspired my World Music journey together with the great Samite of Uganda Samite Mulondo