The story of Uganda’s first Grammy nominee Kenzo will inspire you to go the extra mile

Abu Mubarik December 21, 2022
Eddy Kenzo. Image via YouTube

Often dismissed as not a serious singer due to the style of his music in Uganda, Eddy Kenzo did not allow the criticism to slow him down. Instead, he found inspiration in them to hit higher heights. Kenzo, who grew up in the slums, has defied his own expectations, his fans and his rivals.

He is the first Ugandan to be nominated for the Grammy Awards. What makes him stand out is his music videos, which usually highlight poverty. He doesn’t go the way of others, who would like to show off with their expensive cars and clothes.

“Honestly speaking, I am so overwhelmed,” he told AP about his nomination. “I am so nervous at the same time. I thank God that we made it.” His hit song, “Gimme Love,” which was a collaboration with the American singer Matt B, was nominated for a Grammy in the category of best global music performance. 

The Grammy won’t be Kenzo’s first international nomination. In 2015, he won a BET award as the viewers’ choice for the best new international artiste, the first and only Ugandan to be given that award to date, according to AP. He got the award for his song “Sitya Loss”, which is now the most-watched among the songs of all Ugandan artistes on YouTube. The Ugandan singer most recently received The International Reggae Award, World Music Award and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award. Kenzo is credited for putting the Triplets Ghetto Kids on the map due to their dance routine to “Sitya Loss.”

Kenzo, whose real name is Edirisa Musuuza, comes from a remote part of central Uganda. He had little opportunity to attend school and often went to bed not knowing where the next meal was coming from. He lost his mother when he was only four. He had no idea who his father was and got to know some of his siblings when he became an adult, according to AP. His ambition was to become a footballer and even got a scholarship to a boarding school due to his talent.

However, he dropped out of school and returned to hustling. “I am a hustler,” he told AP. “This is a very huge step for me, my family and the ghetto people, the hustlers, the people who come from nothing. It gives us a lot of hope that anything is possible.”

He was inspired to do music by musician-turned-politician Bobi Wine. Wine also rose from the slums to eventually become a revolutionary.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 21, 2022


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