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Made In Uganda: How Joram Ssozi Became A Celeb Through Exporting Uganda’s Music To Rwanda

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By Mukidi Hannington
Growing up, music was not a serious deal to Joram Ssozi. He says the vast majority of his kin served in Anglican Church ensembles with no acknowledgment.
Ssozi who was brought up in Luweero,presently calls Rwanda his home. In Rwanda, Ssozi is a celebrity christian music compossor whose height has lifted gospel music, particularly ensemble music, to significant statures. While Pentecostal RnB artiste Aimé Uwimana is credited for spearheading the advanced type of Rwandan gospel, Ssozi set off another wave for ensemble music.
Actually like in Uganda, gospel music in Rwanda has its roots with the evangelists. Creator Stephen Kalimba wrote in 2015 that before the 1994 destruction, gospel music acquired vigorously from customary church songs and was generally heard in holy places with restricted music shows or media inclusion.
Ssozi’s conspicuousness in Rwanda maybe uncovers more about the wound idea of life. In 1994 President Juvénal Habyarimana was slaughtered and his Hutu armed force, fanatic state armies started rendering retribution on the Tutsi people group reprimanded for the death. During 100 days in 1994, at any rate 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the destruction in Rwanda.
Ssozi acquired an uncommon status in Rwanda’s post-destruction society utilizing his voice.
Devout, astoundingly gifted and rational, Ssozi didn’t consider music however it set him off on an otherworldly excursion and an extraordinary profession.
Made in Uganda
Ssozi’s melodic excursion began with the appearance of Christine Birabwa at Ssozi’s nearby church when Ssozi was around 16 years of age. Birabwa, who was escaping the conflict in Luweero, talented the congregation ensemble on essentials including solfa documentations and key marks in music. From Birabwa, he was propelled to turn into a music conductor.
In 1990, Ssozi migrated to Kalerwe in Kampala to work at Marie Stopes Kavule Clinic in Makerere as the workplace courier, stores director and records agent while going to Kalerwe Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church.
Here, he met prestigious musician Fred Kirya, who presently works in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He sharpened the ability of good music while likewise dispatching his music composing abilities.
With different adolescents at chapel, they shaped a singing gathering which changed into the Living Hope Choir in 1992. He labored for a very long time prior to leaving his assistant work.
Jobless, he got back to his home town in Nakanaku, Nangabo Sub-province to remain nearer to her mom Eriosi Nabunnya, who had been doing combating a heart issue for a long time.
Ssozi has an extraordinary security with his mom who isolated with his late dad Hannington Ssebutinde, when he was only six years of age. Ssozi is the 10th conceived out of 11 kids, raised by his mom.
Off to Kigali
In July 1997, Samuel Kigozi, a companion he had met in Kampala through Golden Gate Choir, mentioned Ssozi to head out to Rwanda and help a gospel music bunch that required overseers.
Envoys of Christ Choir, a gospel singing gathering, based at Remera Adventist Church in Kigali, Rwanda was framed in 1995 just after the massacre with 25 individuals basically understudies. Its center design was to: Preach harmony and compromise in a country that was torn by the conflict, racial and public biases, just as address Christ and convey forward the message of His adoration and elegance into the whole world.
“The ensemble bad habit administrator [Rachel, the primary lead soprano] was going for college contemplates. She required somebody to have her spot,” Ssozi reviews.
Ssozi considered this to be a chance to share his aptitude. Rachel left close by three different individuals including the console player.
Ssozi made a trip to Kigali and one of the principal acts was to play the piano, a task he says was phenomenally executed with energetic sponsorship from John Kanimba, the ensemble supporter.
Kigozi was the music coach while Kanimba used to take into account the ensemble needs and paid an allowance to the two exiles.
Making an imprint
Getting a leaf from Uganda’s Golden Gates Choir whose lively music had wowed crowds, Ambassadors of Christ had another vibe of music. Despite the fact that Ssozi had companions with Rwanda establishes in Kampala, he experienced never taken difficulty to learn Kinyarwanda. Represetatives of Christ Choir had begun by deciphering melodies they had gained from Uganda into Kinyarwanda.
Ssozi’s arrangements poor each ‘official’ untouchable of gospel music in Rwanda. Their hip music inspired spirits when Association des Eglises de Pentecote Rwandaise church was blasting in contemporary gospel music.
The ensemble’s music called upon Rwandans to show sympathy to the two survivors of the massacre thus called retribution killings by taking a gander at Christ. The message was that demise is similarly horrible for everybody.
“We navigated the country with evangelist Phodidas Ndamyumugabe serving at evangelistic campaigns,” he reviews.
Ndamyumugabe, presently an educator at the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) in Kigali, utilized the ensemble during the evangelistic missions all through the country.
“This was the springboard to what we are presently. We got famous and by and by, this was a defining moment in my life,” he says.
In 1998, the ensemble enrolled more individuals specifically, Milly Kamugisha, a soprano not long before the ensemble recorded their second sound collection named ‘Babulooni’.
“Ebbaluwa, a tune that discussions about how a few group overlook the Biblical message, opened entryways for the ensemble to outside business sectors as they made a visit to Uganda.
“This was not our first time in Uganda but rather our prior visits passed usually. Fans didn’t feel our essence at that point,” he says.
He says, their past melodies likewise began playing on wireless transmissions.
In 2007, Imirindi Y’uwiteka, a melody that urges individuals to get back to God,left an impression in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and Southern Africa.
Ssozi says the advancement came during their fourth collection in 2014 with the success of Mureke Mukunde with Kamugisha, the lead artist. This new contemporary style was unfamiliar to Rwanda. The other hit melody was Yesu ni nzira.
“As a venture, we began making an interpretation of our music into Swahili bringing Kwetu Pazuri (Happy and serene) to the Swahili-talking crowd. Yvonne Umulisa’s voice rejuvenated the hits. We were not, at this point a Rwandan singing gathering, however a worldwide Adventist ensemble,” Ssozi says.
“Our style was not embraced from the outset. Many used to consider it an Ugandan style yet numerous young ensembles embraced it. This is currently the unrest we pride in for Rwandan music.
The music changed Ssozi’s status in Rwanda, and to show appreciation, the ensemble was constantly welcomed for the shows remembering the 1994 Genocide that ordinarily occurs in April.
Confessing to having been an impact in the manner gospel music is introduced, he has not won an individual honor albeit the ensemble has noticeably been remunerated.
Hobnobbing with individuals who had encountered the conflict firsthand, he was glad to be alive and felt special to serve God no matter what. He started to comprehend individuals and their set of experiences.
Sande Hakizumwami’s family facilitated Ssozi while revering fans nicknamed him Mwalimu in accolade for his endeavors of instructing music to many.
The ensemble lost two individuals, Ephraim Gatera and Philbert Manzi [who additionally functioned as a columnist at Radio Flash], in a street mishap on April 9, 2011 on their way from Dar es Salaam where they had gone to perform.
Ssozi, who didn’t support significant wounds, says it was a dull and difficult night as certain individuals required a medical procedure in India.
He says their transport was speeding to Kahama (simply over 100km away) when their driver overwhelmed a trailer and they hammered into an approaching truck what cut their vehicle into half, tearing travelers that were situated inverse the driver.
The ensemble was subsequently transported by a Rwandan Airforce helicopter in the wake of getting medical aid at Shinyanga Hospital. Squashed and crushed, many questioned the subsequent stage. “It was a horrible period however nobody abandoned the ensemble separated from those that got hitched or got work somewhere else,” Ssozi reviews.
Following the mishap, he made another set out of tunes of expectation with the leader tune Kwetu Pazuri, approximately interpreted ‘our grand home’. This tune, he says, gave the ensemble global acknowledgment.
“Tuli bapya”, another melody that discussions about their restored trust after their reality contracted, gave the collection a genuine push in Uganda.
Following an effective show in December of 2011 in Dar es Salaam, there were solicitations to hold a progression of such open exhibitions in other East, Southern and Central African nations with a peak on May 6, 2012 in Nyayo National Stadium, after a recorded live show on board a ship in Mombasa.
Squeezing a living as a gospel artist
For a very long time, Ssozi didn’t acquire a compensation in Rwanda however his melodies played consistently on Rwandan radio broadcasts and the ensemble was top decision at whatever point the evangelists called for music. Such appearances made the ensemble and Ssozi a commonly recognized name in Rwandan gospel music circles.
“At the point when I am in the city in Kigali or Tanzania, numerous individuals stop me for good tidings which is never the situation in Uganda,” he says.
Notwithstanding, the music was not getting the merited unmistakable quality.
Despite the fact that Ssozi has accomplished achievements in Rwandan music including the Ambassadors of Christ winning the 2018 Groove Awards ‘Ensemble of the Year’, he discusses a service that remains generally willful.
Presently, the dad of three, composes music for different ensembles charging Shs200,000 for every melody. He has no record of all his music except for he gloats of composing in excess of 1,000 melodies.
Past being an artiste, he delivers music at a locally established studio in Kyengera, Kampala.
For the ensemble to endure, they sell collections or hold shows and get solicitations to perform at get-togethers, particularly weddings.
“Be that as it may, since the Covid-19 flare-up this has not been conceivable,” Ssozi says.
The ensemble which is created by just Rwandans separated from Ssozi, has additionally been acceptable social ambassa

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