Although Lingala musicians no longer dominate Ugandan airwaves, experience shows the genre is still a hit in the country.
One of the artists keeping the Lingala rhythm alive in Uganda is Phaneroo’s Papa Tumusiime Maurice who identifies himself as an Afro-Gospel Artist/African popular for the song KEMBO.
He is married to Cheri Joan Nakimera, one he describes as a very beautiful woman of God.
Maurice whose career can be traced back to his choir days in church says he has been singing since he got Born Again.
“I am commonly known as Papa T Maurice on stage, the founder of KEMBO MUSIC-AFRICA. Kembo is a Lingala word that means PRAISE/GLORY,” Maurice says.
He was born in Kasese District commonly known as home of copper the great Rwenzori region and went to Bulembia Primary school in Kilembe Mines for his primary before joining Kasese Secondary School for O’level in 2002 where he got born again at Grace Cathedral Church under the Leadership of Bishop Nathan Ibrahim Turyamureba.
Hot with the fire of a new convert, in 2003, Maurice had joined the Choir where he enjoyed the music of Born Again Band led by Haggai Bwambala, one of the best drummers Uganda has seen.
“I even wanted to join them but it was tight on me because i was still in school and young, it’s by that time when they relocated to Kampala, where it was hard for me to join them,” Maurice says about his inability to join the band.
When the Born Again Band left Kasese, he and a group of friends interested in singing, formed their own band, Temple Band which later collapsed because they could not balance books and music.
“I remained in choir until 2005, after then i went to Bushenyi for my A’level in Ruyonza School offering BAG/KISWAHILI. In Ruyonza, i became the Leader of The Worship Team in School until 2007,” Papa whose life has been part of choir says.
He adds, “From Bushenyi, i went to Kabale where i joined Lift up Jesus Church under the Leadership of Apostle Aloysius Kiiza between 2009 to 2011, where i also became part of the Lift Up Jesus Revival Choir up to 2011. After Kabale, my next stop was Fort-Portal, Kabarole district where i joined Christian Fellowship Cathedral Under the Leadership of DR. K.L Dickson from 2011 to 2014. He was also part of the Choir and formed a dancing group called Kingdom Dancers.”
In 2015, Papa relocated to Kampala, after joining Kyambogo University where he came to know about Phaneroo Ministries.
According to him, he joined Phaneroo because their teachings were quite special and ‘biblical’
“It was as if i was not born again because these guys were challenging me in everything from what i had learnt,” he says.
He adds, “I decided to humble myself and open my spirit to re-learn, unlearn up to 2018 November when i recorded my first song called Chagua Yesu.”
He added Yahweh, then The Lord is My Shepherd, Ni Yeye Yule, Asante YESU, which most of them i have not yet released.
Maurice hopes that by the end of August, 2019 he will be finishing his first album.
“I perform commonly in Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and here in Uganda. Am submitted Under Phaneroo Ministries International. Am the only Phaneroo Recording Gospel artist who sings in Lingala and Kiswahili Languages because these are the languages i understand better,” Maurice adds.
Papa says he took long to record because he had not got a good Producer to handle his unique style of Music.
“No one in Uganda could handle my style though they are good in other styles which would force me to travel to DR Congo, Tanzania or Kenya. It was until i landed on Sammy Kambale Kitonyo who is perfect in all styles,” Maurice says.
The two are now working on his musical projects which he says are not for economic benefit but to minister the word of God.
“I don’t sing for money, it’s just ministry. I work somewhere else to make ends meet,” he says.