American Rapper Scarface who you as a hip-hop head knew so well when you were here and part of the global hip-hop syndicate did a song in 1994 titled ‘I seen a man die'. It came from his third solo album after he left the Ghetto Boys.

The album was called ‘the diary'. Scarface rapped on his choral section ‘I nevah understand why/ I could nevah seen a man cry, til I seen that man die'. Then in verse two he said ‘Imagine peace on this earth when there's no grief Imagine grief on this earth when there's no peace'. That is what I imagine but cannot find. Your passing made me cry. I still cry. I cannot imagine the earth without you and so without grief.

You were a legend by your tender age of twenty-five. Everyone who knew you had similar sentiments.

Paul I spoke to Steve Jean an hour after you passed and he was so disturbed. It was like electricity had gone off when he was in the middle of mixing Juliana's ‘Nabikoowa' and spoilt all the work.

I went to your home that night and the whole hip-hop community held vigil. While they reminisced all your worth, they managed to discuss PAM awards which was three days away and Ugandan music.

We all noticed your absence and well Sylvester of Sylvester and Abramz said you should have chipped in a word. He meant it. That was what you were the embodiment of Ugandan music.

George ‘Sharpe' Sewali of the group First Love called from London on Sunday morning. I was just waking up but I couldn't miss the grave tone he depicted. He felt pain for your loss.

Juliana Kanyomozi on Friday 11 am shook her head in disbelief at your demise for a record twenty times as her eyes turned wet upon hearing the news about your passing.

Moses Serugo is on leave so he does not get the buzz fast enough but when I told him of your death he could not believe.

There were tears at Capital radio when I typed an image search in google for your picture and a list of your pictures came. Bill Tibingana program director of Capital Radio almost declared a public holiday in your honor. Lisandra Chen made it a mention every thirty minutes in her show as it was with other presenters that day.

Straka was very hurt to hear about your passing. She recalled all you did for Ugandan music.

I have just received an email from Halima Namakula who is touring the US and Europe now. She fully recalls your interactions with her. She is equally shocked by your passing.

Last night the Ugandan music industry held a memorial concert for you at Sabrina's pub. Steak out is planning one too. That is how influential you were. A colossal figure in our music industry.

To me your passing is in the same league as Luther Vandross, Elly Wamala, Ray Charles, Tony Sengo, MC Afrik and so many greats of the musical foundation

It is not an easy moment for us now that you are away but we promise to carry on your dreams and vision.

A lot is planned and September 2 th remains the day we shall always remember in your honor.

May God Bless Your Soul and May you rest in eternal peace.

Joel Isabirye

TRIBUTE TO PAUL NEHEMIAH MWANDHA (RIP) 

 

 

 

 

1979-2005

I am still astounded by the demise of one of my closest associates in the music business ever Paul Mwandha who passed away last Wednesday.

A few months ago I had flue but was supposed to have a strategic meeting with Paul Mwandha on the following issues:

  • Turning Music Uganda into print such that we have a monthly magazine along with the website.
  • Reviving the Centre for African Music Website after registering it with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) in Switzerland to deal with the rampant copyright infringement we were faced with by different parties worldwide.
  • Building Music Afrika dot com strictly for African music videos.

When I rescheduled the meeting Paul agreed but on the said day, he called and said he had malaria. He was very ill and spent about two weeks on treatment. He said he was not getting better and needed to see other doctors.

After about a couple of weeks it was discovered after all that he did not have malaria but cancer was creeping in. This was a shock but he told me he would be fine. Initial treatment failed to work and he was put on chemotherapy. Hair loss and the very painful course of treatment followed suit.

He unfortunately went through deterioration and a quarter to four pm on Wednesday 28th September 2005 he passed on at International Hospital Kampala. He was buried on Friday 30th September 2005 at Namunumya, Busembatya Iganga

You needed to know Paul or to see his works to fully perceive what I am trying to say. The late Paul Mwandha (RIP) was a living legend before he passed away.

To me and many others he remains a legend in his rest. He knew all about what he was doing, trying to do and what he had done.

I always joked to Paul that ‘if you were not young, you would qualify for the Lifetime achievement award for PAM awards but I doubt they will do that because they think you are too young'.

Building Music Uganda was primarily Paul's effort. I must say though a number of us did our part the vision was Paul's. He was the William Pike of www.musicuganda.com.

He was also the John Garang of Music Uganda . Like Garang and his SPLA/M Paul ate, lived, and bathed Music Uganda . He was so committed an architect that I thought he would drop out of school to get Music Uganda places. Of course he did not.

He simply was committed. The way I felt upon the death of John Garang is the way I felt about Paul. Not only that he was a friend of mine, which Garang wasn't but the mere fact that they achieved but stopped short of enjoying that achievement.

Paul was born on the 22nd of November 1979 and if he had lived until the 22nd November 2005 he would turn twenty-six. That is what we call a tender age. His parents, Member of Parliament James Mwandha and Mrs. Mwandha still live and stood by him in illness until he lost his life.

While in infancy he went to study at Kitante Primary School for seven years of early education and then he went to Busoga College Mwiiri where he did another six year. That showed you how consistent Paul was.

This is what hurts the most. Paul who had just finished his bachelor of commerce degree at Makerere University was waiting to wear his graduation gown at the next graduation. I cannot bear the pain of hearing the vice chancellor read his name in absentia at the next graduation.

Paul was a cornerstone of the formation of the hip-hop foundation in Uganda . He was a definitive hip-hop head. He had a full grasp of the slang, the culture from B-Boying to Emceeing all the way.

Once in a while he managed to grow his Afro, and occasionally freestyle at hip-hop gatherings. He had a great sense of improvisation and rhyme.

He helped found the Ugandan hip-hop lounge, build the Ugandan hip-hop website and write the Ugandan hip-hop foundation constitution.

In fact the night of the day he passed away the whole hip-hop foundation held vigil at his home in Kololo.

Through time Music Uganda crossed the 140,000 hit mark on a daily basis meaning at least people checked the site in that number. He always said to me we must beat new vision. Lets keep changing our stories by the day so people take us as a daily portal they can rely on.

At the height of success he was interviewed on BBC's Go- Digital program where he spoke about building the enterprise called music Uganda . He even went to New York and talked to some people at United Nations about music Uganda just to get it places.

A documentary on the life of Paul Mwandha was done by 3w.com a lifestyle company in Kampala in recognition of his work at music Uganda.com.

As a person, Paul was from high society. His parents were what you called A Class in Uganda . But Paul did not live that way. He interacted and understood all classes all through. He was so flexible and was a team leader. He knew how to talk to people, how to resolve conflicts how to get things around.

He was an IT specialist consulted by many companies around town. I once found Paul designing the PAFO (now FDC) website and I laughed asking him when he became a member. He laughed for a longer period and said ‘man its only money am looking for and not a political party'.

I surprisingly met Paul only a few years ago. Actually at the hip-hop extraordinary summit at DV8 after the Pearl of Africa Music Awards of 2003 which had cause so much furore because of the nominations. He was seated at his deserved spot, the high table.

At the convention we discussed the ways through which the hip-hop community would surmount their marginalization in Uganda . All through the meeting he did not say a word but documented the minutes with immense detail that all the resolutions were there for all to see afterwards.

Then I started writing for music Uganda . The first article was the death of Weatha man, which I received news of ten minutes after he died. I told Paul and he said file that story.

From then on we went on to work hand in hand at music Uganda until the point where I told him I had spent thirteen years researching music of the world and would like to put it out but first concentrating on African music which most of the world did not know about.

He was so excited. I said to him. How much will it cost to set up that site. Paul told me Joel we are doing this for Africa let the Centre be the African version of music Uganda and then we got started.

I worked for Music Uganda then on until now.

Life comes and goes. Paul simply went ahead of us. We all wait for the day we shall meet him again.

Till then we continue the dream of the LEGENDARY PAUL MWANDHA

Paul Mwandha dies at an early  age - by Peter Allen Kigonya

Paul Mwandha dies of Cancer

 

 

 

 

There are many Ugandan musicians and artists who will agree that Paul Mwandha has done a lot for the entertainment business in Uganda. He will be missed.  Dr Proppa