A canticle mass was held Friday at Rubaga Cathedral for the late Ugandan Afrobeats musician Moses Ssekibogo (Mowzey Radio).
After a rousing homily by Rev. Fr Deogratius Kiibi Katerega, the curate at Rubaga Cathedral, speaker after speaker took to the podium to deliver their eulogy before a large congregation. Here is what they said:
Mesach Semakula – musician
“There is are so many things that people say about us, musicians, that we actually are not. Radio’s death is a big loss to all of us. You cannot compare Radio with anyone. He was unique. He had his own voice. He had his own lyrics.”
Semakula told of how Radio had approached him back in the day and told him he would write him a song, which is yet to be released.
“He wrote so many songs. His passing leaves a huge gap in the entertainment industry. My favourite song written by Radio is Tikula, sang by Rema Namakula.
“To our beloved parents, do not judge us. We are also human, and certainly, make mistakes. About the security situation, we are worried. We usually travel late in the night. If something wrong happens, it is easy for the public to implicate us. But should we die because of such misconceptions?
“We are praying that Radio’s attacker is found and brought to book. In fact, my daughter asked me [after Radio’s death]: ‘Daddy, will you also die?’ ‘Yes, I will — like any other human being,’ I told her. ‘And what about the children of Uncle Radio, who will take care of them?’ she probed further. I told her their mothers will take care of them. Rest in peace Radio.”
Jose Chameleon – musician
“Some people may think that I am here today because Weasel [his brother] was singing with Radio. No, I am here solely because of Radio. I thank Radio for loving me. People say Radio has been my number one fan. However, it is the other way round. I am Radio’s number one fan.
“After learning that Radio had been hospitalised after the attack, I prayed for him every day. Radio has not died; he has just returned home. I remember the times when we would meet. He would say ‘King Joseph’, and I would say ‘King Radio’.
“Rest in peace Radio. Till we meet again.”
Weasel – Radio’s music partner
Wearing all-black and shades, Weasel, who made one half of the Goodlyfe Crew, walked to the podium clearly distressed and filled with an explosion of emotions. Sobbing, his voice wobbled: “Radio was my brother. We started off with nothing and worked hard to find our way to the top. We have risen, we have won awards in Uganda and beyond, such as a BET Award. My brother has left me. May his soul rest in peace.”
Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi) – MP and musician
Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known as Bobi Wine, did not attend the funeral but had his eulogy delivered by John Ssegawa, an entertainer.
“Friends, my heart is filled with a lot of pain today. This is a very dark day for me personally, for the entertainment industry and for our country. When I last visited Mowzey Radio on Tuesday, the doctors assured me he was out of danger, and I was very optimistic we would see him alive again. Sadly, God has decided otherwise. My brother and friend have departed from us at a very young age when his generation needed him most.
“Radio was an icon. He was a bright shining star. He held Uganda’s flag high on the national and global scene. He defied the odds and proved that one can rise from the ghetto and become an international celebrity. Muganda wange, sula bulungi [rest in peace, my brother].”
Jane Kasubo – Radio’s mother
“I greet you all. I thank you all for coming here today. Thank you, my daughters, especially for not clashing at the hospital. I thank my daughter Jennifer for all that you did. I thank Bryan White for helping me. I also thank President [Yoweri] Museveni. You don’t know me, you have never seen me, but you still helped me. I thank all our friends for comforting me. May the good Lord bless you all and reward you back. Thank you.”
Erias Lukwago – Kampala Lord Mayor
“A lot has been said in praise of the late Radio. And no doubt much more will be said about how such a young man of his age has been able to rise to the status that Radio had reached by the time of his death. We are sending off a talent. I send my condolences to the people of Kampala, to all Ugandans and to all musicians — both experienced and upcoming. To the Goodlyfe Crew, Weasel, it is such a pity.
“On security, the onus is on security agencies to find solutions to the criminal activities across the country. Please find the people responsible for the attack that led to the death of Radio.”
Peace Mutuzo – Minister of state for gender and culture
Minister Mutuzo represented the gender ministry.
“Moses Ssekibogo was a young, but a very talented musician, who had created a unique life of creating employment and education of young people and the entire population through performances and arts. It was particularly amazing hearing his voice and messages. In particular, we were fascinated at his song Obudde, literally meaning time, trying to teach all of us, especially the young people, including the school children and the students, about the value of time.
“Looking at his age of 33 years, and what he has done, and hearing from the eulogies, you can confirm that he has lived an old age. Moses has died at a time when the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development was organising the cultural sector to ensure that life of great people like him is lived professionally, in terms of organisation, employment, infrastructure, career training and mentorship. The ministry is developing a comprehensive and creative law to address the glaring concern that exists in the music and arts industry.
Justine Lumumba Kasule – NRM secretary general
“On security in the country, it is so sad and very unfortunate. But we, as the NRM government, who were given the mandate and constitutional responsibility to take care of Ugandans and their properties, we have kept security. But at some point, we have not achieved it 100%.
“Nobody is above the law. We are all stakeholders in this. Security begins with you, the individual.
“Mowzey Radio was no doubt an icon, who etched his niche and name through hard work, taking full advantage of the peace, tranquillity and political stability ushered in by the NRM, to fully explore and exploit his God-given talent. We thank God for the scintillating voice, which he solely gifted to Mowzey Radio. In Uganda, nobody has come up, either on his own or through help from other people or Government, whose voice can come [close to] this man’s voice. It was unique in its own way.”