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Mowzey Radio off air (January 25, 1983 – February 1, 2018)

Radio and Weasel

In their break out year in 2008, Nakudata won them Song of the Year at the defunct Pearl of Africa Music Awards. They also collected Best New artiste/group and Best Afrobeat single for ‘Zuena’ at the event.

The dynamic duo, as they referred to themselves, did not survive the folly of fame. Fans would be astounded by their rivalry with Chameleone since the latter was Weasel’s brother. The group’s fights with Bebe Cool were more acrimonious; they traded insults, fought in bars, and often sucked in relatives.

In December 2013, the duo faced off with Bebe Cool in a concert dubbed Battle of the Champions at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds. Their quest for domination seemed to cement their position further as Uganda’s finest music duo.

Although they had long made up with Chameleone and Bebe Cool, the group was at loggerheads with their former manager Jeff Kiwanuka.

Radio and Weasel were plagued by unending rumours of a split. No sooner would a rumour be doing the rounds than another chart topping hit was churned from their Makindye-based studios. As is wont with musical crews, there would be fights over song releases, performance fees, booking negotiations but the duo’s creativity invariably put the rumours to rest.

In 2013, the duo registered a milestone when they earned a nomination in the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards for Best International Act Africa.

Last year in November, Goodlyfe crew staged a concert marking their ten years in the music industry where they took their fans on a memory lane of their unforgettable hits.

However Radio seemed to shine more than his counterpart. Fans were often awed by his sharp silky voice that always belted out the chorus on Goodlyfe hits. He also distinguished himself as a song writer, penning hits for many of his colleagues. Many saw him as the lifeblood of Goodlyfe but Radio was always at hand to acknowledge Weasel as a vital partner.

Benon Mugumya, the founder of Swangz Avenue, a music production house, says Radio was peerless. “We have not just lost Radio but music. There is no one like him. There is no one who crafted lyrics like him; the passion and feeling he had, it is such a loss.”

Mugumya says he worked with Radio on Dagala, one of Radio’s very first songs. “He played a big role in the establishment of Swangz Avenue,” he told The Independent.

Singer after singer eulogized Radio for his artistry. Bobi Wine wrote: “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.”

Jose Chameleone said he was Radio’s number one fan because of his obvious talent. “He came to me and sung to me first. We fell out, fought and reconciled.”

Radio died on February 1 from severe head injuries. He had spent more than a week at Case Hospital after a pub brawl in Entebbe. The musician turned 33 on his deathbed and is survived by three children; two from fellow artiste Lillian Mbabazi.

His last song, Tambule Nange released a few weeks before he was hit, sounded like a valedictory to his multitude of fans. In the song, Radio was asking God to take charge of his life and as fate would have it, Mowzey Radio was gone.


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