Ugamuziki’s Joseph Mbaziira Talks to Sweden based Ugandan musician and Dancer Sylvia Namutebi, Sylvia curved herself out of the shadow of her mother to establish herself as musician and great performer, popularly known for songs like Summer Love, Nyongera Ku love, Kyayaludde, Omwana wa Africa among Others. Syvia is the daughter of renowned traditional artist and dancer Annet Nandujja of the planets, and that part of it explains why she is comparable to her great mother at the Kiganda traditional Dance.
UGAMUZIKI-HI SYLVIA HOW ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW AS YOU ARE ABOUT TO TAKE THIS INTERVEW? AND WHAT ARE YOU UP TO CURRENTLY.
SN- Hi Joseph, Its winter and right now am having a cold. Am home on a sick-leave. I have 3 syrups from Uganda I don’t know which one to use: Kisa kyamuzadde, Lucas or Muwummuza! Currently it’s the companies x-mas dinners shows on Fridays and Saturdays.
UGAMUZIKI -WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?
SN- Am paid to do what I enjoy doing. I love dancing and if am paid to dance that’s great.
UGAMUZIKI -WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST?
SN- The audience forget that artists are human and they do mistakes too.
UGAMUZIKI -HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?
SN- I have been dancing, singing and acting since primary 3.
UGAMUZIKI -SHOULD YOUR PARENTS HAVE BEEN MORE OR LESS STRICT?
SN- My parents were strict enough, they shouldn’t have done it any better.
UGAMUZIKI -HOW WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD?
SN- Just like most of the the Ugandan children, sent home for school fees, carry water from the wale, going to the village during school holidays have many dreams and an extra ordinary family blessed with love.
UGAMUZIKI -ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?
SN- Am happy and it seems am getting happier as I grow older.
UGAMUZIKI -IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
SN- Oh I really made some bad decisions along the way, but I have always learnt from them and all that have made me the person I am today. I love the person I have become. So I guess I would not do it any different.
UGAMUZIKI -WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?
SN- My two mothers are my Heroes
UGAMUZIKI -WHO DO YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR?
SN- I have learnt to respect everybody regards of they age or opinion. I think the world could be a boring place if we all had the same opinion. Can you imagine all the ladies having the same hair style or fashion! But for people who harm children I do not only loose respect for them but I regard them as beasts.
UGAMUZIKI -WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME? OR WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
SN- I do a number of things during my spare time depending on how much time I have and the company I have. Am learning to divide my spare time between my friend, my family and myself. Staying home over the weekend repainting my bathroom or kitchen, playing music and dancing in the house for a day, dinning out and watching Swedish stand-up comedy for an evening. And when I really need to recharge my battery a trip outside Stockholm, Sweden or Europe do wonders for me.
UGAMUZIKI -ARE YOU POLITICALLY ACTIVE?
SN- I vote and I think that makes me politically active.
UGAMUZIKI -HOW HAS UGANDAN MUSIC CHANGED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS?
SN- The whole of Uganda is changing at a high speed so is our music. We know that in Africa, music, dance and drama is one of the ways we use to teach our people. That has changed big time. The public is telling the musician what to sing which is good commercial but it has a long time side effect on our culture.
UGAMUZIKI -IN THAT RESPECT HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED?
SN- Am doing my best in advertising the best side of our culture to those who have never come in contact with it.
UGAMUZIKI -WHAT’S THE SIDE OF YOU THAT THE PUBLIC NEVER SEES?
SN- The shy and playful side of me, I guess. Only few people close to me know how shy and playful I am.
UGAMUZIKI -DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MORE PRIVACY?
SN- The Swedish society is doing much better in giving people their privacy as compared to all countries including Uganda. So my countrymen residing in Sweden are learning from the best.
UGAMUZIKI -DO YOU THINK THE PUBLIC AND CRITICS EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM YOU?
SN- I never made the public believe that I can do more than I actuary can. I think I do deliver
UGAMUZIKI -DO YOU WORRY ABOUT WHETHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU FOR THE REAL YOU, OR BECAUSE YOU’RE A CELEBRITY?
SN- That doesn’t worry me and I do not expect the people who don’t know me off stage to love me for the person I am because the don’t know that person. Most of the closest friends I have now new me and loved me before they new I was an artist.
UGAMUZIKI -WHAT’S THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE RUMOR EVER PRINTED ABOUT YOU?
SN- The Ugandan media have an endless love and respect for my mother that whenever they think about printing a rumor about me they think about what that can do to her. And some people have printed only believable rumors, nothing like Sylvia is dating a man from Jupiter. That’s what I can call an Unbelievable rumor.
UGAMUZIKI -HOW HARD DO YOU PUSH YOURSELF?
SN- Hard enough to get the very best out of me.
UGAMUZIKI -WHEN ARE YOU COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH YOUR WORK?
SN- When I am sure I couldn’t do it better.
UGAMUZIKI -WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A FIELD WHERE SO MANY OTHERS HAVE FAILED?
SN- When I think about it, I come up with an endless list and all of them are true in my case. Loved and blessed by God, Growing-up in this field, having good roll-models around me, My love for this field, Contacts etc.
UGAMUZIKI -WHAT’S THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR SUCCESS?
SN- Ooh , the word Success has many definitions in the entertainment industry. I think I don’t have to go there because that wasn’t your question. For me the Magic formula is Discipline and a great amount of Love for what you do.
UGAMUZIKI – WHAT’S THE FIRST SONG YOU EVER REMEMBER HEARING?
SN- The songs that are sang in Luganda children’s stories, Njabalanjabala, Nakato leeka, Nsangi and songs we use in children’s game like Kanemu Kanabiri kafumba mwanyi,Sipolingi, Ekyibobo etc
UGAMUZIKI -WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO LATELY?
SN- Its x-mas season so am listening to x-mas songs as they put me in a perfect holiday spirit.
UGAMUZIKI – WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ALBUM BY ANOTHER ARTIST?
SN- Born in Africa by the late Philly Bongole Lutaaya.
UGAMUZIKI – WHAT SONG OF YOURS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
SN- Am proud of them all
UGAMUZIKI – WHY? SN- They each give me a different feel.
UGAMUZIKI -ARE THERE ANY SONGS YOU’VE DONE THAT YOU WISH YOU HADN’T?
SN- No. there isn’t one yet.
UGAMUZIKI – WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN?
SN- interior designing.
UGAMUZIKI -IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’D DO?
SN- I could make sure that all the people I lead have some knowledge