By Jeff Andrew Lule
Actor and filmmaker John Ssegawa has claimed that Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool and his longstanding rival Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine are famous not for their music, but for their rivalry.
In an online interview, the actor said the late Mowzey Radio should be included in the “Big Three” if actual music is what the discussion is all about.
The reason (Bebe Cool, Jose Chameleone and Bobi Wine) are referred to as the Big Three is due to their music that appealed to the urban youth in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“The late Mowzey Radio should be among the group, and if the number stops at the “Big Three”, then one of the two Bebe Cool and Bobi must be out to make room for Radio,” Ssegawa observed.
“Have you ever heard someone say that someone is singing like Bebe or Bobi? But you always hear that so and so sings like Radio or Joseph Mayanja, aka Chameleone,” he noted.
In contrast to Chameleone, Ssegawa emphasised that the music of Bebe and Bobi Wine was based on beef (attacking each other).
“If Bebe released a song, Bobi would follow with a response; this cycle continued, propelling them to where they are now. Therefore, their musical genre is centered on themselves,” Ssegawa aka Uncle John, as he is most generally known in the arts industry, continued.
Despite their egos, Ssegawa pointed out that Chameleone and Radio had previously produced good music.
“Radio and Chameleone had such great music. We can’t discuss it right now, but if the two had agreed to join a duo, it would have been the biggest in Africa, but their egos didn’t allow it to happen,” he added.
He emphasised the importance of Ugandans appreciating Radio and Chameleone for their contributions to the development of dancehall music, song-writing, production, artist appearance, and demeanour.
Ssegawa said Chameleone and Radio should be number one and two respectively, and the other two can sort themselves out.
He did, however, concede that while they have made contributions to the music business and deserve respect, they should not be considered to be the Biggest Three of Ugandan music.
“They ought to never say that again. Where do people like Mesach Semakula, Paul Kafeero, and Fred Sebatta fit in? I want to tell you that two kilometres outside of Kampala will take you to Kadongo Kamu music. Your dancehall is unknown since it is only found in small town centres,” Ssegawa continued.
“You may use promoters to demonstrate that. Find out who sells more. Dancehall is limited to the areas of Bulenga on Fort Portal Road, Kyengera on the Kampala-Masaka Highway, and Mukono along the Kampala-Jinja Highway,” he added.