By Ahmad Muto
Singer Bruno Kiggundu alias Bruno K has placed his head on the chopping block of local artistry and criticism, risking it all with his own rendition of late singer Philly Bongole Lutaaya’s Born in Africa.
Having built his career doing covers of popular songs, he set out to challenge Grammy nominee Eddy Kenzo’s version by first conducting a poll asking Ugandans online on whether he should do a reggae version of the song. Sixty-three percent gave him a go-ahead.
The record, produced by Eli Arkhis, Bruno K says will be released on Thursday, February 23, 2023. To rally enough people and artificially generate anticipation, he has taken to moving back and forth about his career and song covers.
Sheebah, he says, was the first person to give him permission to cover a song.
“Twesana acoustic version. First of all, Sheebah Karungi, I love you so much. After you heard this version of your song, you gave me a chance to perform with you. Sheebah was the first person to ever give me a chance to perform on a big stage,” Bruno K wrote.
He also did an acoustic version of Radio and Weasel’s Juicy Juicy and his dream was to perform with the duo, but Radio passed on before he could in 2018.
Bruno K followed this with Ebisanyi by veteran singer Kabuye Ssemboga that he prepared for for seven months.
He claims Ssemboga liked the first verse and chose to add his voice to the second verse.
The timing for Bruno K’s reggae version of Born In Africa is informed by criticism following the release of the video of Kenzo’s version that was given a cold reception by the public.