For some years now – a week like this one is known as the “Radio Week” for Ugandan Music lovers.
This is so because the days it entails, January 25th and February 1st are key in the life of one of Uganda’s finest Artistes Moses Nakintijje Ssekibogo, famously known as Mowzey Radio – on one, he was born and the other he died.
This year, it will be exactly 5 years since Radio’s death. With many questions and few answers sorrounding circumstances of how he met his creator – Radio has since caused other unending debates in the sector and notable among those is – “With Mowzey Radio’s legacy, is it right for him to be called a Legend?”
According to the New Times Exford English Dictionary – A legend is someone who leaves behind an unforgettable impression on others. A deep study into legends shows that the the element is more about an effect and impact left on others than ones superiority in an area of specialization. Becoming one however calls for finding your own role, calling and following it aswell as touching others around you with your gifted touch in the area of specialization.
With Moses Radio Ssekibogo, he achieved all the above. He found his purpose in life that was MUSIC – He impressed musically, he touched hearts and lives through his musical products – he had a song for every mood and above it all, he impacted many others who joined music drawing inspiration from him, he offered collaborations, wrote songs to some of the music stars of his generation – from that Angle, Radio is truly a Legend.
With all that in play however, some music critics and analysts have still challenged Mowzey Radio’s legendary status that many bestowed on him.
According to Edward Sendikaddiwa, a music critic – “Radio was a talented singer and songwriter but not a Legend”.
Appearing on NBS TV’s Uncut show on Monday evening, Sendi explained that Radio had some legendary basics that he did not surpass, citing out indiscipline as one of his limitations.
In the same vein, Arts Journalist Joseph Batte notes that in Uganda or Africa at large- people confuse the 3 terminologies – Celebrity, Icon and Legend.
According to him, although Radio had most of the qualities making him a legend, he was limited by a few elements.
During an interview on Kasuku Live YouTube platform, Batte explained that Radio’s life was cut short denying him a legendary quality of standing the taste of time. According to him, even away from the age and taste of time – a legend must shape an industry and an entire culture something Moses Radio died while on his way to achieving.
“Radio was on his way to writing himself in the books of legends, however he was cut short by his death – he died an icon & not a legend” Batte said in the interview with Kasuku.
In today’s day and age, Batte says that a legendary status is fast defined by longevity and how one has shaped the industry.
To further defend his submission, Batte noted that just like Radio, Philly Bongoley Lutaaya died a youthful man but he stands to be called a legend because his music has stood the taste of time, over 3 decades and he shaped a culture – like that of Festive season where his Christmas music is and will forever be on rotation around that time.
Another example is that of Afrigo Band, specifically Moses Matovu their lead singer. He notes that the band has generally stood the taste of time, and even the music produced over 3 decades back is still played and gets audiences grooving.
Moses Radio died aged 33 on February 1st 2018 from injuries sustained from a bar brawl. 5 years later in 2023, the one half of the Dynamic singing Duo Radio and Weasle would be turning 38 years old today.