For decades until recently when they moved to Little Flowers in Bat Valley, Afrigo has been performing at Club Obligatto in Industrial area every Friday and Saturday, entertaining generations and keeping a consistent grandeur for the years that made them a house-hold name in the industry.
Unfortunately after losing their home at Industrial Area-based Obligatto, they have since not found a permanent home though they remained undeterred and the spirit remained unshaken. They moved to places like Jazz Ville in Bugolobi as well as having stints at Club Silk where they performed thrice a month and at Guvnor where they host the Legend’s Ball – a quarterly theme night celebrating live music.
It is these strong qualities of endurance, hard work and team cohesion that has kept the band strong and going till today. And now they have something special lined up for their fans come 21st November 2015 as they celebrate 40 years of not only existence, but producing quality music as well that has won the a big legion of fans and respect.
The celebrations will take place at Hotel Africana in Kampala and entrance is set at 5,000,000 per 10-seater table. The Band plays mostly their original compositions although once in a while do covers as well described as Afro-beat, afro-pop or afro-rumba.
From the inspirational band leader Moses Matovu to Percussions Discussion Africa founder and director Herman Ssewanyana to Joanita Kawalya and Rachel Magoola, the band is littered with talent all over with many of the musicians leaving their footprints in Uganda’s music scene.
“Things have been changing and in this generation things changed to CD/ Playback music but for us we maintained our live music trend. I am glad the audience and musicians have changed to live music. Many young and talented people are coming into music.” Matovu told Chano8 in a recent exclusive interview
HOW IT STARTED
Afrigo being one of the oldest and most celebrated bands in Uganda was formed in November 1975 by a group of talented but inexperienced and adventurous young musicians who broke away from one of the leading bands of the time, The Crane Band. They formed a band of their own that was later to help expand the scope of live music variety in Uganda.
The inexperienced youth had taken a big risk and gamble in life yet today, 40 years later, the band is still unrivalled for the honours of ‘Uganda’s most enduring, most critically-acclaimed and most influential productive band in the history of the country’s music industry’.
Afrigo became the first Ugandan music outfit to record an album on CD In 1994, with the release of the ‘Omutanda Gyali’ album which had the monster hit ‘Jim’. And over the years, they churned out hit after hit and still continue to dominate the airwaves and dance floors to this day with songs like ‘Jim’,’ Obangaina’, ‘Maria’, ‘Amazzi’ ‘Genyama’ ‘Oswadde Nyo’,’ Olumbe Lw’obwavu’ and ‘Speed’. In it’s 40 years of existence, the band has released 21 albums, an amazing feat.
Much as some of the legends and founder members since passed on, the band has stood the taste of time, thanks mostly to the inspirational and unifying father figure of Moses Matovu who has maintained the core of the team, attracted and trained new talent like Eddie Yawe, Peter Bazanye aka Rude Boy Devo and Joe Tabula for the future.
Moses Matovu (Band Leader) Joanita Kawalya, Rachael Magoola, Herman Sewanyana, Dan Kaggwa Seninde, Eddie Ganja, Julius Shaba, Sammy Kasule, Abbey Katongole, Don Canta Ibanda, Justine Matu, Frank Mbalire, Charles Busuulwa, Eric Sabiiti, Jacinta Wamboka and Sarah Wamboka