The Sound Of My Room

If you have watched a woman shred notes like they didn’t care, you need to meet Lari. 

Meet Lari

She is one person I’ve learned, let’s her fingers speak what is in deep and hidden underneath. Truth said, she’s a rockstar. She loves to jam crazy licks, slurs and cram way too many notes into a bar, so effortlessly and more beautifully. Her touch and guitar accent (yes, there’s such a thing as a guitar accent) is so uniquely and only attributed to her soul.

The Sound Of My Room (the single) is the track that left me all drenched in too many kinds of feels. Rarely does she go all acoustic and solo. On this she, took me on a trip into her room (her heart) and this acoustic piece spoke truths she might never have wanted the whole world to learn about. She didn’t mean to solo to the sound of her room but her heart. In one track, I tasted her feels, pain, joy and mostly the questions of life itself. 

If she ever did have a tragic experience, this track gave a seeking soul a glimpse of the abyss she has had to sink into and maybe drag herself out of. Or whoever she wrote this song for must have had such an experience. I don’t want to assume too much.

I came to write about her here because, there was no way I was going to let such a great storyteller get away with ruining (in a good way) my taste for the beauty that is a female guitar player. It’s one of those moments, you hold onto your headphones, and wish your girlfriend played as good as she.


Nkwatako – Sheebah

There was challenge and defiance in the opinions of some arts critics after one of the leading international arts festivals in Uganda – Bayimba, announced that Sheebah would be one of the featured artists.

People were very relentless about how they thought she was a bad choice for the prestigious stage. They raged on and on but the deal had already been done. I was scared for her. If I’d been Sheebah, I’d have called it off and walked away. I’m glad she didn’t.


Quite frankly, she might not have been the best performer at the festival. Only that for some of us, she was the strongest character that stood on that stage. She let it all go and showed the world that she could be frail and vulnerable. She just wasn’t ready to give up yet. That night, I saw a tiny girl’s resolve, she did what she had set out to do, she let the whole experience influence her in the right way. I know for a fact that it took a different kind of strength for her to get on that stage; because everything she had worked for all her life/career, now seemed to ride on those very short 45 minutes.

Listening to Nkwatako later this year was the thing, the connection I needed to remember her performance. In the theatre of my mind; she was back on that stage in slow motion. Slowly swaying to the soft tune that the song is, tenderly brushing straying strands of hair out of her face, and lovingly asking one fan after the other, Nkwatako.


I thought about how it must have been like for her that night. She must have gone back home to her bae (if she has one), and possibly begged with an emotional and cracking voice to be held. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have hesitated had she asked.

Thanks to this song, its simple and very subtle suggestive gestures, we can now speak in code without arousing unnecessary suspicion, and still get what we WANT!

Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night to sweet whimpers and whispers from the one you love. Baby, Nkwatako, Nfiraako, Tonvaako!!?

Sigh, kanve wano.

Photography by: James, Bayimba International Festival of the arts.

The Side-Dish Theory

Love – what is love? isn’t this the 21st-century question? Doesn’t ‘LOVE’ feel like it’s heaven sent, then it rides or crawls through hell for a lot longer than it is ever enjoyable? Yes? I feel you. So, here goes.

True love (or the real soul mate business) is simply based on these three pillars; accepting love, submission and honour. For any relationship to flourish, a man has got to love his woman. The lady, in turn, submits to the man. When she submits to her man, she honours him. And we all know how hard it is to submit to something you have not accepted.

The Josh Agaba side-dish theory is based on a single assumption; the man loves the woman.

Let the main chick be A. The side dish will be, B.

  • The man loves A, this love that he offers is a sweet scent/Incense. But A doesn’t accept his love and It goes unused or unclaimed. Maybe because she thinks he loves her too much, maybe.
  • The frustration then builds, the man will start acting like a boy in a topless bar. As he continues on with his travels, he meets B, there’s a spark and they try not to ignite the flame, but they nurse the flame long enough.
  • B notices this unused resource and she wants it for herself. She decides to do everything there is for her to do so she can taste or be adorned by this love. To have and own it. Before long, B will accept this love that was originally meant for A. B will then submit and honour ‘their’ man.

Once the deed is done, B will be adorned by this sweet scent (love) that had originally been meant for A. This scent will embed itself in B‘s DNA (this is when the soul-mates theory is thrown into the mix), there will be nothing left for the man to offer A. The dilemma here is, he’ll still be with A and he’ll have his other side business with B.

A will believe he cheated. Did he?

A will fight for him like she owns him, she won’t know how she had negligently given B express access to what was hers in the first place.  And just like that, A played the losing game and may forever be the victim of her actions.

Side note: Dear A, do you remember the day that he came back home and you knew something was off? Is it too late to tell you sorry? Maybe

*Opens comments section*


Omuka – MoRoots

If you have not listened to this song yet, you are safe and then you’re not. If you’ve listened to this song, you’re safe but you know you’re not.

The first eight bars of this song are enough for you to know how strong and addictive the impression this song will leave you with is. It starts slow, just the strings, nothing serious and then she…. She sings!

I wasn’t planning on talking about the lyrics here, and I won’t. But the very first line is the listener’s moment of truth. Where she takes you on a seemingly peaceful journey to a far away land. It always leaves me lucid, teetering at the edge of reality and very eminent trances. It is in this moment where the song will read you your rights, right before it arrests you.

In her own words, she says this song is a tale of distance and home!

“It’s about everything that I love about my motherland. When you’re here, you can’t stand it. When you’re away, you miss the heck out of it.”

And as she sings through  it all, you can feel, smell and touch the homeliness of this place she calls Omuka – home, you can feel if not see the distance that has her heart troubled so. It’ll make you nostalgic of a future you are yet to experience. One you only experience in your dreams.

And just then, she beckons her listeners to sojourn with her in this dream.

I want to warn those that haven’t listened to this song yet. There are “Things You Shouldn’t Do/Have/Be” as you listen to Omuka.

  1. Don’t listen to it on a cold sunday afternoon. Don’t.
  2. You shouldn’t be single or recently heart broken and/or lonely. This is for your own health.
  3.  Discard all texts from past not-so-successful relationships.

If you choose to listen to it on a cold Sunday afternoon, grab a cold drink, your bae, set up the camper chairs and start dreaming. This song was written by a dreamer for dreamers.

Here is Omuka, listen and please leave your feedback in the comments section or you can tweet her @moroots.

My #QwelaJunction Moments

I want to reminisce about the Qwela Junction seeing that a new show is just a few days away.

The Guitar Maestros episode was the very first of all episodes, featuring the very best guitarists this land has been blessed with. The highlights for me were the bada** female shredder, (I should have asked for the number) and all the gimmicks these fellows pulled to sell us off to a far away guitar land. Playing guitars with their teeth and fighting ‘star wars’ themed guitar duels, I wasn’t ready.


Next were the Sax Aces – the saxophone spoke to me that day, in far better ways than it ever had. These storytellers told their personal stories as they slowly drew us into their magnificent musical worlds, sat us down and told us with their musical ingenuity to ‘Keep Quiet’



The most recent one (I hate to say this), is still my all time favorite, was the Qwela Junction ‘Divas’ edition. They say a diva is a female version of a hustler, right? These lovely ladies blew me away, hitting notes I didn’t know a human body could hit. It was so painfully delicious, my neighbor held on tight and started shivering. Before I knew it, she was going on and on about how she wanted ‘home’.


I worry for both my lungs and ears, I can’t begin to imagine what kind of musical life will be spilled all over us during the Crooners’ version of the upcoming junction. You wouldn’t expect me to sit by and watch Benon Mugumbya, Sam K!mera, Maddox Sematimba, Steve Keys litter a stage, would you?


On that note, I’ll jealously guard my vote (ticket) and count the days as slowly as I can to that 8th May day! Here, a few nuggets from previous editions. Enjoy and dial *252# To get your #QwelaJunction tickets by MTN mobile money while you’re at it.



Let’s Marvin Gaye

Hello babe,

How are you doing this very beautiful day? The sun is quite soothingly if not scaldingly hot. But who cares? Well, we are a few hours away from our grand birthday and I can’t wait to keep my hands all over you. That’s quite the thought!

Enter in, Meghan Trainor. I know how much her voice drives you awesomely crazy. Have you heard her new song with Charlie Puth? You should, or better yet we’ll sing it together. All night, tonight.

“Let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on. You got the healing that I want. And just like they say it in the song, until dawn, let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on.”

I have my guitar strapped on tight. We’ll sing all your favourite songs. I can’t wait to sing to you in the shower about how I’ll love you like I’m gonna lose you. We’re not promised tomorrow. I’ll wait for you to make me scream mercy mercy, All night and bits more of tomorrow.

There’s that thing in your eyes that pulls me closer. I know I’m in trouble but I’d rather  be in trouble with you. All candles have been lit. Babe, from this day on, you’ll never be alone.


Blinding You

You’ve had me at Hello for a really really long time. I dream of nothing less as I hope for everything more.

I started to wonder though, how long are you planning on keeping me captive? As I thought about how much I’d rather be captivated by you, I realized that that kind of time can only be estimated by who you might vote for. Who are you planning to vote for? (I’m kidding.)

A vendor in town asked me why I wasn’t smiling. I couldn’t tell him how long it has been since I last saw you. He took my frown for sadness, he gladly declared I had no love. He recommended I visit FACO. I was taken aback and I smiled instead, thinking about what you’d have done had it been you.

Most of me has been blinded by your intoxicatingly happy and loving self, I wonder  if I have even blinded you at all, or what about me blinds and binds you to me.

Maybe I after all might need that much recommended trip to FACO, who knows?


Red My Heart

Every second of all the past forty eight hours has been the longest for me. Knowing all too well, that I couldn’t write to you. It has now become so addictive, it leaves a burning strain across my heart that this hurt brews.

I’d always dreamt of a love, that bloomed slower than the brightest of flowers. Whose taste lingered longer than honey. And whose warmth was chilling and left goosebumps in its wake every time it was experienced.

Cupid had one job. I love that he failed. We always meet people who for a second make the bubble you’re in with them, so liveable a place. When the bubble bursts, reality sets in and it is never a pleasant sight afterward.

With you, I love that there is no bubble. You’re as raw a love any mukiga man would die for. So, red my heart and I’ll bleed my thoughts to you, of you in ink.



Journey To Self

As the dust will rise
The winds will howl on
Waiting for the rain to wash it all away
I know the tears will always stay

In the midst of the storm
I’ll look out for the meadow
For the gentle breeze in my spirit
I know your blood always stays

When my legs will be shaky
And my body weak
When and if my hands will grow tired
And can’t hold on no more
I’ll watch for that Old Rugged Cross

There where I’ll be laid to rest
At your feet
Your spirit will guide me
You, my shepherd. Gentile redeemer

I’ll journey back to you
To your graceful and merciful self
So I can see my self in thy reflection
Amid all the haze
I’ll trust you to light my path
As I journey
To you
To me
To self
To eternity

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