Muha-kanizi on spot over Shs90b farmers cash 

 By Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Monday, September 29  2014

The Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi who kept calling himself “ born again Christian” was today pushed on the wall and forced to apologise for the “inefficiencies” in the running of a Shs 90 billion facility meant for helping the poor farmers access cheap credit.

The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee noted “gross inefficiencies, conflict of interest and lack of supervision of the funds” on the part of Bank of Uganda and Ministry of Finance. Because of lack of supervision, PAC Chairperson Ms Alice Alaso said, the money has gone to the well-off farmers at the expense of the poor farmers and written off more than Shs499 million in bad debts.

On December 3 2009, the Governor Bank of Uganda Prof Emmanuel Mutebile wrote to Ministry of Finance, saying that Bank of Uganda could not monitor the implementation and evaluation of the facility, citing conflict of interest however to date, Mr Muhakanizi had not taken action. The ST apologised for “inefficiency” saying “he is also human”.

The committee expressed concerns about the possible risk to the funds and ordered Muhakanizi to streamline the monitoring of the scheme within one month. Officials from BoU told the committee that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ministry of Finance and clearly STATED that monitoring of the agriculture credit facility will not be their mandate.

Mr Muhakanizi returns to PAC next week.


Taata Omusoga ava e Iganga ate nga mulema oluusi antuma okumugulira bamalaaya wano mu Kampala:

By Lawrence Kitatta

Added 21st September 2016

Nzuukuka ku makya ng’obudde tebunnakya ne tutegula ebikunta oluvannyuma taata bw’aba yeetewuulizzaako mu kaveera nkakwata ne nkasuula mu kipipa kya Kcca ekiri e busukkakkubo. kyokka oluguudo ndusala mmagamaga emmotoka zireme kunkoona.


Nakasango ng’asindika kitaawe bagenda okusabiriza ssente.


Emboozi ye yaginyumirizza DAPHINE SEMAKULA NE LAWRENCE KITATTA

bw’ati:

Nzuukuka ku makya ng’obudde tebunnakya ne tutegula ebikunta oluvannyuma taata bw’aba yeetewuulizzaako mu kaveera nkakwata ne nkasuula mu kipipa kya Kcca ekiri e busukkakkubo. kyokka oluguudo ndusala mmagamaga emmotoka zireme kunkoona.

Bwe tuba twasuze n’amazzi tunaabako mu maaso era tunywako oluusi ne njolekera Kiswa gye nsoma mu P1.

Taata eyandibadde ampa ssente za bodaboda okuntwala ku ssomero ate nze mba nnina okumusindika ku kagaali nga tuva e Lugogo we tusula ku mulyango gwa GTZ.

Olumu ku ssomero anzigyayo ssaawa 4:00 ne tugenda ku kkubo gye tusabiriza. Olumu nsoma naye olulala nnemererwa.

Olusoma oluwedde nakola ebibuuzo era okuva olwo saaddayo kusoma. Buli lunaku tuzunga ekibuga kumpi okukimalako ne mpulira nga n’obugere bunfuuyirira.

Kasango ng’azingako akaveera akakola nga bulangiti e Lugogo okumpi ne siteegi ya New Vision, we basula ate Nakasango nga yeetereza batandike olugendo lw’okubuna ekibuga nga basabiriza.


Naye taata bw’atuuka ku kaserengeto olwo ng’anteeka mu maaso ng’akagaali kayiringita. Taata yangamba nti maama wange ye Nasim Namulondo abeera Iganga era gye yanzigya okundeeta e Kampala okutandika okusabiriza ku luguudo.

Enkuba bw’etonnya mu budde obw’ekiro olwo ne tuyimirira ku lubalaza we tusula olumu n’okutukuba etukuba naddala ng’erimu kibuyaga.

Obudde buli lwe buziba mba mu kweraliikirira. Taata oyo talina nsonyi antuma okumuyitira bamalaaya ekiro!

Omanyi bwe tuba twebase nsula ku ludda kw’assa ebigere wabula olumu ngenda okusisimuka nga mpulira anninnya mu maaso, ngenda okulaba nga mukazi.

Olumu mpulira n’amaloboozi ekiro naye nga sirina kyakukola. Bw’aleeta bamalaaya nga sinneebaka olwo nsituka busitusi ne ntuula ku kkubo mu kayumba ka siteegi ya New Vision okutuusa lwe bamaliriza naye ate olumu nneekanga nsuze awo. Olumu antuma e Nakawa ngule sooda.

Wano nga beetegeka okugenda.


TAATA YANZIBA AWAKA

Bwe yali yaakandeeta okunzigya mu kyalo ng’annyambaza nnyo engoye z’abalenzi nga tayagala bamulaba kumanya nti ndi muwala naye kati nange nnyambala ngoye z’abawala.

Nzijukira nali mbeera ne maama wange ne jjajja, twali tuzannya ne baganda bange be twabeeranga nabo awaka, abakulu tebaaliwo kw’olwo taata yajja awaka n’anzibawo n’antwala ewa jjajja omulala.

Ono kirabika ye maama we amuzaala wabula nga naye saamwetegereza bulungi era simumanyi. Taata bwe yawulira nti gye yanzigya baali batandise okunnoonya kwe kunzigyayo n’andeeta e Kampala.

Kye nzijukira twatuuka kiro era ekkubo eryatuleeta sirimanyi naye angamba nti ewaffe Iganga we wali ekyalo kyaffe.

Wabula okuva lwe natandika okubeera ne taata embeera tebeerangako nnyangu kuba ennaku ezisinga tusiibirira capati n’amazzi emmere tugirya lumu na lumu ate tugirya Kataza Bugoloobi kuba we wali eya layisi gy’asobola okugula.



Eno ku 1500/- tufuna ebijanjaalo n’akawunga ate ennyama ya 3,000/- naye ennyama emirundi gye nnaakagiryako mbala mibale ate essowaani tugigabana.

Emirundi gye nnaakabula sigimanyi!

Taata oyo ayomba nnyo! Waliwo olunaku lwe sisobola kwerabira. Yasuula engatto ye gye saamanya naye n’anvuma olunaku lwonna.

Kino tekyamumalira yansindika ne ngwa ku kolaasi ne nnuubuka nga kw’agasse n’okunkuba nga bw’andaalika nga bw’ajja okuntuga ansuule ku kkubo.

Ekyo buli lwe nkirowoozaako mmubulako olwo n’atandika okunnoonya ng’alaga nti anjagala nnyo kyokka ng’ansuza mu mpewo buli lunaku.

Ekisinga okunnuma ssente azifuna ezisobola okupangisa ennyumba naye azigulamu bamalaaya olwo nze ne mbonaabona.

Bamalaaya abasausla 5,000/- buli kiro. Waliwo Omuzungu atuwa 50,000/- buli kiseera ate ono olumu amusaba 70,000/- naye ezisinga azimalira mu bamalaaya b’agula.

Nze bw’antwala ku ssomero tandekera ssente za buugi ate angamba nti talina wadde za yunifoomu. Wabula ez’ebigezo batusaba 8,000/- era yali tazirina naye omusomesa ku ssomero ye yannyamba ne mbituula.

  Nakasango ne kitaawe nga bava we basula.

NNOONYA MMANGE

Ekizibu ekiriwo gye nava simanyiiyo. Nsaba maama Nasim Namulondo ow’e Iganga ankime kuba nkooye okuba mu mbeera embi. Ebbanga lye nsuze ku kkubo mpulira nkooye.

Olumu mbeera awo ne nneebuuza oba olunaku lulikya ne nzirayo ewaffe ne mbeerako ne baganda bange. Kati taata namudduseeko era nsula ku mbalaza mu kibuga naye annoonya buli wamu w’ansuubira okuba naye saagala kumulaba.

Taata alina ekifaananyi kye yeekubisa nga tuli babiri. Kati akwata akagaali ne yeefuula atalaba era omulema ennyo nga bw’abuuza buli gw’asanze oba amulabiddeko ku muwala we.

Ekyandeetedde okumubulako yankubye n’okunvuma ng’agamba nti nja kukola bwamalaaya oba mu bbaala. Bwe twamaze okulya capati n’andagira okugenda okusuulayo ebisaaniiko mu kasasiro bwe nafunye oluwenda kwe kudduka.

Wabula waliwo abakyala okuli Aunt Mather, Jane bano bandabirirako bwe namuddukako omulundi ogwasooka singa basobola okunkima bajje bankime bantwale kuba bo balina empisa era bandabirira bulungi nnyo kuba baali bampa n’ebiteeteeyi n’engatto naye taata yabavuma n’anzigyayo,’’ Nakasango bw’alojja.

Wabula ku Mmande ya wiiki eno Nakasango yalabiddwaako ng’ali ne kitaawe ku Spear Motors ku Jinja Road ng’amusindika mu kagaali. Kirabika yamaze n’amuzuula.

Wano Kasango ng’ayomba n’ababodaboda ng’ali ku kagaali ne muwala we.


EMBEERA Z’OMUSAJJA ONO

MUSA Kasango mukambwe okukira ennumba. Akolima, muyombi ate awemula nnyo. Abamumanyi bagamba nti teyazaalibwa nga mulema wabula alina ekizimbe kye yali akolako e Lugogo n’ava waggulu n’amenyeka okugulu era okuva olwo n’atandika okutambuza omuggo.

Wabula ng’asobola bulungi okutambula n’omuggo nga tali mu kagaali, naye eno embeera agiteekawo basobole okumusaasira bamuwe ssente.

Abeera ne ssente eziwera era Nakasango agamba nti bagenda ne bagula eddagala mu ‘famasi’ buli lunaku bagula ‘air time’. Ate awuliriza nnyo ne leediyo era bw’oyita we basula aba agitaddeko.

Nakasango agamba nti n’olumu banaaba ku ttaapu e Luzira oba waggulu e Kololo. Kigambaibwa nti alina n’enju gy’apangisa e Iganga mu Busoga ejjudde ebintu era nga mu kiseera kino ekuumibwa landirodi ng’olw’olumu agenda n’asulayo.

Kyokka waliwo eyatubuulidde nti alina akati ke yalonda nga kali mu kasawo, kano k’alomberako dduwa era ke yeesiga ng’emmundu emmenye okumulwanira entalo. “Nze ndi mulema naye ndi mukambwe, ekyokulwanyisa kye nneesiga jjinja.

Nja kuliimisa omuvubuka oyo eyankubye ebifaananyi mmukube; bwe yeeweredde abaamawulire. Nakasango y’omu ku baana ng’amaka ge bamanyi gali ku nguudo kwe basula.

Tebamanyi kitanda wadde amasuuka, wabula amaloboozi g’emmotoka ezibayitako ku nguudo kwe basula ge gababeesabeesa okutuusa otulo lwe tubatwala.

Abaana bano abatamanyi bitanda abatasulangako mu nnyumba ye Uganda y’enkya.


    THE

OBJECTIVES 

 It is to develop the elderly of Africa, Uganda financially.


Secondly, it is to assist the needy and disabled.


Third, it is to humanely visit the sick and stressed.


Fourth it is to create financial projects for the needy to generate income for the elderly and young.




This organization has carried out such activities as:

Cake and bread baking.


Members have been involved in rural building construction and road making and repairs.


Members have been involved in decoration on functions.


Members have been involved in all means of assistance in burial ceremonies in the communities.



Ugandan workers less educated, poorly paid

Publish Date: Sep 22, 2014



A Ugandan worker is less educated and poorly paid.

By Samuel Sanya 


MOST working Ugandans are only educated up to secondary level, work for 10 years, six days a week and earn at least sh403 per hour according to a wages survey.


In the wage indicator survey, released recently, 1,306 Ugandans from all administrative regions were interviewed by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in conjunction with Dutch and Tanzanian researchers.


Conservative estimates place Uganda’s working population at 17 million. The average working week of respondents is almost 60 hours and they work six days per week.


Slightly over half (51%) work evenings, seven of 10 workers report working on Saturdays, while four of 10 work on Sundays.


Nearly half of the workers in the sample were managers. Only two of 10 workers had a permanent contract, three of 10 were on fixed term contract while four of 10 workers said they are entitled to social security.


Despite the low numbers entitled to pensions, respondents indicated having four dependants on average. The analysis showed that 77% of the workers were paid on or above the poverty line of sh403 per hour or $1.25 (about sh3,000) per day.


Five percent of workers had no formal education, 14% studied to primary education 48% had secondary education certificates, 16% had a college education and 17% a university degree. Only 62% of informal workers are paid above the poverty line compared to 97% of the most formal workers.


Workers in trade, transport and hospitality are most at risk of poverty with 30% paid less than a dollar a day. Public servants are best paid. At least 92% earned above the poverty line.


Labour State minister Rukutana Mwesigwa recently revealed that Cabinet is considering creation of a wage board and a minimum wage.


The Government last set a minimum wage of sh6,000 in 1984. In 1975, the Minimum Wage Advisory Council recommended a sh75,000 minimum monthly wage. It remains on paper.

Why are the poor citizens of Uganda receiving money that is accounted for as a national pension for the elderly of this country?

Photo by Fred Muzaale

By JOSEPH KATO


Posted  Tuesday, July 5   2016 

The Senior Citizens Grant in Uganda is given to the elderly aged 65 and above to help them live decent livelihoods; however, in some districts, it is the young, energetic poor that are being given the money.

Over 110,000 persons aged 65 and above in 141 sub-counties, towns and 6,028 villages in 15 districts are beneficiaries of the Senior Citizens Grant (SCG) that was started in 2010. SCG is one of the essential modules of the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE), financed by government and development partners such as DFID and Irish Aid.

SCG is aimed at enhancing access to basic needs such as food security, better nutrition, health care and improving housing among others which is legal onus of the state to provide wellbeing and upkeep for the elderly.

David Lambert Tumwesigye, advocacy advisor at Expanding Social Protection (ESP) at the Ministry Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) calls upon the new MPs to join the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Social Protection (UPFSP) so that they can advocate care for the elderly.

What do MPs say?

Agnes Taka, Bugiri Woman MP, appreciates the services that have been offered to the elderly through SAGE. However, she calls upon the government to be open and involve grassroots leaders when selecting beneficiaries saying it will help to avoid issues of segregation.

“We need to know what criterion is followed when choosing SAGE beneficiaries. It is perturbing to learn about activities being done in your constituency from locals. Leaders need to be involved,” argues Taka.

She wonders why majority of the 15 districts where SAGE has been enrolled and the next 20 districts targeted to benefit from the programme are not from poverty stricken areas.

She asks her colleagues to push the government hard so that there can be transparency in the enrollment.

Rtd Lt Cyrus Amodoi, MP Tonoma County, Katakwi district, marvels at why the programme in some districts has been shifted from the elderly to the poorest people.

“What I have seen is that there is political interference in some parts where SAGE has been enrolled. In some places they target the poorest people instead of senior citizens,” says Amodoi.

In response to MPs queries, Drake Rukundo, Policy and Monitoring and Evaluation, UPFSP, says they have on ground people who gather information for the befitting citizens. He encourages the MPs to advocate countrywide enrollment for the elderly.

Rukundo says they want government to commit resources as a priority towards social protection to help the elderly live decent livelihoods because they are the bridge between the past and the future.

He applauds the 9th Parliament for being instrumental in ensuring the survival of the SAGE programme and extending it from 15 districts to additional 40 districts in the next five years.

In the FY 2015/16 Budget process, Parliament made a resolution where the SAGE programme was to be rolled out to the whole country covering 100 oldest persons in every sub-county.

Tumwesigye says the 10th parliament and the government did their work and it remains critical that all districts get covered for fairness and equitable development. The new MPs are expected to enlist to become members so that advocacy on social protection is boosted.

The forum undertakes to provide information and create spaces for engagement on issues touching social protection.

The cabinet passed the social protection policy which proposes a myriad of progressive interventions that if implemented will significantly contribute to the journey from third world to middle income status as envisaged in the Vision 2040.

However, even with the current roll-out plan, only a total of 55 districts will be reached leaving out 57 districts. To maximise pressure on government, the Forum has conducted regional consultative meetings that bring together Members of Parliament, District Chairpersons, District Community Development Officers and the civil society.

Reports from the Ministry

Reports from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development indicate that the senior citizens grant is increasing productive investment where 32 per cent of the beneficiaries use the money to buy livestock or engage in petty trading while 27 per cent of the beneficiaries invest their money in hiring additional labour to work in their gardens.

“At least 16 per cent of the beneficiaries save their month’s payment purposely to cover emergencies, 17 per cent use the gratuities to support productive investments, cultivation (15 per cent and meeting the educational needs of children and/or grandchildren taking 14 per cent,” reads the report on expanding social protection programme for senior citizens grant.

According to the report, majority of the senior citizens grant beneficiaries spend the large part of their transfers on food leading to increased frequency, quantity and quality of meals eaten by beneficiary households.

The report further shows that SCG beneficiaries especially women consistently report improved participation in community affairs, sense of self-esteem and empowerment. Older people report feeling less discriminated against in their communities and more valued by their families on account of their ability to make social contributions to community-based social support mechanisms which are based on reciprocity like contributing to funerals and weddings.

About SAGE

SAGE is a financial support programme for people aged 65 years and above. Currently, the programme is covering 15 districts. A total of 40 more districts have been lined up to benefit from SAGE by 2020.

In the 2015/16 budget, over Shs30b was expected for the national rollout where 100 persons per sub-county were to benefit but government committed Shs9 billion only.

jkato@ug.

nationmedia.com


OKWAGALA YESU WANO E BUGANDA

The Christian of Uganda, Mr Kibalama has been making Christian music for now 48 years and seems to love every minute of it:

The known symbol of the Eschatos Bride Choir

He leads an Afriican choir called the African Eschatos Bride;

16 March, 2019

Written by David Lumu

A profile photo of some of the members of this famous African Christian choir

 

The name Eschatos Bride should ring a bell for every Christian music enthusiast, especially those above the age of 30. For years, the evangelical music group has stood out for their unique harmonious music, often unaccompanied, that draws inspiration from classic choral compositions.

Eschatos’ pioneering style of performing hymns, psalms and anthems greatly inspired many other Christian music outfits in the seventies and eighties at the peak of its popularity.

The man behind all this is DR ABBEY KIBALAMA, a pillar in choral music whose influence cuts across various Christian denominations. He told David Lumu about his and Eschatos’ 48-year journey from a three-man outfit to a legendary choir that has stood the test of time with more than 100 albums.

Dr Kibalama embodies everything Eschatos is all about. Every Friday, he climbs the daunting Namirembe hill to meet with a congregation of born-again Christians. He also speaks with a firm voice and for a person who is almost six feet tall, it is hard to imagine Kibalama is 86 years old.

The retired teacher and itinerant evangelist is the founder and director of the Eschatos, a choir he founded in 1971. So, before there was the famous Golden Gate choir, Calvary Cross choir or even the Good Samaritan choir, the Eschatos were already established.

FAMILY INFLUENCE

Born in 1933 in Busonko village, Wakiso, Kibalama is one of three children born to Eriasafu and Beza Kibalama.

“My mother Beza was a Mothers’ Union worker and stayed at home most of the time but daddy was a carpenter and also served at the local village council,” he says. “They were such an influence in my life and laid a good foundation for me to identify my talent. Daddy was a church lay reader (Omubulizi) and introduced me to the consonants and eventually a reading lesson. By the age of five, I could read a Luganda bible. I grew up with a love for the church.”

Kibalama started out at Kikandwa sub-grade mission school and later Masuulita primary school in 1944. In 1950, he joined Bishop School Mukono for secondary education.

“Here, everyone had to participate in singing, either in the main school choir which was also chapel choir or the house choir. I was in yellow house and a music prefect,” he recalls. “However, my career goal was to become a teacher.”

From Bishop School, he crossed to Bishop Tucker Theological College (now Uganda Christian University), where he graduated as a teacher. In 1954, he was posted to Nsangi primary school, where he taught geography and arithmetic.  While there, he teamed up with fellow music-mad teachers Joseph Mulindwa and Elliot Kabuye ( RIP) to form The Independent Larks.

SPIRITUAL INFLUENCE

Kibalama’s career turned around in 1957 when he got saved.

“The day I accepted Christ as my saviour brought about several changes in my programs,” he says. “They involved a change of direction in the use of the talents in me that I had identified. I asked God to forgive my wrongdoing and to use me wherever He was going to take me.”

And one of those journeys was on January 20, 1962 when Kibalama wedded Florence Ndagire, a fellow teacher with whom they went on to have six children.

The teaching profession involved a lot of transfers and this meant the family kept changing to new places and, therefore, new experiences.

“Wherever I went, I would attend the local fellowships of the born-agains (balokole) for nurturing. I taught music tonic solfas, conducted school choirs, participated in school choir competitions, joined church choirs and was able to appreciate the melodies and words of hymns,” he says.

In 1965, while a tutor at Namutamba PTC, Kibalama was joined by three friends to found Jordan Crossers. In 1967, he and his colleagues in Jordan Crossers were transferred to Lady Irene Teachers’ College, Ndejje as tutors, but 1971 found him in Buloba primary teachers college, marking another unique turning point.

While here, the choir grew bigger and they became seven members, amongst them a young Jimmy Katumba, who was a student at the college. Katumba would later become a national star after forming The Ebonies in 1976.

Kibalama recalls the dilemma they faced at the start: “When we decided to make a recording at the [UTV] studios, we were advised to change the name from Jordan Crossers to avoid the risk of mistaking us as having a link with Israel, a country [then president Idi] Amin hated. This was about the beginning of political turmoil in the country.” 

As a result, Kibalama and company gave the group a new name and Eschatos Bride was born.

“A few days earlier, we had attended a lecture in theology at Makerere University where the keynote speaker defined eschatology,” he says. “So, the name was now referring to the bride of the [end times] or the church that Jesus will find when He returns; Jesus Christ as the bridegroom, and the church as the bride.”

At the start, Eschatos Bride had nothing apart from their voices.

“All we did was perform Christian hymns a cappella. It was unique because we blended hymns with traditional elements,” he says.

The Eschatos became an instant success and much as their roots lay in the Anglican Church, their popularity crossed over other denominations with the exposure of their music played on Radio Uganda. At the time, the Balokole movement was enjoying popularity and many of Eschatos followers found the traditional Anglican setting somehow conservative.

“We performed in virtually every major church in Uganda. Our music was awakening.”

Pastor Simeon Kayiwa of Namirembe Christian Fellowship, a long-time friend of Kibalama, describes him as a pioneering inspiration.

“I’m personally most thankful for Dr Kibalama’s influence and impact on my choir [Calvary Cross choir],” he says. “I represent many out there whose lives have been touched by the Eschatos ministry. We, together with many other singing organizations, regard [Kibalama] as a father.”

In 1975, Kibalama retired from civil service to join Jinja-based Olivetti Company Uganda as manager. The tense political atmosphere in the country, which lasted more than a decade, greatly limited his interaction with colleagues in Kampala and to improvise, he started the Eschatos Bride, Jinja wing.

“It is here that we moved out to churches for outreach missions. The approach of that time was unique. We had an organised session of talking, singing, reading the bible and later an altar call. We would sing our original compositions, the psalms and those translated.

 

There is the Eschatos Choir in practice

 

In 1982, Kibalama attended Haggai Institute in Singapore and got a certificate in leadership skills, in connection with evangelism. The following year, he attended the international conference for itinerant evangelists courtesy of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In 1994, the Eschatos got an invitation by then Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi, to minister.

“We sang for the cabinet too and performed at one of Kenya’s biggest schools although I don’t remember the name,” he recalls. “It gave us a lot of encouragement to continue on the mission.”

In December 2009, Kibalama received an honorary doctorate from the United Graduate College, USA for his outstanding work in evangelism through music.

THE ESCHATOS TODAY

In 2002, the Kibalamas left Jinja to settle at their retirement home at Kalambi, Buloba, Wakiso district. The home also acts as the base for Eschatos Soundcare studio popularly known as GOSENI.

Today, Eschatos is comprised of about 25 members that travel less but have more of audio recording after a series of regular practices on Saturdays. Current members Margaret Semakula, Misaeri Kimbugwe and Molly Lwanga Zziwa  are also some of the pioneers.

Kibalama insists there is more to Eschatos than the music.

“We set out to preach the message of salvation through song, harvesting souls for Christ,” he says. “We are actually an evangelic establishment and combine ideas in a choir setting in order to present the message in a simple way and in a language people understand.”

He admits Eschatos Bride emphasizes the importance of music or its unique role when giving a sermon or a teaching to a congregation.

“I have researched on this unique role over time and I can testify to the hidden power of music in sermons,” he says. “I believe the message in a song should be clearest in one’s language. If it is not well phrased, the message will be distorted and the word will contain a different meaning depending on how it is sung.”

Indeed, the message in Eschatos’ music is always clear and is on a particular theme.

“The choice of the theme comes as a leading of the Spirit; some are special requests from our esteemed listeners,” Kibalama says.

Meanwhile, some former members are spread out in different workplaces of the diaspora. Sarah Kibalama, his daughter, continues to sing and conducts a London-based church choir of Ugandans.

THE CHALLENGES

Kibalama admits the world is changing and responsibilities to the members are also on the increase.

“Some members move on when they get married, some get upcountry job assignments and others go abroad,” he says. “The group transport costs too are high. However, God still provides through the support of friends of the choir.”

Looking back, Kibalama notes a number of accomplishments.

“We have a record 106 albums on CDs and casettes, arranged under different themes. We have albums in English and also in several other local languages including Luganda, Lusoga, Kiswahili, Runyankore, Luo and Rutooro,” he says. “We have also directly or indirectly mentored many gospel choirs. And, by the way, we also created the Eschatos Bride hymnbook.”

THE FUTURE

Patrick Bakka Male, the head teacher of King’s College Budo, is a long-time fan of the Eschatos.

“Eschatos choir has a distinct music quality, tone and inspiration that cannot be mistaken for any other choir,” he says. “To preach the message of salvation through song, Dr Kibalama brings out experiences of song writing, worshiping, and preaching using a blend of music and words. His emphasis is on accuracy of the music, the pronunciation, meaning and opportunity for one to make a personal commitment to Christ.”

Dr Kibalama admits Eschatos is planning a special 50th anniversary album and show. If all goes according to plan, that would be a great milestone in Ugandan music for any outfit to last 50 odd years.

dlumu@observer.ug

 

KATONDA KWAGALA ERA ABEERA MUKWAGALA ABA ALABYE KATONDA
MUJJE MWE ABAZITOWEREDDWA EBIBI
BAMUSANGA AYOTA OMULIRO NGA EMPEWO EMUYISEEMU
YAWEBWA AMANYI GONNA ERA YALINTUUSA EWA KATONDA