Sarah Ndagire
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Sarah Ndagire

Guildford, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | INDIE

Guildford, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1995
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Sarah Ndagire @ Brugge

Brugge, Flanders, Belgium

Brugge, Flanders, Belgium

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Interview by Ogova Ondego
Published December 18, 2009

Where were you born?
I was born and raised in Kampala so I am typically a city girl.

How did you get into music?
First of all, I do not come from a musical family but I can comfortably say there was music in my soul and I had an ear for music at an early age. At the age of about 11, I picked so much interest in choral music that I joined a choir in which I was the youngest member. Somewhere along the way I stopped singing and throughout my primary and secondary education, I was acting. Though I had stopped singing, I loved music and knew all the popular songs playing on radio then which were mostly from South Africa and the western world.

What happened to your acting career? Do you still act? Any memorable act you played?

I still do act when I have he time and opportunity. I have been acting in a local radio dramma called Rock Point 256 for over 3 year, I acted in a new movie called “fishing the stone” which premeires at Theatre Labonita on December 23, 2009.

Have you ever been a member of a band or have you always been a solo musician?
After secondary school, I was invited to join the Sharing Youth as a dancer and shortly after that as a vocalist. Since then, I have performed with several bands like Light Rays Band, Big 5 Band, Percussion Discussion Africa group, Misty Jazz Band, Soul Beat Africa Band and Afrigo Band. Now, I am a solo artist but I continue to work with different musicians and bands.

The last band you performed with was Afrigo; why did you go solo instead of performing in bands?
I needed to take my career to another level a little faster. Good thing is I always work with musicians in my concerts.

When did you get into music?
It was at about 12 years with a choir and we put up a Christmas carol service at St Balikudembe Church in Kisenyi, Kampala. Since I was youngest singer in that choir, I attracted lots of attention from the audience.

How many music albums do you have?
I have released several albums as a solo artist and with others.They include Katitira (2006); Traditional music from Uganda vol 1 (2006); and Traditional music of Bantu women and folktale of the baganda women from Uganda vol 1 (2006); Train (2007); And the Beat Goes video (2008); and My journey so far video (2008)

I have several projects lined up for release: Traditional music from Uganda vol 2 (2009); Traditional music of Bantu women and folktale of the baganda women from Uganda vol 2 (2009); and another yet-to-be-titled album to be released in early 2010.

Train is the title track of my latest album. It is in a Bakisimba rhythm yet the singing is in both English and Luganda. As you may realize, I employed both traditional and modern instruments, e.g. embutu, ensasi, engalabi, bass guitar,rhythm guitar, and flute. This song speaks for me a lot. It brings out my whole mission as an artist. First of all, I am very proud to be Ugandan. I am proud of my Ugandan cultural heritage and I want to let the whole world know about it.

That is why I call myself a “train” and I sing that, “To every city I will go…Every village, I will reach. They must hear the rhythms my people have sung to, are singing and will sing to… I am a train, my peoples’ train, full of songs, my people sing, full of rhythm, my people play.”

What is a ‘a Bakisimba rhythm’?
This is a royal rhythm of the Baganda of Buganda Kingdom in he centre of Uganda. It is to accompany a very interesting and special dance which is called Bakisimba dance. It has a very interesting origin story but these and more I only share in workshops.

The video, ‘My Journey So Far’, is 75 minutes long. I have always treasured the people I have met along my music journey so far, the ones that have made me what I am directly or indirectly. I could never pay them enough for their support. That is why I decided to take my fans behind the scenes, just a bit, to show them some of these special people. So, in this DVD, I talk about them and actually one gets to see their faces.

When you watch this DVD, you get to know me better and sort of imagine where I am going. It includes things like, the schools I have attended, the bands I have worked with, some of my live performance moments, a bit about my family, etc. Then on this DVD, you get to see all my seven music videos. You do not only see them but you get to know about their making, who was involved, how and why the story was developed, location, really like a behind the scenes info.

What kind of themes or subjects do you tackle?
I always refer to myself as “a train”, full of songs and rhythms of my people. I have interacted deeply with my community hence composing and singing songs about Love, Family responsibilities, Aids, Unity, work, Women’s and Children’s rights, Friendship and Human nature among others. This is what I am taking to every city and village.

Are you a full time musician or do you do anything else?
I am involved in music full time as a performer and workshop leader. I can really say that music is my employer.

Please say something about the family you were born into.
I am born to a Muganda father, Mr Kibuuka Zechariah (RIP) and a Munyankore Mother, Edith Bonabana. I am the third of the five children. I grew up with two brothers and two sisters. We were raised by a single mother and we lived in different places depending on her financial situation but we all went to school no matter what. I didn’t have a lot of things but did not complain much for I always knew that my mother loved us and would always try her best. We always went to church every Sunday and prayer was very important in our family. Actually I always prayed whenever I was in need and I still do. I would pray that God gives my mum money so I could get a new dress, go for a school trip, eat chocolates and those kinds of things.

Generally, I was a patient kid and what other kids had that my mother would afford didn’t bother me. I knew that the key to everything was school.

I went to Kampala Primary School, Sir Tito Winyi Secondary School and Vision Institute of Public Relations and Management. Throughout my school, I was involved in drama. I didn’t know I could sing until I joined Sharing Youth Band as a dancer and shortly after did a cover for a song called Jabulani by PJ Powers which, according to my friends, I did very well. Since then, I have never looked back. I have written so many songs and learnt and fused many traditional ones.

How do family ties complement or work against music career for women?
It is not easy to be away from the ones you love especially kids, even just for a week. But what to do, On the road, you will often think about them and miss them. If you are tied.

From what you know now, would you recommend your music career to any one else—men, women?
My journey has not been a very smooth one but today when I look back at my journey so far, I can comfortably say that I represent possibility. I have come this far by being persistent, focused and not afraid to take risks, God being my pillar. If anyone wants to join the artistry especially my genre, these ideals may be able to help you through. With that, yes I can recommend to anyone, man or woman to join the industry.

Do you compose, write, perform, record, promote and distribute your own music? Or do you have a producer, distributor, marketer/promoter?
I do write most of my songs but have also co-written some of the songs that I perform and have recorded. Also on my repertoire are many traditional songs that I have fused.
I do promote my music on youtube, myspace, facebook, sonicbids, and sarahndagire.com.
My producers to date are Jude Mugerwa Lukwago and Kaz Kasozi. My distributor in Uganda is xzone and others include cdbaby, itunes, amazon, and sarahndagire.com.
Do you executive-produce your own music or do you have a producer, i.e. a person who pays for the work?
I have a music producer but when it comes to paying for the recording of themusic and videos, I do it most of the time. I have also recieved some support from ugarts and Zikosa picture through my music producer Kaz Kasozi.

Say something about those two women you perform with: who are they? How did you meet? Is this a standing group?
I have been blessed by having a company of good friends. Sandra Namiti and Jacinta Wamboka have been great to me in my music journey so far. They have featured in most of my music video as well as being on stage with me for many of my concerts. We were together in several bands like Splash band and Afrigo band before I went solo. They are great friends of mine.
Also very notable at my performances and becoming more and more obvious in many of my videos fashion. The designer responsible for my costumes is Atal Stella. A very wonderful young lady. She knows what is perfect for me on and even most times off stage. She also happens to be my great fan. Whenever she is exhibiting her clothes and products, it is my music that plays. What an honor! I met her so many years ago when I was still working with a Youth Alive club in Kamwokya. Then, she was an ordinary girl and I hadn’t yet started performing on stage. When we met again last year at an art exhibition at Alliance Francaise, we were all grown and had taken professions that could work together. When she listened to my music, she was very impressed and when I visited her fashion studio in Kamwokya, I was amazed and since then, she has taken care of my performance wardrobe including my band. Actually she is a great painter, does interior designing, events decoration and so much more as long as it requires an artistic hand. I personally have painted pots, table cloths, cushions and wall hangings by her.
It is about four years now since you went solo; have you won any awards?
I have not won any awards in but internationally I was nominated this year for the “just plain folks awards” in Nashville, Tennessee. My first album “Katitira” was nominated in the category of best African album and the song “olikoma eyo” in the category of best African song and came out fourth. See jpfolks.com/09songwinners.html

Do you represent any social causes?
I do care much about disadvantaged older persons or jjajas, widows and orphans, they live with, in Uganda. As such, I support an organization called Gaita kukibi widows and elderly network whose mission is to work for the improved quality of life and preservation of dignity of older persons, widows and orphans in Uganda. Over the years I have been involved in their activities, I have learnt I have learnt a lot about the issues affecting them. For example, HIV/AIDS epidemic has had devastating economic, social, health and psychological impacts on older women and men, widows and their orphans. Sons and daughters have passed on leaving the care of their children in the hands of their mothers thus grandmothers. Such grandmothers do not have the means to provide for such children let alone meet the cost of their medication. Due to increasing poverty, the nutrition levels among HIV/AIDS infected families are falling, that lack of good nutrition is contributing to increased mortality in such families. The grandmothers have hope that they can raise up these orphans relatively decently but they do not have the economic means with which to support these families.
I am involved in advocacy and mobilizing economic and social activities aimed at enhancing the welfare of such widows, elderly and orphans in Uganda. See gaitauganda.org

Give us the Sarah Ndagire Story or your profile—the one you present on video—again.
Sarah Ndagire is a performing artist born and raised in Uganda, the pearl and heart of Africa. Sarah is actively participating in the field of “African music, dance and culture.” She has her own story to tell about her experiences.
Sarah says her music style is mainly a fusion of traditional music, instruments and beats interspersed with modern styles, instruments, beats and arrangements. The traditional instruments akogo, endingidi, engalabi and embutu always feature in her songs. It can be described as a truly Ugandan sound. With “pearl ensemble”, she performs traditional music and dances of Uganda.
Watching the energetic Sarah Ndagire perform and listening to her sing is like taking the most relaxing trip across Uganda. She brings out the true soul of an African. The Joy, Sorrow, pain, determination intelligence and perseverance. She has built an impressive repertoire made up of the most rare, unique and varied Ugandan rhythms and instruments that hitherto were played in isolation by different tribal musicians. Her music and videos are famous on many local and international radio stations, TV’s, stages and internet sites like youtube, itunes, cdbaby, etc This earned her a nomination in the “just plain folks awards” 2009.
Sarah is one of the few outstanding performers in Uganda who speak and sing in quite a number of folk languages from Uganda. This enables her to share her talent with many tribes, communities and societies as well as represent Uganda’s wide variety of cultural heritage.
On the other hand, Sarah has for a long time worked with children and older persons to gather and share knowledge through oral Education. She is actively involved in traditional folklore of singing traditional music and story telling. She tells traditional stories and Legends which is another way through which she promotes African culture to all parts of the world.

Where have you performed so far in 2009?
• Uganda national cultural center
• Bayimba international festival Kampala
• World music day Kampala
• Alliance francaise Kampala/ Goethe zentrum
• Hapo zamani show at catch the sun Kampala
• Fundraising concert for Children with cancer at Serena, Kampala
• Kultur fabrik centre Luxembourg
• Afrika kulturtage Forcheim festival Germany
• Peace Concert at SGI-USA in Chicago
• “Just Plan Folks” JPF Awards ceremony at Wild Horse Saloon, Nashville, TN.
• Commonwealth club London
• Crockham hill village hall, England
• Chogm Trinidad and Tobago
- ArtMatters.Info


By Bethsheba Achitsa
Published November 4, 2009

The beauty of the African continent is unmatched. Apart from the natural beauty of the continent, rich and varied wildlife and agreeable climate, African tunes with the riveting dance rhythms of the people best capture the beauty of the mother continent. With the emergence of ephemeral, fast-produced formulaic mantra-like genres—Kapuka and Genge in Kenya and Bongo Flava in Tanzania—that appeal to hip-hop-loving younger people, Africa’s commercially-driven airwaves are giving less attention to the celebration of truly African music.

This partly explains why great afro-fusion artists like Sarah Ndagire may not be so well known among the new generation but her music—a celebration of Uganda folk songs and other traditional rhythms—puts her ahead of many other up-and-coming musicians.

A singer whose solo career has just begun, Ndagire has produced two music albums, Katiitiira (2006) and Train (2007). The 2006 album is all the more significant to the African music because it is in this album that she fuses modern and traditional rhythms, bringing to the limelight the beauty of traditional folk songs of Uganda that are likely to appeal to connoisseurs as much as to any ordinary listener who enjoys well packaged music.

Katiitiira, that opens the 2006 album, was an original folk song that Ndagire has fused with modern rhythms to give it a more contemporary feel. The song is followed up by another eclectic song, Peter which is about distant love. The song is about a distressed woman whose husband has left for Japan to make money to better the lives of his family; six months later the wife has not heard a word from him, forcing her to share her plight with her work colleagues. She tells the story to the background of a highly danceable Congolese-styled beat.
This is just an insight to one of the many themes that Ndagire’s music tackles. While she seeks to enlighten the world about the traditions of her own people, she uses her music to voice the challenges facing women and children. Oliko Meyo, sang in Luganda, talks about broken promises, love and betrayal.

In her second album Ndagire refers herself as a train that will travel to every city to let other people know of her people’s rhythms. However in this album she addresses serious issues like the HIV/Aids scourge which is captured in Kunsiko Yaffe that opens the 2007 album. The message behind the song is to caution people about this deadly animal “HIV” that is attacking humanity. The song calls upon everyone to get out their weapons and fight it. Village woman speaks of the role of women as breadwinners.

Ndagire’s music is both educative and unique in many ways. But the fact that Ndagire sees the need to promote the traditional rhythms is all the more fascinating. This perhaps is the only way to get the local airwaves to start noticing this great asset of the African culture that is being ignored by ‘modernity’ and ‘globalisation’

It is definite that songs like Peter, Nyami Jumbi and Katiitiira irrespective of the language they are sang in have the universal appeal that any avid listener cannot fail to warm up to. Folk songs may look very much outdated to the current breed of musicians, but any musician who wants to produce music that will stand the test of time needs to tap into the traditional music for inspiration.

As if to appeal more to the world that is getting more hooked to audiovisual media content, Ndagire has now put selected songs of her music on DVD. It has Melody, Nyamijumbi, Olikom’eyo, Katitira, Train, Kunsiko, Peter and, of course, Ndagire’s profile.
- Ugandan Music Train Sarah Ndagire Travels, Sings, Dances, Tells Stories


By Peter Allen Kigonya
"To every city I will go... Every village, I will reach. They must hear the rhythms my people have sung to, are singing and will sing too. I am a train. My peoples' train. Full of songs, my people sing. Full of rhythm, my people play."

I'm Nigerian buh I love dis song!

I like Ndagire's music, she real.

Wow Sarah you are just being my star!!! This is such a wonderful song. Bravo� You are the Ugandan "India Arie."

Another one! Original, nice, good African romance! Just beautiful! Big up for the Guy who directs yr videos. Good work keep it up Gal!

Sweet, very clean nudity free, big shouts to the producer!!

Right! This gal has something.Go Gal! I just love all the instruments used,makes the music so full of soul and rich.Sarah u are really teaching many guys here that, real music involves real instruments not just keybords. Kale Twongele! Big up big time!

Sarah You got a lot of soul in your voice!! Yesssss! I love your style of singing. True its Unique! keep it up girl. Plus the live instruments- what a change from all the digital music going on around? I loved it!

I too Am A new fan, Love her music as seen on MySpace" but I can't play the songs, on YouTube???? I can see the video but can't hear A thing?????? Helpppppppppppp!

I LOVE THS VIDEO SARAH!!! Thank you for portraying beautiful women (as yourself) with confidence, love and distinction. As one woman to another - thank you!

Very nice! I'm a fan of Sarah Ndagire- good to finally see a video. Love the soft confidence and clarity of her voice.

I love this video. Can somebody help me out with this video. Coz I seem not to get tired of it, I want to watch more and more.

These are some of the comments she gets from around the world about her videos with never a bad comment.

It is a known fact that Uganda is producing a great number of artists when it comes to music. There are Ugandan music videos that are coming out week after week. It is the sign of the times as it is becoming easier and easier to do this. The one thing that Uganda may not be producing as fast is "true musicians". True musicians are ones that can deliver note after note, with clear vocals that are not so corrupted by technology. Technology should not be there to alter, but rather maybe enhance a musician's performance and for the musicians that are surviving on technology alone it is time we introduced them to Sarah Ndagire.

It has almost been two years since our last interview with Sarah Ndagire and a lot has changed in her music. When she came to us in 2006, it was during the initial success of hits such as "Peter" and for a while we tried to constantly put her in that Afrigo Band basket.

However, the more we learn about Sarah, the more music she puts out, we are starting to find out that she is something quite different. The vocals are equally strong... equally clear... equally entertaining. The one thing that remains constant is the quality of music she is producing. She perhaps has the upper hand in range. It is not just the switch between different languages but also the switch between instruments used in her music. There is such a broad variety of style that with each hit and each video, one is left to wonder where Sarah will be taking us next.

Peter: Good to have you back Sarah. Our last interview makes you no stranger to UGPulse.
Sarah: Thank you so much Peter. Indeed I am no stranger to UGPulse because I was interviewed by Jane sometime back and I am glad to be back.

Please tell the readers what you have been up to since that time, when you were about to release your 2006 album.
Oh! A lot has indeed happened since then. I released that 10 track album entitled Katitira in 2006, which of course was my first album as a solo artist. It was very well received at a release concert I put up at the National Theatre and is still on demand to date. Of course I shot 3 music videos from that album namely Katitira, Peter and Olikoma Eyo. These too received a very positive response world wide as seen on YouTube. The following year, September 2007, I released my second album entitled Train with 11 tracks. To date, I have been able to make four music videos from this album. This as well was very well received. I have been gigging a lot. I have also been very much involved in working for, and with, older persons, widows and orphans with Gaita Kukibi widows and elderly network. I am also still working with Dembe fm as a presenter.

Now... You have released this well produced, entertaining (intellectually and musically) DVD, My Journey So Far, which I had the pleasure of watching. It is a documentary explaining your journey in the music industry and your journey through life. It is filled with family moments, live performances and it also has your music videos- with a little background to the videos.
I released this 1 hour 15 minutes DVD about 3 months ago entitled 'My Journey So Far'. I have always treasured the people I have met along my music journey so far, the ones that have made me what I am directly or indirectly. I could never pay them enough for their support. That is why I decided to take my fans behind the scenes, just a bit, to show them some of these special people. So, in this DVD, I talk about them and actually one gets to see their faces.

When you watch this DVD, you get to actually get to know me better and sort of imagine where I am going. It includes things like, the schools I have attended, the bands I have worked with, some of my live performance moments, a bit about my family, etc. Then on this DVD, you get to see all my music videos so far which are seven in number. You do not only see them but you get to know about their making, who was involved, how and why the story was developed, location, really like a behind the scenes info.

A very interesting DVD... I was glued. One of these videos, Olikomeyo, has always been my favourite video of yours but I was shocked with the extra background on this video. I had to hit the pause button as I was touched with what you had to say about the video...
This song Olikomeyo is really about broken promises and love betrayal. You see, it is easy for people to be faithful and happy with each other when they are younger and still struggling financially. When more money comes into the family, many things change, especially their status. As the saying goes, 'money makes man blind.' This is when one feels that their partner is of a low standard, i.e. 'amuswaza.' Many times, they look for 'better' suitors which doesn't necessarily mean the former is really worse off. This leaves very many people hurt especially the children and wife or husband. By the time they open their eyes, it is often too late. There is no place for them in their former homes. That is what this song is about.

The video of this song is a very special one for me... special in so many different ways. First of all, it features two very special little kids, Sandra and William who are both HIV positive. Their mother died about three years ago leaving them under the care of her sister, Jacinta, a dancer with Afrigo band. She has had to treat them, feed them, pay their school dues, accommodation, dress them, etc. with very little help from her sisters and friends. Their father is still alive but he is not bothered at all about their wellbeing. By the time their mother died, William was very sick and we all thought he wouldn't live through that year. Jacinta would often call me at night whenever William would be taken in ill and we would pray. We sometimes had to borrow money to pay the bills. Actually, Jacinta always had a standing bill at their nearby clinic in Naguru. Thank God, he is still alive and has grown. William is now seven years old and in Primary one while Sandra is eleven years old and in primary five. There are many stories to tell about these kids and Jacinta that I can't tell here now but today, they are better and are receiving treatment from Mild May clinic. William is on ARV's but Sandra has not started.
Am so happy that I was able to put a smile on the faces of the kids involved despite what they are going through. Everywhere he goes, William still brags about having acted in a movie and that he is a movie star, which I think and feel has lifted his esteem and keeps him going somehow.

When I sit down now and look at this video or listen to the song, I imagine and see many HIV women in the situation of the song. The challenge is bigger.

It seems like your brilliant videos, often simple yet very well executed and dramatic, are the work of mainly two video producers. Olikomeyo is the work of UK based Kaz Kasozi. Tell us a little about this character Kaz for those of us who see a lot of his work but know nothing about him. Who is he and how did the two of you link up?
Wow... Kaz Kasozi, one of the very few focused artists with a very big heart that I have had the chance of meeting and working with in my musical journey so far. I met him through a friend of mine called Ssimbwa Robert at a studio Kaz had set up in Muyenga. We talked and I asked him to help mix down my Katitira song which he accepted to. He liked my demos. He told me about how he had a vision of changing Ugandan music through things like doing quality music and video recordings. We exchanged contacts and kept in touch. He ended up working on almost the whole album and replaying some tracks. He also designed the album cover.

When he later came to Uganda again, He had his video equipment and he shot the video for Olikomeyo. The next question I am sure will be about how much I paid him. I never paid him any professional fees as I did not have the money. Last year when he came back here, we went on to record part of my latest album "Train". Through UGArts, he actually sponsored the other recording sessions of the album in the United Kingdom. He designed the album cover as well and has been helping a lot in promotion of this music. As in he would give me different distribution addresses, online stored, he put up the music videos on YouTube, etc. I will always be glad I met him in my musical journey.

How about Warren Segawa...
Warren Cranmer Segawa, is another great person. I have known him for over seven years now. I met him at Institute of Media and Graphics studies at Radio Uganda, when I was doing a course in video production. He is a very hard working, patient and talented man as well as a perfectionist. We did the stories for the videos together and he was always open to ideas. When inspired, we spent quite a number of nights in the editing suit at the National Theatre while editing which very few editors in Uganda today would do. He has supported me in so many ways. I guess he has been able to go that extra mile for me because he is a good friend of mine and is one of my greatest fans.

Like you said, "My Journey So Far", your DVD, not only features your older videos but we are introduced to "Train", your more recent work. My favorite video now is Kunsiko Yaffe. I simply cannot think of a better video of any Ugandan artist right now. How did you and Warren come up with this "Kingdom of Feminia"?

First of all, this song is in Luganda and the message behind is that a deadly animal "HIV" has attacked us. It is calling upon all the people to get out their weapons and fight it. Now, because the meaning is hidden, the story wasn't easy. Naturally, one would think about a forest, animals, hunting, etc. but we were looking for something different, rare, unique, and abstract. That is how we arrived at a kingdom for and by only women, that we called "the Kingdom of Feminia." The other meaning that I now see is that organizations of and by women can really be in harmony. (laughs) There is not so much argument as we see in the video. The Queen orders and they all go along.

Train, your latest album, often with softer soothing vocals, is a very different album from your last album where perhaps some of us labeled you as an Afrigo product... musically. We stuck you in that Afrigo corner. This is especially so with your previous hits such as Peter, Olikomeyo and Katitira. Please explain to UGPulse readers if you agree with this observation and tell us about your current choice of direction in your music.
It is really right when you say that people labeled me as an Afrigo product when I released my first album "Katitira." Thing is, I had just left Afrigo Band after performing with them for about three years and they obviously had an impact on me. That impact was because Afrigo Band plays good music... period! Actually the only songs on that album that made people to label me as an Afrigo product, in my view, are Peter, Twalinga Bato and Keevuge. By the way, Jude Mugerwa, the producer of the song Peter, was trained by the late Tony Sengo, which also explains the Afrgoish in it. Otherwise, Katitira, Akakisa, Olikomeyo, and Yo ono'mwana are different. Surprisingly, those are songs that I composed way back even before it occurred to me that I will ever join in Afrigo band. That is when I was with Light Rays Band. In fact I still have many unrecorded songs in this style that I hope to record later on. For me this shows the greatness in me as composer and musician if my music is likened to a great band or style like Afrigo's. I like Afrigo band and I always go dancing at Club Obligato almost every Friday or Saturday.
My latest album, "Train" is quite different from "Katitira." These are also songs that I composed or arranged long ago. You see I am this sort of artist who always wants to surprise my fans. I am sure that my next album will also be different from these two. Though I must say that my style of music will lean more on the style of "Train" than "Katitira." This is what I call world music with much influence from traditional Ugandan music and language.

The lead song, Train... tell us about Train. This song, as well as Melody and perhaps many songs on this album done in a variety of languages, make me think that this is what Norah Jones would sound like if she had grown up in Kampala instead of New York City. You did try to tell us about the meaning of Train when we had the pleasure of having you at the recent Nyaka Eire! Concert in January 2008. For those who were not there or for those who wanted to know more... What is the meaning of Train?
Train is the title track of my latest album. It is in a Bakisimba rhythm yet the singing is in both English and Luganda. As you may have realized, I employed both traditional and modern instruments, e.g. embutu, ensasi, engalabi, bass gutar, rhythm guitar, flute, etc. This song speaks for me a lot. It brings out my whole mission as an artist. First of all, I am very proud to be a Ugandan. I am proud of my Ugandan cultural heritage and I want to let the whole world to know about it. That is why I call my self a "train" and I sing that, "To every city I will go... Every village, I will reach. They must hear the rhythms my people have sung to, are singing and will sing too... I am a train, my peoples' train, full of songs, my people sing, full of rhythm, my people play."

I find this blend of modern music with African instruments and melodies very interesting. It is one of the reasons we chose you as a Nyaka Eire! Concert performer. You performed with Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa. Tell us about your relationship with Kinobe, Michael Ouma and the rest of Soul Beat Africa. First tell us about your experience at the Nyaka Eire! Concert. Then tell us about these musicians and the sort of music they promote.
I must first of all thank you for the opportunity you gave me to contribute to the wellbeing of children by performing at this year's Nyaka Eire fundraising event. It is a very good cause that will always have my support. It was a great experience to see the kids themselves speaking.
I enjoyed that performance as I was backed by a great band, Soul Beat Africa. They are the musicians I usually perform with. Jude Mugerwa, the keyboardist, happens to be my producer as well. In fact he played every instrument in the song Peter, the dance mix and recorded all my vocals of the Katitira album. I have known him for over 12 years now. He has been of great help to me because he understands me and my music very well. Michael Ouma, the guitarist played some guitars and traditional instruments on the Train album. In fact he arranged the song Okunde nyowe. He is an amazing musician person. Bakabulindi Samuel is the best percussionist I have worked with so far. He has a great sense of rhythm and jokes a lot making our rehearsals and performances memorable. In fact I always want him on the front line when I am performing. Ambrose Tugume, the drummer and Sewagudde Richard the percussionist are wonderful people too. Allan Okia, the bassist is a very talented musician. He is commonly referred to as "Producer Allan" and has produced so many artists' music like Sweet Kid. Kinobe Herbert is a very talented young man. I have known and worked with him for over 10 years now. Every instrument he decides to take, he becomes a master. He also played traditional instruments on my Train album. I feel that the future of Ugandan music is in these musicians' hands. I feel blessed working with these great musicians and can not wait to go on tour in US with them next year.

Also very notable at the concert and becoming more and more obvious in many of your videos and shows is your fashion. I can now watch you perform and know if she has dressed you or not. Please tell us about the designer responsible for the way you dress.
The designer responsible for my costumes is Atal Stella. A very wonderful young lady. She knows what is perfect for me on and even sometimes off stage. She also happens to be my great fan. Whenever she is exhibiting her clothes and products, it is my music that plays. What an honor! I met her so many years ago when I was still working with a Youth Alive club in Kamwokya. Then, she was an ordinary girl and I hadn't yet started performing on stage. When we met again last year at an art exhibition at Alliance Francaise, we were all grown and had taken professions that could work together. When she listened to my music, she was very impressed and when I visited her fashion studio in Kamwokya, I was amazed and since then, she has taken care of my performance wardrobe including my band. Actually she is a great painter, does interior designing, events decoration and so much more as long as it requires an artistic hand. I personally have painted pots, table cloths, cushions and wall hangings by her.
Well you look great and it is such a clever relationship you have. Her designs are almost as if they are part of the song. An example is the video for Melody...
I cannot imagine anything better than those two attires to wear in that video Melody. When Stella listened to the song and I told her the story for the video, she just took my measurement there and then and simply asked for the date and time of shooting. She was there 2 hour before we started shooting, with my attires and jewelry. She sat through it all and I could not believe. I even remember when we had to start shooting the video for Kunsiko at 6 am, she was there by 5 am, with the costumes, jewelry and body paints then she did the set. Unbelievable! I thank the lord for surrounding me with great people.

What is the next stop for this Train of yours? Where are you heading next?
Still selling Uganda to Uganda (local gigs) for this year, then next year I will head to US and probably other cities and villages with Soul Beat Africa band.
I know that we can buy your new and older CD online. Where can we get this precious documentary though? I'm sure many readers will want to get the rest of this 1 hour 15 minutes video.
One can only get it by coming to the National Theatre studios during working hours and maybe by calling or emailing me at ugproduct@gmail.com.

"A singing trav-eller... hmnnn... Amazima... To every city I will go... Every village I will reach." Well we definitely can't want till you make it at our destinations. We look forward to that. Thank you for concluding our annual African Women's Week 2008.
Thank you so much Peter.

- http://www.ugpulse.com/articles/daily/Entertainment.asp?id=996


Written by John Vianney Nsimbe
Sunday, 14 February 2010 16:16

Sarah Ndagire will probably not be a household name here in the near future like her namesake Mariam Ndagire. And neither will her music be blowing the airwaves like that of burgeoning starlets Aziz Azion or Grace Nakimera, despite being on the music scene longer.

Her world (traditional) music genre is not appreciated much at home like it is overseas. As she appears to be resigned to her fate here, she said after her Friday music concert at Alliance Francaise/Ugandan German Cultural Society premises that she is using her music and its cultural richness to build a portfolio and that of Uganda’s traditions and customs to those who are keen on it oversees.

“One of the reasons as to why some Ugandan musicians are doing well when they perform abroad is because of the unique music output they have. The instrumentation and message in the song are so important in foreign markets if you are to get a following,” said Ndagire.

Musicians like Herbert Kinobe, Richard Kawesa, Joel Sebunjo and Susan Kerunen have enjoyed success on foreign tours. But their music does not cut it here. Tshaka Mayanja, a music producer has intermittently summed up this situation like this: “Not many Ugandans appreciate real organic music other than the computer crafted works.”

The drums, percussions and the Kora are some of the key instruments that tickle the imagination of European or American audiences. Ndagire used the February 12 concert to test her five-man set that she’s going to use to tour Europe beginning next month; the Sarah Ndagire Quintet.

If the quintet’s Friday performance is anything to go by, there is nothing to deny her a successful overseas tour. Ndagire was the last musician to perform at the Zamani in March 2009. The Zamani used to be a quarterly music show organised by Kawesa to show-case East African talent.

Ndagire had a fantastic show as usual, but it was still just hundreds of the local audience. “It is not pretty but there is nothing I can do. I cannot change my style though. I am confident in what I do and it is paying off elsewhere.” Ndagire has already enjoyed relative success in Europe.

“When I go to Europe or the USA, I have a lot to do. Hold seminars and workshops to a number of people who want to learn about my music. This is all fully funded. Then of course, I have to visit schools to perform. There is a lot of mileage in this.”

Ndagire’s albums like Katiitiira and Train are doing well. She is using a record label, Face Music to do her dealings and this has enabled her secure some good euros on every sale. It is worth noting that Ndagire strikes a good deal with her African wear. She stands out with all the beads, long dresses and head wrappings.

The gap in her teeth as she smiles and her distinct alto stand out too. But as she works on her next album, her music can be found at the National Theatre and a range of bookshops around town.
She is not giving up on winning more hearts here. But until that happens, she knows her future in music lies overseas and she gives that her all.


- The obsever


A Ugandan Musician a Woman with heart - touching Africa - Uganda - with the Message of her Music and Songs

Sarah Ndagire, what can one say with mere words? I met her in November of 2007 in Kampala, a sort of chance meeting,but then you often meet someone special when you do not expect it.

Bright, intelligent, witty, a sense of humor, Ugandan sensitivity, lots of grace, a caring compassion that was evident as she spoke of people, as she spoke of children.

As I listened to her she struck me as someone who could sit under the ancient tree in a village and simply tell stories, a gift that many Africans have. I did not hear her sing until some days later, but as she spoke there was a sort of almost poetic touch to her words that rang home.

A few hours later we dropped her off near her home and as she left she gifted me with her latest CD called Train.

Ugandan music that sells in Uganda is usually music you dance to, Sarah Ndagire tells stories, and my favorite is her song “African Woman.” As she sings the song you can almost see it before you. She brings life to her words with energy and vibrancy of spirit, she is a teller of stories, but there is still enough rhythm in her songs that you will find it easy to dance to, I have.

Sarah Ndagire is a young woman, but yet she is woman with a lot of history in the recording industry in Uganda, her music has played on radio, her concerts well attended, and when one listens there is a message. I would call her a sort of Uganda Tracy Chapman, one who also tells a story with the songs that she sings.

Africa is a different world than the west. In the rest of the world we read information, we read stories, books, in Africa there are books, there is written information but there is something else, we sit under the ancient tree as the story teller uses words to weave a tapestry in one’s mind with his or her words. Sarah is like that; with her music she tells the stories of life in Africa. When you watch one of her videos you will find her whole being as part of the story telling, her hands move, her face is like a picture book, and her whole body is a part of the telling of the African stories.

Children love to hear Sarah speak and sing, they relate to her, relate to the characters in her tales, love the gentle rhythm of her songs and the words that allow children to see the possibilities in life.

Sarah like many African, Ugandan people could become part of the Diaspora of talented people, musicians who leave Africa and turn to the West; she has chosen to remain there in Uganda to sing the stories of life there, to impart something of what she sees within herself to the world around her.

In the short time I spent with her, I was simply impressed with a woman determined to touch her world of Uganda. That quiet inner strength that is so much Sarah Ndagire leaves an impact on you, long after you have met her. Her music does the same, you may not understand the languages that she sings in, but you can catch the spirit of what she is saying simply by listening to the song.

You never know who you will meet in life; I am glad I met the person called Sarah Ndagire, a woman who is impacting Africa and Uganda particular with her meaningful music…jon

Sarah Ndagire: A Ugandan Musician with heart. In a sea of sameness, Sarah Ndagire stands out. In Uganda musicians often copy one another's style. Sarah has a style that is uniquely her own. I like to call her the Tracy Chapman of Uganda, she certainly has a message in her songs. - www.kabiza.com


By Peter Allen Kigonya
more from author >>
First published: August 8, 2008

"To every city I will go... Every village, I will reach. They must hear the rhythms my people have sung to, are singing and will sing too. I am a train. My peoples' train. Full of songs, my people sing. Full of rhythm, my people play."

I'm Nigerian buh I love dis song!

I like Ndagire's music, she real.

Wow Sarah you are just being my star!!! This is such a wonderful song. Bravo� You are the Ugandan "India Arie."

Another one! Original, nice, good African romance! Just beautiful! Big up for the Guy who directs yr videos. Good work keep it up Gal!

Sweet, very clean nudity free, big shouts to the producer!!

Right! This gal has something.Go Gal! I just love all the instruments used,makes the music so full of soul and rich.Sarah u are really teaching many guys here that, real music involves real instruments not just keybords. Kale Twongele! Big up big time!

Sarah You got a lot of soul in your voice!! Yesssss! I love your style of singing. True its Unique! keep it up girl. Plus the live instruments- what a change from all the digital music going on around? I loved it!

I too Am A new fan, Love her music as seen on MySpace" but I can't play the songs, on YouTube???? I can see the video but can't hear A thing?????? Helpppppppppppp!

I LOVE THS VIDEO SARAH!!! Thank you for portraying beautiful women (as yourself) with confidence, love and distinction. As one woman to another - thank you!

Very nice! I'm a fan of Sarah Ndagire- good to finally see a video. Love the soft confidence and clarity of her voice.

I love this video. Can somebody help me out with this video. Coz I seem not to get tired of it, I want to watch more and more.

These are some of the comments she gets from around the world about her videos with never a bad comment.

It is a known fact that Uganda is producing a great number of artists when it comes to music. There are Ugandan music videos that are coming out week after week. It is the sign of the times as it is becoming easier and easier to do this. The one thing that Uganda may not be producing as fast is "true musicians". True musicians are ones that can deliver note after note, with clear vocals that are not so corrupted by technology. Technology should not be there to alter, but rather maybe enhance a musician's performance and for the musicians that are surviving on technology alone it is time we introduced them to Sarah Ndagire.

It has almost been two years since our last interview with Sarah Ndagire and a lot has changed in her music. When she came to us in 2006, it was during the initial success of hits such as "Peter" and for a while we tried to constantly put her in that Afrigo Band basket.

However, the more we learn about Sarah, the more music she puts out, we are starting to find out that she is something quite different. The vocals are equally strong... equally clear... equally entertaining. The one thing that remains constant is the quality of music she is producing. She perhaps has the upper hand in range. It is not just the switch between different languages but also the switch between instruments used in her music. There is such a broad variety of style that with each hit and each video, one is left to wonder where Sarah will be taking us next.
Peter: Good to have you back Sarah. Our last interview makes you no stranger to UGPulse.
Sarah: Thank you so much Peter. Indeed I am no stranger to UGPulse because I was interviewed by Jane sometime back and I am glad to be back.

Please tell the readers what you have been up to since that time, when you were about to release your 2006 album.
Oh! A lot has indeed happened since then. I released that 10 track album entitled Katitira in 2006, which of course was my first album as a solo artist. It was very well received at a release concert I put up at the National Theatre and is still on demand to date. Of course I shot 3 music videos from that album namely Katitira, Peter and Olikoma Eyo. These too received a very positive response world wide as seen on YouTube. The following year, September 2007, I released my second album entitled Train with 11 tracks. To date, I have been able to make four music videos from this album. This as well was very well received. I have been gigging a lot. I have also been very much involved in working for, and with, older persons, widows and orphans with Gaita Kukibi widows and elderly network. I am also still working with Dembe fm as a presenter.

Now... You have released this well produced, entertaining (intellectually and musically) DVD, My Journey So Far, which I had the pleasure of watching. It is a documentary explaining your journey in the music industry and your journey through life. It is filled with family moments, live performances and it also has your music videos- with a little background to the videos.
I released this 1 hour 15 minutes DVD about 3 months ago entitled 'My Journey So Far'. I have always treasured the people I have met along my music journey so far, the ones that have made me what I am directly or indirectly. I could never pay them enough for their support. That is why I decided to take my fans behind the scenes, just a bit, to show them some of these special people. So, in this DVD, I talk about them and actually one gets to see their faces.

When you watch this DVD, you get to actually get to know me better and sort of imagine where I am going. It includes things like, the schools I have attended, the bands I have worked with, some of my live performance moments, a bit about my family, etc. Then on this DVD, you get to see all my music videos so far which are seven in number. You do not only see them but you get to know about their making, who was involved, how and why the story was developed, location, really like a behind the scenes info.
A very interesting DVD... I was glued. One of these videos, Olikomeyo, has always been my favourite video of yours but I was shocked with the extra background on this video. I had to hit the pause button as I was touched with what you had to say about the video...
This song Olikomeyo is really about broken promises and love betrayal. You see, it is easy for people to be faithful and happy with each other when they are younger and still struggling financially. When more money comes into the family, many things change, especially their status. As the saying goes, 'money makes man blind.' This is when one feels that their partner is of a low standard, i.e. 'amuswaza.' Many times, they look for 'better' suitors which doesn't necessarily mean the former is really worse off. This leaves very many people hurt especially the children and wife or husband. By the time they open their eyes, it is often too late. There is no place for them in their former homes. That is what this song is about.

The video of this song is a very special one for me... special in so many different ways. First of all, it features two very special little kids, Sandra and William who are both HIV positive. Their mother died about three years ago leaving them under the care of her sister, Jacinta, a dancer with Afrigo band. She has had to treat them, feed them, pay their school dues, accommodation, dress them, etc. with very little help from her sisters and friends. Their father is still alive but he is not bothered at all about their wellbeing. By the time their mother died, William was very sick and we all thought he wouldn't live through that year. Jacinta would often call me at night whenever William would be taken in ill and we would pray. We sometimes had to borrow money to pay the bills. Actually, Jacinta always had a standing bill at their nearby clinic in Naguru. Thank God, he is still alive and has grown. William is now seven years old and in Primary one while Sandra is eleven years old and in primary five. There are many stories to tell about these kids and Jacinta that I can't tell here now but today, they are better and are receiving treatment from Mild May clinic. William is on ARV's but Sandra has not started.

Am so happy that I was able to put a smile on the faces of the kids involved despite what they are going through. Everywhere he goes, William still brags about having acted in a movie and that he is a movie star, which I think and feel has lifted his esteem and keeps him going somehow.

When I sit down now and look at this video or listen to the song, I imagine and see many HIV women in the situation of the song. The challenge is bigger.

It seems like your brilliant videos, often simple yet very well executed and dramatic, are the work of mainly two video producers. Olikomeyo is the work of UK based Kaz Kasozi. Tell us a little about this character Kaz for those of us who see a lot of his work but know nothing about him. Who is he and how did the two of you link up?
Wow... Kaz Kasozi, one of the very few focused artists with a very big heart that I have had the chance of meeting and working with in my musical journey so far. I met him through a friend of mine called Ssimbwa Robert at a studio Kaz had set up in Muyenga. We talked and I asked him to help mix down my Katitira song which he accepted to. He liked my demos. He told me about how he had a vision of changing Ugandan music through things like doing quality music and video recordings. We exchanged contacts and kept in touch. He ended up working on almost the whole album and replaying some tracks. He also designed the album cover.

When he later came to Uganda again, He had his video equipment and he shot the video for Olikomeyo. The next question I am sure will be about how much I paid him. I never paid him any professional fees as I did not have the money. Last year when he came back here, we went on to record part of my latest album "Train". Through UGArts, he actually sponsored the other recording sessions of the album in the United Kingdom. He designed the album cover as well and has been helping a lot in promotion of this music. As in he would give me different distribution addresses, online stored, he put up the music videos on YouTube, etc. I will always be glad I met him in my
How about Warren Segawa...
Warren Cranmer Segawa, is another great person. I have known him for over seven years now. I met him at Institute of Media and Graphics studies at Radio Uganda, when I was doing a course in video production. He is a very hard working, patient and talented man as well as a perfectionist. We did the stories for the videos together and he was always open to ideas. When inspired, we spent quite a number of nights in the editing suit at the National Theatre while editing which very few editors in Uganda today would do. He has supported me in so many ways. I guess he has been able to go that extra mile for me because he is a good friend of mine and is one of my greatest fans.

Like you said, "My Journey So Far", your DVD, not only features your older videos but we are introduced to "Train", your more recent work. My favorite video now is Kunsiko Yaffe. I simply cannot think of a better video of any Ugandan artist right now. How did you and Warren come up with this "Kingdom of Feminia"?

First of all, this song is in Luganda and the message behind is that a deadly animal "HIV" has attacked us. It is calling upon all the people to get out their weapons and fight it. Now, because the meaning is hidden, the story wasn't easy. Naturally, one would think about a forest, animals, hunting, etc. but we were looking for something different, rare, unique, and abstract. That is how we arrived at a kingdom for and by only women, that we called "the Kingdom of Feminia." The other meaning that I now see is that organizations of and by women can really be in harmony. (laughs) There is not so much argument as we see in the video. The Queen orders and they all go along.

Train, your latest album, often with softer soothing vocals, is a very different album from your last album where perhaps some of us labeled you as an Afrigo product... musically. We stuck you in that Afrigo corner. This is especially so with your previous hits such as Peter, Olikomeyo and Katitira. Please explain to UGPulse readers if you agree with this observation and tell us about your current choice of direction in your music.
It is really right when you say that people labeled me as an Afrigo product when I released my first album "Katitira." Thing is, I had just left Afrigo Band after performing with them for about three years and they obviously had an impact on me. That impact was because Afrigo Band plays good music... period! Actually the only songs on that album that made people to label me as an Afrigo product, in my view, are Peter, Twalinga Bato and Keevuge. By the way, Jude Mugerwa, the producer of the song Peter, was trained by the late Tony Sengo, which also explains the Afrgoish in it. Otherwise, Katitira, Akakisa, Olikomeyo, and Yo ono'mwana are different. Surprisingly, those are songs that I composed way back even before it occurred to me that I will ever join in Afrigo band. That is when I was with Light Rays Band. In fact I still have many unrecorded songs in this style that I hope to record later on. For me this shows the greatness in me as composer and musician if my music is likened to a great band or style like Afrigo's. I like Afrigo band and I always go dancing at Club Obligato almost every Friday or Saturday.

My latest album, "Train" is quite different from "Katitira." These are also songs that I composed or arranged long ago. You see I am this sort of artist who always wants to surprise my fans. I am sure that my next album will also be different from these two. Though I must say that my style of music will lean more on the style of "Train" than "Katitira." This is what I call world music with much influence from traditional Ugandan music and language.

The lead song, Train... tell us about Train. This song, as well as Melody and perhaps many songs on this album done in a variety of languages, make me think that this is what Norah Jones would sound like if she had grown up in Kampala instead of New York City. You did try to tell us about the meaning of Train when we had the pleasure of having you at the recent Nyaka Eire! Concert in January 2008. For those who were not there or for those who wanted to know more... What is the meaning of Train?
Train is the title track of my latest album. It is in a Bakisimba rhythm yet the singing is in both English and Luganda. As you may have realized, I employed both traditional and modern instruments, e.g. embutu, ensasi, engalabi, bass gutar, rhythm guitar, flute, etc. This song speaks for me a lot. It brings out my whole mission as an artist. First of all, I am very proud to be a Ugandan. I am proud of my Ugandan cultural heritage and I want to let the whole world to know about it. That is why I call my self a "train" and I sing that, "To every city I will go... Every village, I will reach. They must hear the rhythms my people have sung to, are singing and will sing too... I am a train, my peoples' train, full of songs, my people sing, full of rhythm, my people play."

I find this blend of modern music with African instruments and melodies very interesting. It is one of the reasons we chose you as a Nyaka Eire! Concert performer. You performed with Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa. Tell us about your relationship with Kinobe, Michael Ouma and the rest of Soul Beat Africa. First tell us about your experience at the Nyaka Eire! Concert. Then tell us about these musicians and the sort of music they promote.
I must first of all thank you for the opportunity you gave me to contribute to the wellbeing of children by performing at this year's Nyaka Eire fundraising event. It is a very good cause that will always have my support. It was a great experience to see the kids themselves speaking.

I enjoyed that performance as I was backed by a great band, Soul Beat Africa. They are the musicians I usually perform with. Jude Mugerwa, the keyboardist, happens to be my producer as well. In fact he played every instrument in the song Peter, the dance mix and recorded all my vocals of the Katitira album. I have known him for over 12 years now. He has been of great help to me because he understands me and my music very well. Michael Ouma, the guitarist played some guitars and traditional instruments on the Train album. In fact he arranged the song Okunde nyowe. He is an amazing musician person. Bakabulindi Samuel is the best percussionist I have worked with so far. He has a great sense of rhythm and jokes a lot making our rehearsals and performances memorable. In fact I always want him on the front line when I am performing. Ambrose Tugume, the drummer and Sewagudde Richard the percussionist are wonderful people too. Allan Okia, the bassist is a very talented musician. He is commonly referred to as "Producer Allan" and has produced so many artists' music like Sweet Kid. Kinobe Herbert is a very talented young man. I have known and worked with him for over 10 years now. Every instrument he decides to take, he becomes a master. He also played traditional instruments on my Train album. I feel that the future of Ugandan music is in these musicians' hands. I feel blessed working with these great musicians and can not wait to go on tour in US with them next year.

Also very notable at the concert and becoming more and more obvious in many of your videos and shows is your fashion. I can now watch you perform and know if she has dressed you or not. Please tell us about the designer responsible for the way you dress.
The designer responsible for my costumes is Atal Stella. A very wonderful young lady. She knows what is perfect for me on and even sometimes off stage. She also happens to be my great fan. Whenever she is exhibiting her clothes and products, it is my music that plays. What an honor! I met her so many years ago when I was still working with a Youth Alive club in Kamwokya. Then, she was an ordinary girl and I hadn't yet started performing on stage. When we met again last year at an art exhibition at Alliance Francaise, we were all grown and had taken professions that could work together. When she listened to my music, she was very impressed and when I visited her fashion studio in Kamwokya, I was amazed and since then, she has taken care of my performance wardrobe including my band. Actually she is a great painter, does interior designing, events decoration and so much more as long as it requires an artistic hand. I personally have painted pots, table cloths, cushions and wall hangings by her.

Well you look great and it is such a clever relationship you have. Her designs are almost as if they are part of the song. An example is the video for Melody...
I cannot imagine anything better than those two attires to wear in that video Melody. When Stella listened to the song and I told her the story for the video, she just took my measurement there and then and simply asked for the date and time of shooting. She was there 2 hour before we started shooting, with my attires and jewelry. She sat through it all and I could not believe. I even remember when we had to start shooting the video for Kunsiko at 6 am, she was there by 5 am, with the costumes, jewelry and body paints then she did the set. Unbelievable! I thank the lord for surrounding me with great people.

know that we can buy your new and older CD online. Where can we get this precious documentary though? I'm sure many readers will want to get the rest of this 1 hour 15 minutes video.
One can only get it by coming to the National Theatre studios during working hours and maybe by calling or emailing me at ugproduct@gmail.com.

"A singing trav-eller... hmnnn... Amazima... To every city I will go... Every village I will reach." Well we definitely can't want till you make it at our destinations. We look forward to that. Thank you for concluding our annual African Women's Week 2008.
Thank you so much Peter.

- www.ugpulse.com


Sunday, 21st February, 2010
By Mathias Mazinga

SINGER, Sarah Ndagire, strengthened her position of exciting musical gigs during her concert at Alliance Francaise in Nakasero on Friday (February 12).
Although the concert, ‘beyond the beat’ was attended by a sizeable audience, Ndagire managed to sustain the up-beat mood of her excited fans throughout the show.

She also projected great versatility as she performed various genres of music.
Accompanied by a live band, Ndagire swang from contemporary world music to Ugandan folk and modern music.
She maintained a close relationship with her fans by cracking jokes and inviting them to sing along.

She also explained some of the contexts and messages behind the respective songs she performed, mingling and dancing with them.

Ndagire’s songs like Olikama eyo, Village woman and Katiitiira — a folk song from western Uganda — attracted fans to the dance floor.

During her show, she also depicted herself as an inspirational artiste with a rare sense of rhythm and expression.

- The new vision


You will not often hear her music playing on your FM station, but Sarah Ndagire is one of those few artistes who will not get on stage, unless there are musical instruments to be strummed. The former Afrigo band singer proved this last week when she performed with Soul Beat Africa at the National Theatre.

The show began on time, first by showing Ndagire’s recent videos, before Soul Beat Africa, a globe-trotting World music band that is composed of Herbert Kinobe, Jude Mugerwa, Michael Ouma, producer Allan and others sampled some of their tunes. Whereas they looked quite unfamiliar to the audience, when each went played their favourite instrument fans could not hide the excitement.

By the time Sarah Ndagire came on stage, the audience was already worked up. She did songs off her first album Katitira, which is composed of songs like Akakisa, Katitira, Agalifa and her new album, Kunsiko, Village woman, Train, Engero and others. Her music is a fusion of traditional and African contemporary soul.

Though there were few people in the audience, she still possessed the powers of a good performer and every song that she sang seemed to carry the audience to another level as they cheered and sang along.

By the time the show ended there was no regret for the Shs20,000 gate fee because it was spent well. - Monitor newspaper


27 July 2008
Posted to the web 28 July 2008

By Edgar R. Batte

Music, it is said, mops from our souls the dust of everyday life - stress and all. More so if you're one of the enthusiasts who believe in variety as the spice of life. After all, the local shelves have it all; from reggae, dancehall, African pop, hip-hop, name it.

However, local airwaves have been selective here and the celebration of rich African contemporary and world music remains a preserve of a few fans, who will take the extra mile to look out for this music and the faces behind the music genre that celebrates culture and Africa in the most sincere expressions.
A few names not as familiar to your ears come to mind like Sarah Ndagire and Susan Kerunen who, by the way, have gone against the odds to continue pursuing the dream. These are the stars who have defied local borders to claim fame outside the motherland - Kerunen is one of Kora Awards' nominees, which seeks to identify and reward talent on the continent.

Sarah Ndagire is the other. Hers is not the bubble gum selection of songs our ears have almost grown accustomed to - the music that plays on the radio over and over again and wouldn't stand the test of time. She has dedicated time to write, arrange and belt off the tunes.

With two albums under her belt in her three-year career spell as a solo artiste, Ndagire blends modern and traditional instruments to create a unique sound. Yet she manages to remain as simple as possible, singing about subjects like folk tales, village lifestyles, the celebration of love, and tackling more serious subjects like HIV/Aids.

In Train, the title track to her maiden album, is one of her mid-tempo tracks. In this one she refers to herself as "her people's train full of rhythms" and this comes off with pronounced violin, drums and guitar. She takes it a notch lower in Melody, a thanksgiving song to the most high with a soulful touch which is given a reggae-like fading, with male back ups. Ndagire figuratively deals with the HIV/Aids scourge in Kunsiko Yaffe, likening it to the fierce predator that has "planted permanent sorrow" with lost friends and loved ones.

In Njamirumbi, she keeps it local in both instrumentation and language. You'll like the track. The voice is well-managed and the instrumentation given prominence with longer interlude. She traces her roots in Agalifa, a Kiganda do that tackles the mystery of death and its grave effect, with beautiful guitar and drums typical of West African sounds.

Agalifa could be a good tune to judge the artiste who communicates in Luganda and a few Swahili lines in the track. Village woman voices the role of the typical African woman in society as an equal bread earner. Ndagire uses slow tempo to let the diction sink in before continuing into Engero Zaffe (our stories), telling of the yester-year tales of story-telling around compound fires that formed the norm of culture in the fast-splitting social structure.

She takes on the traditional folklore in Katitira which is also her second album title track. The former singer with Afrigo Band, Light Rays Band, Percussion Discussion and The Big Five Band lead vocalist, samples her versatility with a zouk-like Yono Omwana in music that cuts across tribal lines, with presentations in Luganda, Acholi, Runyoro, Runyankole, Lusoga and English.

As a child, Ndagire had cut herself§ out as a good actor during her earlier school days until her performance of South Africa's P.J Powers opened her up to her other talent.

"When I started, it was like I had committed a crime. The question was where was I hiding all this time?" Ndagire recollects. That was during her S.6 vacation at Nsambya Youth Centre when she met the Sharing Band. While at the centre, she would teach friends how to sing and do harmonies but it had never occurred to her she could sing.

However, she had had the interest and from her recollection, she tells of the era where writing down songs in books was the in-thing. Back then, she was passionate about Philly Bongoley Lutaaya and Chaka Chaka's songs, yet she thought she couldn't sing. After her experience at Youth Sharing Centre, she was enrolled into the Sharing Band from where she joined Light Rays Band, where she also performed with The Big Five, Percussion Discussion and Afrigo Band before taking the lone career route.

As a solo artiste, this set her onto a dream in which she has used her music to traverse almost all tribes. "When I say "my roots", they are deeply rooted into Uganda but I also have roots in African music because you'll find that most of the African countries do share something either through the melody or the rhythm," the multi linguist says.

It tells in the music where she has tried to retain the authenticity of the true depiction of the cultures she represents in her music. On her music, she has worked with U.K-based Kaz Kasozi, who does much of her music arrangement as well as production alongside Little Pen's Jude Mugerwa, who also plays a lot of instruments.

Although Ndagire comes from quite a number of trades, including broadcasting, she remains rooted in her prominent career, music. For now, though, it seems her music has not penetrated the local airwaves, Ndagire is raking in the rewards for her sweat from cdbaby.com, which sells her CDs and downloads in CD stores as well as itunes.
"I can see this music is crossing borders... it is going places. This music is going to take me far and I am very sure some years from now people will be able to sit down before their TVs or radios and appreciate and give it its due respect," she concludes - allAfrica.com


Written by Diana Nabiruma
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 19:15

The first ever Bayimba International Music Festival may have gone largely unnoticed but to the organizers, it remarkably made the maiden statement........
Sarah Ndagire also wowed the crowd with her single, Plight of a Village Woman. This is a song that spoke to the soul and from the expressions of revelers, you could tell the tune had hit a cord deep within.
- weekly observer


Discography

Albums:
2006 - Katitira
2008 - Train
2012 - A taste of Uganda

2015 - Sim Sim

Music link:

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/SarahNdagire
http://sarahndagire.com/music.html
http://www.last.fm/music/Sarah+Ndagire

Photos

Bio


Born in Uganda (East Africa), Sarah Ndagire, currently based in the UK, is a singer-songwriter who travels  around the world sharing the culture of her homeland, 'the pearl of Africa.' Watching and listening the energetic Sarah Ndagire perform is like taking the most relaxing trip across Africa without a visa. She brings out the true soul of an African, the Joy, Sorrow, pain, determination, intelligence and perseverance. She has built an impressive repertoire made up of the most rare, unique and varied Ugandan rhythms and instruments that hitherto were played in isolation by different tribal musicians.

"Her music which combines Western influences with those of her homeland has won her a loyal audience abroad, Alice Muthengi," BBC network Africa. Following in the footsteps of internationally famous artists such as Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo and Mory KantĂŠ she continues collaborate with musicians from around the world, combining the Ugandan folk music styles with different musical styles of the world and the result has been an interesting contemporary world sound.

Numerous airplays, TV appearances, CD recordings and an impressive live career make her one of the most active and sought after female artist from Uganda today. She has performed and given workshops in different venues, festivals and schools such as Kasumama in Austria, Freudenstadt Africa festival, Forchheim Africa festival in Germany and London Africa festival at southbank London, Sullivan high school, Chicago Illinois, Chogm in Trinidad and Tobago.

On the other hand, Ndagire has for a long time had a heart for and supported Older persons and the orphans and vulnerable children they live with. (www.gaitauganda.org)

She is available as an acoustic and as an Afro-beat fusion band for smaller venues, festivals and large concerts.

For bookings and inquiries contact; Sarah@sarahndagire.com,
Sarah UK: +44 (0)7462548526

Band Members