Jovan Luzinda is one of the few talents that emerged from The New Eagles talent search. Besides his looks that strike most ladies, his voice has become a popular ringtone and a source of joy for many Ugandans.
In an exclusive one-on-one with The Sunrise’s Fahad Kasibante, Luzinda reveals how his background shaped him into who is and how he changed misfortune into success.
Born in 1992 in Lugazi, Buikwe district to Eva to Nantongo and the Late Samuel Bugembe, who passed on last year. Luzinda was raised in a business-minded family. His father was a metal fabricator and his mother dealt in spare parts in Lugazi town.
“We could not participate in growing sugarcane because mother had come from a family of coffee growers and father was born in Lubaga so both met with less knowledge and interest on sugarcane growing. I however enjoyed stealing sugarcane from Meta,” he recalls
It is perhaps due to his behaviour that his parents decided not to pay for his education in 2013 something that forced him to drop out of school at Lugazi parents even though they had educated him in good schools such as Winston Standard located in Najjanankumbi Kampala.
As expected, the dropout decision was the beginning of much trouble and suffering.
“I left home after I dropped out to start a life on my own. I came to Mengo division but life then was really hard. I faced a lot of hardships and regretted why I left school. I started washing cars, slept on streets. Time came and I resorted to sleeping in latrines as it was the only place people could not chase me away from,” Luzinda narrates.
Battered by the harsh world, Luzinda decided to abandon a life of a destitute by looking for work. Luck was still on side when he was accepted to join road construction company Starling.
Luzinda narrates that the hard manual work in Sterling almost cost him a life and feared that was close to death.
While still with sterling, I nursed serious chest pain that forced me to abandon the job. I even wrote My will and asked my then girlfriend to take it my parents in case I would. Life was really hard and I had lost hope,”adds the Mboseera singer.
His girlfriend proved her love for him when she accepted to take an ill Luzinda back to his parents in Lugazi.
“I asked my girlfriend to do me one favour by taking me back home. She accepted . Fortunately, when I reached home, mother treated me and I got a healthy life back. She later advised me to get back to town and start selling clothes which I did.
From hawking second-hand clothes (Mutembeyi) job that took him across towns like Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and Lugazi, he got some financial relief that allowed him to polish himself and chase other opportunities.
“One day in 2015, mother asked if I had heard the news about Eagles production. She told me that Eagles Production had broken up and Geoffrey Lutaaya, was auditioning. She also told me I had the talent and advised to take a chance. Growing up, his talent had shone through by singing church hymns and Karaoke.
Despite his father’s opposition against him joining the music industry, Luzinda relied on the encouragement of his mother to venture into music.
Mimicking created collision with father. He said I was a thug, but mother pushed me to pursue my singing dream, something he has not regretted since.
‘She asked if I could get back to Lugazi, I didn’t have transport but found means and got my way back. She persuaded me to try music. I was really broke so she gave me UGX20,000 as transport to get back to Kampala and go for the auditions, he recalls.
At the auditions that were held in Nateete, Luzinda sang Aziz Azion’s Gwe Wange song that earned him notice and acceptance by the judges.
“I am lucky I met Geoffrey Lutaaya because I was so green when it came to music. He wrote my very first song Mutamiivu and also taught me how to sing,” says Luzinda.
His journey in the music industry has not been a walk through the park, though. For example he recalls he was chased by producer Paddy Man for being so green and lacked money to record.
“Paddy Man chased me from studio. But I am grateful to Mr. Lutaaya who gave me a hand that enabled him to record later. By performing on social gatherings like weddings and introduction ceremonies, Luzinda says.
After a brief stint with the New Eagles, Luzinda decided to go solo. This he says came because he realised he could fly alone.
Nonetheless he remains grateful to Lutaaya for nurturing him.
“First I am great full to Mr. Lutaaya and his wife Irene Namatovu. I have made a name and if all goes well, it will take me places and I will achieve much more.
Asked about the rumoured relationship with artist Grace Khan, Luzinda declined to comment and only offered advice to supporters to pray for him.