Her source of inspiration and why she’s unhappy with Eddie Yawe
Carol Nantongo is one of the newest and freshest musical talents to grace Uganda’s showbiz scene.
It’s been just three years since Nantongo stepped onto the music scene. But her brand has grown by leaps and bounds to the point that she now competes fairly comfortably with established names such as; Irene Namubiru and Stecia Mayanja, Irene Ntale to mention but a few in terms of feature fees at social and cultural functions.
This speaks volumes about her powerful talent but also about her potential as a musician. With just seven individual songs and two very successful collaborations, Nantongo has conquered the hearts and minds of many music lovers in Uganda.
Critics and fans attribute her sudden success to her impeccable talent – particularly her sweet voice, her magnetic body and sultry eyes. But it would be a mistake to ignore her management that secured her good writers, investment in quality videos and promotion.
The Real Carol Nantongo
Nantongo was born only 22 years ago, in a staunchly christian family of John Mugerwa and Rose Namagembe of Namugongo, Kira Sub-County near the famous Martyrs Shrine Church in Namugongo. Her relatively well-off parents afforded her good education by taking her to good schools right from Nursery (Sunset Nalya, Namugongo boys, until her senior six where she chose to take wise counsel of joining YMCA Comprehensive Institute where she did a course in Cosmetology.
It’s fair to say that Nantongo had music in her blood. She started singing right from her early days in primary school choirs, and in Church. In secondary, her talent out shined the rest and she was chosen as their choir’s lead vocalist. In 2014, Nantongo auditioned for the Coca Cola Rated Next talent search competition. She was booted out of the competition though midway due stage fright that prevented from beating her inferior competitors. But this did little to curtail her career.
Nantongo grew up in a Christian family, and trusted God as her giver. She still does and praises God for her talent and all the good stuff that has come her way. From a technical point of view, she grew up during the heydays of Irene Namubiru and Juliana Kanyomozi in the late 2000. She particularly liked Namubiru, perhaps for her deep powerful voice and wanted to sing like her.
Nantongo has so far been successful as a solo artists but more so and luckily perhaps in collaboration with other stars. Nantongo’s two collaborations, Ontuuka – which she did with Dr. Hilderman in 2016 was a hit. Her second colaboration Tukiggale, which she did with Eddie Yawe, has received very good reviews.
Among those she’s worked with, Nantongo is regarded as a calm, talented, outgoing, ready to learn and respectful person. As Dr. Hilderman commented; “These core values, will propel Nantongo to the top.”
But her success has not been without challenges. She revealed, perhaps for the first time that although her management sat and agreed to give all the rights to Yawe, she was not happy about it.
She told The Sunrise that: “He took all the rights after the song became a hit claiming that the song belonged to him not both of us,”
The Sunrise hasn’t been able to find Yawe in time to throw more light to this issue that continues to cause discomfort to his perfect match.
When we talked to Dr. Hilderman, the other artist who has had a collabo with Nantongo, about the same issue, he expressed the view that Nantongo still has some time to learn the dynamics of the industry.
“Nantongo should try to understand that it takes hard work for any credit,”
According to Hilderman, Nantongo should not blame Yawe because she appears to have done the same thing when Hildernman was still part of Golden productions.
Hilderman says: “I don’t condemn Eddy Yawe for what he did. By law, when I write a song, fund both the audio and video production I have the rights over it.” Hilderman tried to do the same with Ontuuka, but he was beaten to it by Nantongo’s management.
“I once tried uploading our collabo on youtube but her management had done it first. I did not claim any rights not because her management was right but because my personality doesn’t allow me. Also, by the time I did the (Ontuuka collabo) with Carol, we were from the same band.”
Despite the push and pull rigours that are characterised with secular musicians in Uganda, Nantongo is not blind to the fact that God, plus her family; especially her mother have played a huge part to her success.
On future plans, the Misumali singer revealed that she is planning to out two songs, one in praise of her mother and the second one in praise of God.
“My mother has been there for us. We are six but she has toiled with all of us. Her greatest wish is seeing us succeed. God’s blessings and a mother’s strength are the two things that keep us going in life,” she said.