I don’t claim to know much about the early years of the now demised formerly celebrated stage actor, musician, music director, songwriter, playwright, radio personality as well as lawmaker, Paulo Kato Lubwama, whose stage moniker has been Bidugu, in reference to one of his earliest stage acts.
What I know is that Kato Lubwama started out as a small-time performing artist before going into music direction, stage acting, as well as proprietorship of one of the legendary local musical bands formerly known as Diamonds Ensemble. Under Diamonds Ensemble, Kato Lubwama would quickly prove to have an eagle’s eye for music gems. That would see him landing such future music and stage gems as Mariam Ndagire, Mesach Ssemakula and Geoffrey Sseruga, among many others.
But following the emergence of Emittoes Band on the music scene, which boasted of its talented pioneer director and proprietor, demised Umar Katumba and Ronald Mayinja to mention but a few, Diamonds Ensemble would start to suffer competition than never before. This was after the forgettable death of Umar Katumba in a motor accident at a spot along Masaka road, where legendary folklore music star, Herman Basudde Katende would years after also end up meeting his death.
Coupled with the mass exodus from Diamonds Ensemble to Eagles Production of star singers notably Mesach Ssemakula and Fred Sseruga, who were joined by Ronald Mayinja, they revolutionized band music than never before. All that would combine to conspire to deal a blow to Kato Lubwama’s Diamonds Ensemble. Years later, alas, financial issues would arrive dealing the final blow to what had been for many years, a nursery bed for the country’s future top musicians and performing artists.
But Kato Lubwama didn’t lose heart, choosing to join hands with the likes of the currently CBS Radio FM boss, Hajj Abbey Mukiibi Nkaaga, John Ssegawa, Mariam Ndagire and Charles Ssenkubuge, to continue on the film and theatre stage where they went on to credibly and wonderfully do exceptionally well. With the emergence of the FM Radio wind beginning with the tail end of the 1980’s, Kato Lubwama would team up with Ow`emmamba Peter Ssematimba, Abbey Mukiibi and Mulindwa Muwonge to help start Buganda’s CBS FM.
While here, the group would use their mastery of comedy and a good grasp of the current affairs to revolutionize radio deejaying and programming than never before. The CBS’s FM morning Kaliisoliiso sports, where Kato Lubwama would always crack hilarious and rib-cracking jokes, remains to date, arguably one of the country’s most popular and listened-into program. Years later, Kato Lubwama would go into politics using the slogan of revitalizing the country’s oldest DP party. A few people gave Kato Lubwama a chance to succeed in politics mistaking his new political project for his usual drama, comedy and stunts.
His rival-turned political victim, John Ken Lukyamuzi `The Man` would on hearing news about Kato Lubwama seeking to replace him as Lubaga South MP, laugh his head off while dismissing the man with rolling eyes, as a big joke. Yet, just as Lukyamuzi had years back also uprooted what had been a seemingly politically powerful DP elder, Damiano Lubega, Kato Lubwama would also find no trouble finally defeating as well as dumping Lukyamuzi at the dust bin of history where, The Man has never bounced from to date. Following five years of eating and enjoying himself on the perks that comes with being an MP, Kato Lubwama would lose his Parliamentary bid to the vendor of fake bums, Aloysius Gold Matovu.
That defeat pained Kato Lubwama. So much that he has died grumbling about the ungrateful people of Lubaga South, while accusing them of enjoying his money before dumping him at the dust bin where he had himself previously dumped Lukyamuzi The Man. All the same, Kato Lubwama has lived a full life, taking in mind his lowly background and hustle history, but where he had managed to pull himself from and launch himself into almost all walks of life. Fare thee well big fighter, brother Paulo Kato Lubwama
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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