Africa

Uganda's Mowzey Radio dies after 'pub brawl'

Mowzey Radio performing in a white suit Image copyright Will Boase
Image caption Mowzey Radio was one half of the duo Radio & Weasel

Tributes have been pouring in for one of East Africa's most popular musicians, Mowzey Radio, who has died aged 33 after a reported bar brawl.

Radio, real name Moses Ssekibogo, died just hours after Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni donated $8,300 (Β£5,800) towards his medical bills.

The Afrobeats star was being treated in hospital for head injuries he sustained in the alleged brawl 10 days ago.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the incident so far.

According to Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, the singer was allegedly beaten into a coma at a popular hang out spot in Entebbe town, south of the capital Kampala.

He had been in hospital ever since, although his management had stressed his condition was improving.

However, at 06:00 local time (03:00 GMT) on Thursday, the singer, who made up one half of duo Radio & Weasel, lost his fight for life.

Within hours of his death, the announcement had thousands of responses from people paying their respects to the musician, while photos show a large group of mourners gathering outside the Kampala hospital where he died.

President Museveni was among those to pay tribute to the singer, who was among the artists who contributed to a song in support of the politician during the 2016 elections.

Radio's mother Jane Kasubo said her son had been "everything" to her, and his death had left her "with nothing".

"He always gave me even the little he had. Mowzey Radio always took care of his sisters," she told reporters who gathered after his death, according to New Vision newspaper.

"However much others knew him as a chaotic man, I knew him as a simple, humble and talented son.

"My son paid school fees for one of his sisters until she graduated recently. He had very many friends. I am left with nothing."


A rags to riches tale

by Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC News, Uganda

Tambula Nange or "Walk with Me" by Mowzey Radio is a song about searching for redemption. Fitting perhaps for a young man looking for solace in a tumultuous life.

Together with rapper Douglas Mayanja they formed the unique duo - Radio and Weasel.

It was a rags to riches story, with both men coming from poor families and making it big - but their partying lifestyle and reports of drug abuse made the headlines too.

The richness of Radio's voice and the depth of his lyrics moved many Ugandans. His songs have been constantly played both on the airwaves and in Uganda's vibrant nightclubs throughout the decade since he burst onto the music scene.

There's a great sense of loss today for his talent at this particularly young age.


Radio first steps into the spotlight came as a backing singer for Joseph Mayanja - better known to his fans as Jose Chameleone.

But in 2008, Radio split with Chameleone, leaving to form the Goodlyfe Crew with Douglas Mayanja, the younger brother of the famed singer, before creating their own duo.

Radio's funeral is due to take place on Saturday.

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