We begin the month of February with the worst news: Mowzey Radio, one-half of the Radio and Weasel is dead. Radio provided the smooth, if coughy rhythm and blues vocals, like the traditional crooner, while Weasel provided the gruff voice for their music that was a blend of reggae, ragga, and dancehall.
He succumbed to the injuries incurred when a bouncer beat him in a party last week. Only yesterday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni contributed UShs 30,000,000 (about KSh 856,000) towards his medical bill. He had been in a coma, week-long before succumbing early today.
My cousin Elijah Ogachi usually says a foolish man’s fist hits the worst. And just like that Africa has lost one of the greatest and talented singers at the prime age of 33.
Born Moses Nakintije Ssekibogo, together with Chameleon’s brother Douglas Mayanja (Weasel) they burst into the scene in the mid-2000s with hit songs such as Nakudata, Bread and Butter, Zuena and more recently Magnetic.Together they were behind the Goodlyfe Crew. They also did a number of collaborations with several Ugandan musicians, such as Blue 3, the Obsessions, Chameleon.
They are known for their flashy lifestyle, their eclectic performances that usually filled up stadiums and were quite comfortable in their backyard, hardly traveling to perform anywhere. Their music represented them in East African nightclubs, public transport and nearly all the comments on YouTube receive tons of nods from their fans spread across the world.
Sadly, they rarely performed in Kenya. Their performance at the Nyayo Stadium during the national launch of the National Pambazuka Lottery in 2016 was underwhelming. Other than their collabo with Amani, Radio never quite performed for his Kenyan fans, and he will be missed. I was told, they were quite expensive, on average they demanded $20,000 (KSh 2 million) for showing up. I think they deserved that amount of money.
Here are their top 10 songs.
1. Bread and Butter
If you were in college in the latter half of the 2000s, you probably danced and made love to this song.
And the day they took the war to their arch-rival Bobi Wine, by singing a dedication to a woman with the same name as Bobi Wine’s wife. The duo could be controversial at times.
While Ugandans shy away from Swahili, Radio and Weasel always spiced their lyrics with Swahili, maybe to reach out to Kenyan, Tanzanian, Burundian and Rwandese fans.
As Club bangers go, Magnetic is one of the greatest songs of this decade. We all loved how women got down to it in clubs in East Africa. With the right base, the sing gave us a high such as no drug can.
5. Kiboko Changu-Featured by Amani
Amani was probably the only Kenyan who did a noticeable collabo with the supremely talented duo. Kenyan girls loved it.
6. Where you are-with Blue 3
As East African girl groups go, Blue 3 were probably the best as long as they lasted. Some of the best Radio and Weasel songs are their love songs, and Radio was a good crooner.
7. Don’t Cry-Featuring Wizkid
They tried to cross to West African with a few collabos notably with Wizkid.
One of those sing-alongs…And where Radio is at his most appealing.
9. Nyumbani featuring Vboyo Oweyo
Another classic Radio and Weasel Collabo
10. Kubera Woli-With Obsession
Perhaps, this writer’s favourite collabo and East African song. Maybe it is Jackie, but really, it is a great R&B song. Radio’s vocals were pleasant, and the girls nailed the chorus.
From Nairobi Cool, we pray and mourn with the family and the entire East African creative community.