Sheebah Karungi is one of Uganda’s biggest music stars, but in a frank interview with DJ Edu, she reveals just how unlikely it was that she would make it big.
She comes from a poor, one parent family, and left school at fourteen.
She defied expectations and, through sheer determination, became a dancer, taught herself English, and released her first record.
It still isn’t easy: her mother, who Sheebah sees as a role model, doesn’t support her career choices, and Sheebah regards relationships with men as too risky.
But Sheebah is not about to give up – in fact she says her journey to greatness has hardly begun!
“The first thing is believe in yourself. Everyone is gonna tell you, you can’t. Don’t give up. Chase it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes,” she told DJ Edu.
Sheebah says she had a tough time at Obsessions having dropped out of school and couldn’t speak English.
“They would tell me to just say my name and keep quiet. I had to struggle with low self-esteem. I taught myself English.”
“It was Cindy Sanyu from Blu*3 then who taught me how to sing. I begged her, please write for me a song, please take me to studio. At Obsessions, the girls had put it in me that I can’t do it. It was Cindy who told me I could do it.”
“I wanted to change whatever they said a woman can’t do. They tell you as an African woman, you can’t speak like this, you can’t dress like that. You can’t speak out if a man beats you or disrespects you.”
“My dream is to be a superstar. I love Beyonce. I want to be like her. I know it’s too big a dream but I have to go there.”
“I have trust issues. I don’t know how to date. It will take time for me to become a normal woman. The marriage or kids, I think that will come later.”