Sarah Zawedde on Zawee Band

Watching Sarah Zawedde and the Zawee Band perform dispels the myth that Ugandan musicians are not good at live performing. Speaking to Sarah, the lead singer and founder of the Zawee Band, we found out that she also has a passion for washing cars…

Who is Sarah Zawedde?

“Sarah is simple, social ambitious and a fighter. What you see is what you get- I do not pretend to be something that I am not.”

When was the Zawee Band born?

“We started performing in October 2010. We will celebrate our 2nd birthday in October this year. We intend to hold a concert in commemoration of that and I will launch some new songs that we as a band have been working on.”

Why the name Zawee?

“Zawee, short for Zawedde is a nickname that my close friends call me so it is a name that I could relate with.”

Where and when does the Zawee Band perform?

“Right now we perform every other Thursday at Boda Boda Restaurant from 7:30pm till the last customer leaves. We also perform at functions on invitation.”

What do you do in your free time?

“I practice for shows depending on the different schedules. I love to read and watch TV and I also love to cook and drink black tea.”

When did you get your big break?

“My career began in 2004 when I tried out for the Coca Cola Pop Stars Music Competition. I did not win the prize but that was when I realized my dream to become a musician. My big break came in 2007 when Silver Kyagulanyi wrote my first hit song, ‘Kambere Nawe’ [Let me be with you].”

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you have liked to do?

“I have a passion for washing cars so I would have opened up a car wash by now. I probably would be one of the car washers as well. In fact, I still intend to open up a car wash in the near future, so do not be surprised when I come forward and offer to wash your car.”

What three words would properly describe you?

“Social, Ambitious, Perfectionist.”

Where can we get your music?

“Most of my songs are available on YouTube. There is one that is a hit with my fans, ‘Ndimukazzi’- I am a Woman. It talks about womanhood and the challenges a person will go through life.”

What is your greatest weakness/strength?

“My greatest weakness is that when I am focused on something I will not change direction until I have achieved it and sometimes it means I waste time on a lost cause. Then my greatest strength is that I always reach for my goals and never give up no matter what.”

What does your music entail?

“As a band, we appreciate culture and try and intertwine the latest modern beats with our local music. Reason we fuse the Western and Ugandan culture is because now it is internationally acceptable and we have to move with the times.”

What are some of your achievements as a musician?

“In 2008, I was nominated at the Pearl of Africa Music Awards for best female artist, then in 2010 at the DIVA awards nominated for an award for best reggae artist. The most recent achievement is that I started up my own band.

How can you be reached if anyone wanted to book you for a performance?

I can be reached at Boda Boda after our weekly performance. They also have my contacts if anyone is interested.

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