Last Tuesday afternoon found Quick Talk in Kabalagala’s Tirupati Mazima mall-based Voice Up studio for an interview with RONALD MAGADA, alias MARO.
The Mubbi Bubbi singer, who will be turning 30 this May, told Quick Talk about his love for charity and his dream family. Quick Talk starts the interview with her most burning issue: the little cross that hangs off one of his long dreadlocks…
Maro, is that cross just an accessory or is it for religious purposes?
I think as an artiste, I need to have both a label and a trademark. So, Maro is the name and this cross is the trademark. When people see it, they confirm that it is Maro.
I was actually in my ghetto one day when I got this thought to attach a cross to my then shaggy hair as a way to stand out and it eventually became my trademark.
Do you have a stylist?
I have guys I go to for ideas, but I also have my own sense of style. I like to be casual most of the time, but if I am classic smart, blazers, shirts and a simple necktie do the trick.
Okay, tell me about the woman of your life.
[He breaks into a broad smile.] I am lucky to have her. She supports and encourages me. Since I met her, my career and life have only become better [aww].
I am an African man and I believe in getting good luck from the people we associate with, and my girlfriend [whose name he declines to mention] has brought me blessings. Talina bisiraani! [she has no bad luck!] We actually make seven years today.
Congratulations! Do you have any kids?
No. You see, kids are good but you have to look at your ability to look after that person until they can wear the same shoe size as you. [unexpected philosophy for an “African man”!] We thought about it and decided that we shall have kids after we have explored and are ready to be there to raise them ourselves. For now, we can’t because of our nature of work and lifestyle.
I personally have a very complicated relationship with my parents. I only know them by the peel, so to say. I didn’t have a chance to bite deep into my parents and know them personally. I lost my mum [the late Janet Babuleka] when I was three and I hardly know my dad [Magada Sr]. I don’t want my kids to face the same.
Great dad-to-be! Otherwise, how romantic are you on a scale of 1 to 10?
[Gives it a little thought:] I must say I am a 10. When I say 10, it is for the two of us [with his girlfriend] because romance involves two people and the two of us combined, it is surely ten over ten.
Wow! So, what is that job that you would like to do for just a day?
It would be a big job. All factors constant, I would like to be president. Being a president gives you the power to influence a lot of things even without being there physically. You have ministers, MPs, district officers, chiefs and chairmen to carry out your directives.
Ok, assuming you were president, what issues would you start with?
From my own trips around the country, I have realized that people need good roads and access to food. Irrigation is critical to address famine. There is need to boost the tourism sector.
For Jinja I, as president would ask my people not to change anything but just renovate the buildings to retain that old Indian look that the town is famous for instead of demolishing those historical buildings to put up these glass skyscrapers. They only have to make the roads and upgrade the drainage systems.
Great president, there. Please remind me of your education background.
Bupadhengo primary school, Light College Mukono for O-level, Buloba High school for A-level and Makerere University for a degree in Development Studies. I graduated in 2015.
That is exactly why I am into charity work. I believe in the course I did and I always try to incorporate it into my music career. I want to help bring about development through my career.
That is great, Maro…
Yeah, we are currently fundraising. I made Maro-branded T-shirts and caps that are each selling at Shs 50,000. We are raising funds to build latrines in Karamoja this August.
I was recently in Karamoja and it is sad to know that our brothers and sisters don’t have these facilities. Latrines are very expensive to construct in Karamoja because of its soft soils. I am hoping we can all help our fellow Ugandans.
Maro does charity work with Viva Con Agua, Inter-Aid and Plan International.