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Enricho Kawooya: ‘JWB anhaaa’ influencer is a hustling mummy’s boy

Enricho Kawooya

Enricho Kawooya

He describes himself as an MC, dancer, vibe king, influencer and hype man. MC Enricho took social media by storm after a video of him campaigning for the now-embattled Makerere University Business School (MUBS) guild president aspirant, JUMA WASSWA BALUNYWA aka JWB, went viral.

Under the tagline, JWB anhaaa, Kawooya proved he has a knack for content creation. Quick Talk caught up with him recently at Mubs. Besides his electric video performances, Kawooya passes off as a shy speaker. He hardly maintained eye contact throughout the interview!

Who is MC Enricho?

My real name is Enricho Kawooya, a 23-year-old proud Muganda man. My parents are Enock Kabuye and Sandra Namubiru Kizito – both alive but separated.

Did you grow up with mum or dad after the separation?

I grew up with my mother. However, my aunties and uncles [from mum’s side] were always there to support us. Currently, I have three siblings from my mother’s side and many others from my dad’s side. I can’t tell how many they are [siblings from the dad’s side] because I am always with my mother. I am my dad’s secondborn.

So, you are a typical mum’s boy?

[With a hearty laughter] Oh, yes. She has done a good job of taking care of us. She took me to the best schools as a single parent and I don’t take that lightly.

Which schools?

I started my nursery education at Kampala Junior School. I joined Hormisdallen primary school Kyebando campus from P1 to P7. In 2011, I joined Mengo SS for senior One but then proceeded to Emma High school in Kisaasi where I completed O and A-levels in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

Why study for one year at the coveted Mengo SS?

I want to be honest with you; I was too stubborn to the extent that the school administration called my mother to complain about my stubbornness. Nevertheless, I concentrated and managed to finish my secondary education from another school.

At what point did you join Makerere University Business School (Mubs)?

I joined campus in 2021 but it was a tough journey. My mother had no money. To date, she owns a retail cosmetics shop in the Makerere Kikumi Kikumi area. So, she had to look for ways of getting my tuition.

Luckily, my dad came in to support me while on campus but along the way, he withdrew the support. He paid only for the first semester and my mother had to take care of other needs. Upon realizing that it was, indeed, tough on her, I joined the hustling world to make some top-ups here and there. In simple terms, we struggled with my mum throughout the first year.

Which course were you pursuing at Mubs?

A three-year Bachelor of International Business course.

Why did you withdraw from the course?

I painfully applied for a dead year while in my second year after failure to raise tuition.

When did you start campaigning for students?

I started in my first year with a friend and Mengo SS OB Frederick Kato. He had contested for Chief Fresher and won the race. Later, I campaigned for Bruno Kamoga in 2021/22 thinking that he would give me a ministerial post on his cabinet so that I raise my tuition [Enricho had also won the off-campus GRC post that year]. This did not happen. Kamoga won the guild race but completely forgot I ever existed in his life.

That was very unkind of him...

That’s life. I also created for Kamoga a nice campaign tune [He gives Quick Talk an a capella of the tune – nice one, though].

So, you decided to continue with the hustles...

Oh, yes. Remember, my dad wasn’t sending us money. I would go to town and check on friends selling clothes or phones and I become their broker online. I also entered crypto currency stuff but another friend Christopher Wasswa [outgoing Mubs guild president] asked me to come back and study.

I had saved some money to resume campus, but things got tight along the way. As we speak, my studies are still on hold, but I completed my first year.

You have two more years to finish.

Yeah... But I want to start something fresh. I feel like I have paused a lot, and the course details must have changed.

Do you finally have the resources to resume?

Luckily, some people have promised to sponsor me, but I am still looking for a university. I haven’t yet confirmed the sponsorship but I am happy about it.

Why not study at Mubs? You have heavily promoted the institution online.

I know Mubs is trending online, but I want an IT course which they don’t offer. If I’m into marketing and complement it with graphics and IT, I will be good to go.

What are you doing for a living currently?

I am an MC, influencer and a good marketer. For now, I am self-employed.

Does this work raise some good money for you?

Not really.... But I get something to eat and save. I want to study and finish.

Growing up, what did you want to be?

I wanted to be an entertainer and a popular person. I was very passionate about music, dancing, comedy, and anything related to the entertainment industry.

No wonder you’re partly living your dreams now!

I agree. While in high school, I used to freestyle for students, and joining campus was another opportunity for me to utilize my potential.

How did you meet the now “famous” Juma Wasswa Balunywa?

When I first met Juma, he was contesting for the position of chief fresher. I thought he was a rich student when he asked for my support as campaign manager [Juma is the son of former Mubs principal, Waswa Balunywa]. I coined for him a freestyle when he won and he gave me a gig for his talent search. I knew this was a humble and nice person.

And, you could not hesitate to extend more support this year?

Definitely. We had become friends and I agreed to campaign for him free of charge.

I see JWB anhaaa has been trending online for almost a month. Who conceived the idea?

I used to hear the famous Makerere University mantra of Weweeee. It was nice but not stylish. So, before Juma asked for my support, his team had created a tune out of musicians Sheebah Karungi and Fik Fameica’s collaboration song, Bwe Paba.

I added more verses and made the tune catchier to include Fik Gaza and Jose Chameleone’s Banana song and the Christian [praise song] of Ekiribeera mu Ggulu. For the famous intro of JWB ahaaaa and the hoarse voice, it was my work. In a nutshell, it was teamwork at play for my friend-turned-brother, Juma.

You and Juma are now celebrities of sorts...

We didn’t expect the tune to go viral. TVs started hosting us freely and it is fun. Initially, I struggled to explain that I was not the JWB, since Juma is a very calm and polite person, but tactical in his work. He may come from a wealthy family, but he’s a down-to-earth person, which shocks me each day.

I have got some well-paying gigs out of campaign tune and I welcome more opportunities.

Have you been approached by politicians to record similar tunes since 2026 is closing in for the general elections?

They are still lowkey, but I don’t want to be in the political space. It’s a risky and scary direction. I just want to be a hype man and I am treading carefully. I just fear politics. I want to remain a happy man.

What became of your calm friend Juma when he went viral?

He was also shocked. For instance, before the tune, his Twitter account had less than 50 followers, but it has grown to more than 5,000. On TikTok, he has 18.6k followers yet he follows just 12 people.

Some people may not know him by face, but his name rings in everyone’s ears including young children. A parent recently approached me to campaign for her child who is contesting as school timekeeper, at a fee!

As his campaign manager, what next after missing the nomination?

We are still fighting on. Let’s hope Juma won’t forget your good deeds in the future like Kamoga...

Whatever I am doing for Juma, it’s from the bottom of my heart. We are now brothers and I believe he won’t forget me. I am proud of him.

Have you got any challenges with this fame?

Yeah.... Some people have started penetrating my private life. When I go to bars to enjoy myself, people start taking videos. On social media, there’s a lot out there like questioning my political affiliation and sending videos of me to my mum.

Speaking of mum; what has been her reaction?

She’s an awesome mother and very proud of me for positively making a name. However, she’s always on my neck to resume studies. I promise to achieve this.

What keeps you moving?

I pray and have no room for negativity. My mother [says her name thrice for emphasis] is my biggest inspiration. She has been there for me through thick and thin.

Is there anything you regret?

I regret the day I made my mum cry because of my stubbornness in and out of school. I love her so much.

Your last words...

Youths, stay safe; and HIV/Aids is real. Please pray and stay positive!

nangonzi@observer.ug

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