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Patrick Kitego brings the spice to worship

Patrick Kitego

Patrick Kitego

PATRICK CYRUS KITEGO is more known for his saxophone skill, but the church minister actually also plays the flute, trumpet, horn, harp and more with a passion picked up from his grandfather who was also a musician.

He told Quick Talk about his love for worship and touching souls through instruments, just like King David of the Bible.

Quick Talk has heard people call you ‘apostle’; are you really a pastor?

An apostle is not a pastor. There are five offices: pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophet and apostle. An apostle means one that has been sent with a message from God. People call me that because I have a message.

Did you grow up in a Christian family?

All my life I’ve been a Christian young man. I gave my life to Christ when I was about ten years but still was born in an Anglican setting; so, I haven’t known life outside the church.

What was that childhood like?

I grew up in an average family. My father, who is now deceased, was an accountant for the ministry of Education and ministry of Health, and my mum was also an accountant in the Uganda Parliament and we are six children, born in Kireka [Kitego is also one part of a set of twins; he is Waiswa.]

Which schools did you go to?

I went to Bat Valley primary school and Buganda Road primary school. That’s where I finished my P7 from, then went to Kyambogo College School for six years. I then joined Mubs for Business Entrepreneurship.

How did you switch from business to music?

Actually music has always been my first choice since childhood. If you check me out, right from primary, we used to be very active in MDD [he says ‘we’, because his twin brother is also an accomplished musician.]

My grandfather was a musician as well; so, it’s within the family. What I had resorted to was studying business, but not music.

Which instruments did you play as a child?

I played a number of instruments; I played piano and then a trumpet; I added a saxophone, flute, and I play a harp and a clarinet.

Wow! Did you learn to play all of them at school?

I learnt some from school because we used to play local instruments such as the adungu, ndingidi and the drums, and when I got saved, we used to go to a church off Entebbe road called Abundant Life.

The senior pastor [Dr Handel Leslie, who passed away in 2020] was an American who had invested a lot in music; that’s when I transitioned from local instruments to Western instruments.

Through this journey, whom did you look up to?

There’s a gentleman who is quite old right now. He’s called Phil Driscoll, an American trumpeter, and I remember him coming to Uganda when he had a concert in Namboole. He really inspired me and, needless to say, another gentleman that really inspired me, especially in the beginning of my career was [gospel artiste] Isaiah Katumwa.

Isaiah Katumwa is a household name. Have you worked with him?

I’ve never worked with him, but I got a chance to minister somewhere when he was around. But I haven’t really worked with him.

Among your siblings, is there anyone who also plays instruments?

Yes. My twin brother Samuel Kitego is also a musician. He plays the guitar, drums, violin and some piano.

How come you don’t use traditional twin names?

We are actually identical twins; I am Waiswa and he is Tenywa, because we are from Busoga; but with time we picked up our father’s name, Kitego.

I see. Last year you held a concert. Was it your first?

That was was my third concert. The first concert I did was in 2012 at Omega Healing Centre. It was a free concert in a church setting and I did the second concert at Fido Dido in 2019 – quite a successful one – and my very recent was a Christmas, jazz concert at Thobani Centre last year.

What is always your target audience?

My target audience is the body of Christ, because my kind of music has roots in worship. I really advocate for having a spirit of a worshipper in everything a person does. I don’t do anything to please the world.

Should I assume you don’t perform at secular concerts, in case you’re invited?

I have my opinions, but, of course, as you grow up, you can’t just say whatever you think, but I concentrate more on what I have been taught.

The word secular simply means ‘without God’, but there’s something that I want to call ‘good secular’. For example, if I sing, happy birthday to you, does it have God? But I can’t say it is bad secular.

Let’s talk about the achievements you have got from playing instruments...

First, I thank God for the gifts he has given me for I have been able to touch many souls of young men and women to mentor them, coach and inspire them.

To me, that’s my number-one achievement; and recently, the Lord has given my wife and me a center, where we are going to be able to coach and mentor the next generation of worshippers. [Kitego’s wife, Dr Yvonne Kidza Mugerwa Kitego, chairs the Worship Arts Committee at All Saints Cathedral Kampala. They have a 13-year-old son who plays the keyboard.]

Surely there are challenges in this...?

For some of us who profess Christ, the moment someone calls to give you a job to play saxophone and realizes you don’t do secular songs, they will just hang up, which is a bit challenging, because at the end of the day, you need to pay bills and take care of your family.

Do you train other people?

About a year ago, a friend gave me a program on BTM TV. I called it ‘Jazz with Cyrus’. I got to realize that whenever I would go off the set, people would call me asking whether I train and I got to realize that there was a need there.

So, recently, the Lord gave us a tabernacle home where we invite people from all walks of life to come and learn all kinds of instruments, right from production to playing any instrument.

What do you do apart from playing instruments?

I am a Bible teacher. Many people don’t know that, but I do. The schedule is becoming a bit big. I’m not only performing and teaching instruments, but also I’m teaching about the Bible.


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