After Quick Talk has a lengthy e-walk down memory lane with Myco Chris – real name Michael Kyemwa – from their St Paul Namirembe cathedral choir days, the UK-based singer agrees to an interview with: “Thanks for being there, brother. You really brought light to my week. God bless!”
What’s up your family, children and wife?
Life has greatly changed, but for the better. It is one thing being alive, but being a husband and a father it is more satisfying. I have been married for 15 years and still counting, to the most beautiful lady – Gwendolynn Mukulu Chris – the daughter to the famous playwright and actor, Mr Alex Mukulu. [Huuu! Alex Mukulu as a father-in-law! But again, only the eccentric Alex Mukulu would look at his beautiful daughter and think, Gwendolynn!]
It is also a blessing getting married to someone you know from childhood.
That having been said, my children are all artistes in their own right, and with such unique abilities, probably much greater abilities than me or their mother had at that stage. Our daughter brings the roof down when she opens her mouth to sing. The most amazing thing of all is: neither my wife nor I have ever schooled them on anything. I am indeed so grateful.
You should be; so, how did you celebrate Mother’s day?
Mother’s day is always a sad one for me due to the fact that not long ago I lost my mum. Being the last born in the family, I was attached to her that her passing really took a part of me. Like every mother’s day after her death, I went through the day thinking about her. But of course we celebrated my wife and made sure we let her know of how important she is to us.
What would you do differently if your mother were still alive?
A lot. A lot. But hey, RIP to that angel. I suppose I will keep her dream alive and that’s me staying out of trouble for all my days.
What does it take to live life as a musician, father and husband?
Well, having been in music since I was a child [Myco Chris joined Namirembe cathedral choir as a young boy singing soprano], it has actually become so much a part of me. But of course with age comes a special wisdom. I have learnt to separate showbiz from my day-to-day life. If you don’t do that, it can get to your head and you forget to live and also let those around you have a miserable life. I do separate the two.
Who are your close friends?
I have been blessed with a great deal of friends but have a few I call close. And these are the ones that have known me since I was little Michael. I call them big brothers and almost all of us are family people now, but also living in different parts of the world. We catch up whenever time allows us to.
In my spare time, I love watching movies and touring.
What do you miss most about Uganda?
I miss Uganda everyday and almost everything about the country. I miss the food, the neighbourhood, the freedom, the culture, the weather, the organic food. The list goes on and on. But above all, the “ubuntu” – being able to talk to someone you have never met before but they seem like you’ve known them for years.
How do you rate the Ugandan music industry?
There is such a huge growth of the industry and yes, there is such unique talent coming through the system. We are moving forward.
What should we expect when you return home to perform at the ‘Give A Hand’ charity concert?
This is my first major concert in Uganda. As a matter of fact, this year I made 25 years in music and hey, it is 25 years of great experience. I can promise you to expect a concert you have never experienced before.
I am preparing to put Give A Hand at such a level of art and excellence that I have never operated at, but been dreaming of. A lot of surprises on the night. My desire is for Give A Hand concert to be a life-changing experience for all of us. [The charity concert is slated for August 2 at Kampala Serena hotel.]
What inspired you to do concert?
Growing up, there were many difficulties I faced due to the fact that I was raised by my mother alone. The greatest of these difficulties was the lack of school fees. I was always among the children whose names were called out and sent home after the first morning lesson due to school fees debts.
But one day an organisation approached the school and offered bursaries to children who performed well in school but had no means to meet the school fees demands. I was among the very blessed few to be chosen and I made a promise to myself that if I ever got in a position to make a difference in another child’s life, I would indeed act in that direction.
So, by God’s grace, this year Kainos Foundation, a charity I oversee, got registered and there was no better opportunity to launch it than at a concert. Hence the concert “Give A Hand”. Already we are catering for around 13 children whose parents died of HIV/Aids and are homeless. We are slowly counselling them and also providing basic needs.
Do you plan to ever return to UG for good?
Oh yes; east or west, home is best. I have been intensifying my visits to the homeland, all in preparation of a good resettlement at some point. Of course that is not in the nearest future, but one sweet day!
Lastly, what puts you off and what makes you happy?
I detest dishonest people. I detest people who have no integrity. For example someone tells me they are five minutes away but arrive an hour later. Such things really break my heart.
What makes me happy is knowing I am in right standing with God and my people, but also the sense of achieving my goals in a genuine way. I love being fair and just being a blessing to someone.