By Norah Mutesi
The Cape Brothers are an all-male gospel a capella group. Their music is a lively statement of their vocal prowess, considering that they sing without the backing of any instruments.
The ‘brothers’ are Gibson Mweruneza, Nelson Nshekanabo, Nicholas Mutesasira and Isaac Kawuki aged between 20 and 25. Though they are not biological brothers, they became one by virtue of growing up together and going to the same school and church.
Their parents were great friends who lived in the same village, which brought them together.
They set out on their musical journey in 2010 when Mutesasira sold them the idea.
‘’In Sunday school we used to sing together and even at school, but when we went to university it appeared like we would have no chance of singing together again. So I thought we should come up with our own group and start singing a capella,’’ Mutesaisra says.
The brothers had always watched and loved the Gaither Vocal Band on Christian television and were inspired by them. They also enjoy the way the cathedral choirs in Uganda sing. They developed a passion for singing and have been at it to date.
In one of their craziest acts, The Cape Brothers, at one point, sneaked out of school just to go and attend gospel music concerts and to sing. Mutesasira says one time he escaped from school to go to Pastor David Kiganda’s church and the next day his class was given an exam while he was away.
“I pleaded with the teacher to give me a supplementary exam but he refused and that alone made me repeat the class,’’ Mutesasira says.
Commenting on this, Kawuki notes: “It is good to have passion for something, but if you have no control over it, you can mess up your own talent.” He adds that education should always be a priority.
The group has been able to record their music both on video and audio. Nshekanabo says they get invited to important functions in big hotels like the Serena, a testimony of the popularity of their music.
Out of their music earnings, they have also been able to pay for their own housing, as they no longer live with their parents. ‘’We rent a big house for the four of us, feed ourselves and even manage to dress well, all from our gospel songs,’’ Nshekanabo reveals.
The four men write their own songs, do their own vocal training and manage themselves. Many people have expressed interest in being their managers, but they have always disappointed the quartet.
Their main challenge is not being well known to many people, especially because of their unusual name ‘Cape Brothers’. In addition, some people do not appreciate their music. “Some people do not know that a capella is a genre of its own, just like reggae,’’ Mweruneza says.