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Veteran Ugandan musician Wassanyi Sserukenya dies

By Denis Nsubuga

Added 30th December 2018 05:17 PM

Wassanyi was revered for his popular classical, secular and church music compositions that dominated mainly the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Veteran Ugandan musician Wassanyi Sserukenya dies

Wassanyi was revered for his popular classical, secular and church music compositions that dominated mainly the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

DEATH

Veteran musician, Eng. Wassanyi Sserukenya has died, aged 81. The celebrated composer, playwright and singer breathed his last on Saturday evening as he was rushed to the hospital.

He was announced dead at Rubaga Hospital at 4pm local time.

According to his family, Sserukenya, who has been receiving treatment at his home in Bunamwaya, Wakiso, died of kidney failure.

Wassanyi was revered for his popular classical, secular and church music compositions that dominated mainly the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Some of Sserukenya's popular compositions include, Kulabako Oli Wala and Ssebo Omumbejja, Akasolo Kamugye, recorded and performed by Eclas Kawalya, another popular artist of the era.

Sserukenya provided the much indeed melody in Ugandan drama, writing various songs for popular plays of the time, including Bryon Kawadwa's controversial production, Oluyimba Lwa Wankoko.

He wrote classics like Akwana Akira Ayomba, some for Nyoza Singers, one of the famous choirs then. He composed various church songs, including the popular Easter choral classic Simumanyi.

Sserukenya is also part of the history of the National Theatre where he performed his first composition as a student of the Kampala Technical School during the theatre's opening in 1957.

During the days of his shine, Sserukenya doubled as an engineer, acquiring a then popular tag as ‘the Singing Engineer.' He worked in various companies as an engineer, including Uganda Transport Company, Bruce Uganda Limited, Roko Construction Company, and Kampala City Council.

Born on May 6, 1937 in Bugoye, Kyaggwe to Temusewo Lugwama Ssabwe and Elunayida Nambi Namakula, Sserukenya is survived by six children and grandchildren who are all musicians.

After a requiem mass on Tuesday at Kamanya Martyrs Church of Uganda, Bunamwaya in Wakiso, Sserukenya will be laid to rest on January 2 at his ancestral home in Bugoye, Kyaggwe.


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