D:Who is Cleo?
C: I am an actress, singer, writer & radio presenter.
D: How did you break into the industry?
C: I always participated in school activities to do with music, dance & drama since primary school. I professionally started acting and dancing while in Namasagali College during the school productions at the National Theatre (N.T). While staging a play at the N.T in 1999, the Obsessions manager Ronnie Mulindwa approached me and my friend and asked if we could join the group. He asked us to consult our parents/guardians and get back to him. Convincing my guardians to let me join Obsessions was a hustle but finally after I had started campus at Makerere University in 2001, they said “yes”. That began my other journey in the entertainment industry. I started performing a lot more and training as much. It was what I loved to do and I put my energy into it but focused on my education too. My career as an entertainer grew from there..
D: What is your typical day like?
C: It’s busy sometimes and other times it isn’t, depending on how many appointments or duties I may have. But what is certain is that every weekday I have to do my radio show at Radio City 97fm from 7pm to 10pm. Then I can go home.
D: What’s your biggest challenge in the industry in Uganda?
C: Getting my music out there to the masses and also maintaining my privacy.
D: How’s your music career going?
C: It is slow but sure… that is how I do my stuff. I don’t just do something for the sake of doing it. And I do not like to follow the crowd or do something because everyone is doing it. I got signed to a Kenyan label in 2012 called Cypher Studios. They would not have taken me on if they did not think I got talent. We are working on my first album and so far I have three songs out: Ngamba, Party On My Mind and the most recently released single Lay You Down featuring Levysill, a Kenyan
dancehall artist. The songs and videos (except for Ngamba)are available for free download, viewing and listening pleasure on Sound Cloud, Reverbnation, Facebook and YouTube.
D: The other day you were listed among the struggling musicians in Uganda on an online tabloid,what’s your comment?
C: I was not aware of the article but that is their opinion. :) It will not stop me from going on with my recording. Strange thing is, the ones who write negatively have not bothered to listen to my music or view my videos or even try to speak to me about it and help promote it. They only criticize without any positive input. I do not strive to get performance slots but I can get gigs if I wanted. Just because I am not performing all over the place, it does not make me a struggling artist. My management and I have a way we are doing things and we are in no great rush. We want to bring out the best for my fan base. I get asked to perform at certain gigs and sometimes I do, but I have been busy Filming in Kenya too so seeing me on the Kampala music scene has been rare. All will happen in good time. :)
D: Whats your worst story from your work life?
C: Not getting paid for work done! This is why I am careful what project I involve myself in.There are people who are selfish enough to promise what they cannot keep and even if there is a contract, some of them breach it to the extent that you are forced to take legal action.
D: You are one of the actors in the new ‘Kona’ tv series on MNet. How did you get the role?
C: I auditioned for the role and a few days later was contacted and given the good news that I had nailed it and was officially going to be casted.
D: What is the biggest deal you scooped in the entertainment industry?
C: I cannot say which has been the biggest deal because with every opportunity I grow more as an actress/entertainer. Right now KONA is the biggest because it is the most recent.
D: You were one of the judges for the TPF 6 auditions? What’s your comment on Ugandan music talent?
C: We got a few really good voices that I am proud of and I hope Uganda does well in the TPF Academy house this year. Uganda has a lot of great potential but we are not aggressive enough and we approach opportunity as a joke and lack seriousness and determination. We listened to more than 1000 young people sing but only a handful of those had the voice, vision, humility, spirit & zeal.
D: Some time back you flaunted your prince charming on social media, when are the wedding bells?
C: Hahaha!! His name is Lwanda. He is amazing! Wedding bells will sound in God’s timing.We are happy together and have our families’ support. ;)
D: Any advice to those who look up to you?
C: No situation is ever permanent unless you want it to be. It might sound cliche but it is amazing how much you can accomplish if you BELIEVE in yourself and that you can do it!
UGO Spot on questions
D: Who would you like to get naughty with?
C: My man, Lwanda.
D: Beer or Whiskey?
D: What’s the most expensive gift you have received from a man?
C: Love is a priceless gift and Lwanda has given that to me.
D: What did you want to become when you were still a kid?
C: Everything that I am now, seriously!
D: What do you do with change/coins?
C: I give the change/coins to some of the street kids when I drive into the city or use it to tip someone on duty like a guard, caretaker or maid.
D: What animal would you have been if you were one?
C: A dolphin.
D: Favorite movie you watched last…
C: Temptation by Tyler Perry.
D: Who would you wish to have dinner with?
C: Tyler Perry
D: Where do you want to be in 10 years?
C: I hope to have become a renown actress in Africa & outside Africa. I hope to have produced more than three successful music albums. I hope to have started my own family.I also hope to have written one or two movie scripts or a novel. :)
D: What is the first thing you look for in a man?
C: Humility and respect for me and himself.
D: Are you dating someone?
D: Yes. His name is Lwanda.
D: What do you love most about Uganda?
C: The food and the weather
D: What do you hate most about Uganda?
C: The lack of seriousness by Government officials on issues that matter such as increasing teachers’ and doctors’ salaries. Instead you hear of mini skirts, make up or how people dress coming up as a topic at hand in government . I am disappointed!
D: What is your favorite color?
C: Army green.
D: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items(people) would you wish to have?
C: My man Lwanda, a charged mobile phone to try and communicate for help, and food.
D: Who is the biggest influence in your life?
C: God, My mother (RIP) and my guardians.
D: What’s your favorite place to eat?
C: St. Anthony Restaurant for local food, and Bancafe or Cafe Javas for sandwiches and junk.
D:Men or cars?
D: Who according to you is the best radio presenter in Uganda?
C: Me. ;)
D: Tell us something people don’t know about you.
C: I am left handed, I wear glasses and I am an orphan. Not many people know these three things about me.
D: Do you enjoy your celebrity status?
C: I do not think of myself as a celebrity but as someone that loves to do what I do which happens to put me in the spotlight.
D: What would you want people to write on your tombstone?
C: I would want my family to write something from their hearts, something that describes the sort of person I was to them when alive.
Music Channel: www.reverbnation.com/cleopatrakoheirwe