When one hears the word “celebrity”, especially a male celebrity, one would associate it with a person donning gold chains, flashy cars with lots of women around them
This week we spoke to a different kind of celebrity, matter of fact he doesn’t consider himself one.
In this interview, we were able to catch up with Holy Keane, one of Uganda’s top gospel singers, ahead of his debut concert on Sunday, 23rd August. He opened up about life, his childhood and musical journey. Read on.
So who is Holy Keane?
Holy Keane is a minister of God, a singer, actor and musician. My real name is Kenneth Mugisa born in Masaka, raised in Kasese – an only child to my two late parents although I have 3 other siblings.
I’m a graduate from Makerere University with bachelors of performing arts and film.
Tell us a bit more about your childhood.
(Smiles and looks intently at the interviewer) You know my childhood was quite interesting. I was a product of a tutor-turn-relationship. My father, who was at campus at the time, used to tutor my mother in mathematics.
My mother conceived me at a very tender age, in her primary seven (P7). Young as she was, abortion would have been an easier way out but she chose to persevere and gave life to me.
That’s something I do not take for granted. At 9 months was taken to Kasese to my grandmother so my mum could pursue her education, this is where all the fun starts.
As a young boy, I had a deep love for music and by my primary two, pupils in my school nicknamed me “DJ”.
My grandmother owned a bar to support the family financially and as a young boy going through different stages of growth, one can imagine the temptations that come with alcohol and bar environment.
What was your turning point in life?
I lost my dear mother in 1998 and two years later Dad too passed away (I was 15 years old), both succumbed to AIDS, the then prevailing scourge.
Just before I could take it all in, my dear grandmother also passed away in 2003. The pangs of being alone set in; there I was a child learning to take care of others.
To cut the long story short, that period was filled with rejection, grief and lots of suffering. I was even attempted suicide.
How did you get born again?
One day while walking in town, I stumbled upon a crusade at Nakivubo Blue organized by Bishop David Kiganda and out of curiosity and love for music (Sseku Martin was one of the singers), I joined the crowd.
What I witnessed that day was something new to me, I saw the lame walk, the blind regain their sight, many were getting delivered and restored.
That day I decided to accept this God that was doing wonders and not that life instantly became better but i found hope, peace and rest to push on.
Tell us about your musical journey and what makes you different
As I had mentioned earlier, music has always been a part of me however I broke through to the music scene about 5 years ago with my single “Messiah”
Yes, most people thought Jah Jehovah was my first hit but Messiah was my first mainstream song.
I will be hosting my fans this weekend to celebrate 5 years not just in the music industry but in active ministry as an artist.
My debut album Jah Jehovah will be launched at a concert dubbed the same on 23rd, August 2015.
Also featuring will be Uganda’s top gospel artists Levixone, Coopy Bly, Jackie Senyonjo, Katalina, Robinsan among others.
What makes you different as a performing gospel artist?
About what makes me different, I’d say every time I get onto stage I lose myself! Besides giving my fans my all, I let God take over.
My music is not about me, it’s about the One who turned my life around, for His Glory.
As an artist, I wouldn’t want to limit myself to Dance Hall, I’ve ventured into Electric Dance Music, a bit of Ragga, Afro Pop and Zouk.
Outside studio, you will find me around children, ordinary market vendors, listening or writing music.
It’s through interaction with such, that I derive inspiration and positive messages for some of the songs.
Nothing has changed; I’m still the Mugisa i was before the fame. I am a care taker too of 3 siblings and love to live a simple but meaningful life.
What should your fans expect at your concert?
They should look forward to an up-close and personal experience with me; you could call it Holy Keane in 3D.
But above all this journey has been made possible by God Himself so they should come with hearts ready to give thanks and honor Him together.
Any parting remarks?
Oh yes, Never let your past dictate your future, it holds more than what you may be going through.
Through pain and hardship, creativity is born, press on.
The Jah Jehovah Concert will take place at the Uganda Museum this Sunday 23rd,August 2015.
Fee is only 10,000/= for students, 20,000/= Adults and 50,000/= for VIP.