- Talented. A songwriter, guitarist and fashion designer in Kampala, Shifah Musisi is unquestionably a full woman. Her Muslim background notwithstanding, she is fusing music and fashion to empower women and the children, writes Gabriel Buule.
Born in a staunch Muslim family, Musisi, the queen of soul music, has defied all odds to prove that religion and talent can successfully co-exist.
Though not a popular artiste in Uganda’s music and fashion industry, Musisi has been on the musical scene since 2012, and has released a couple of songs. Musisi believes women can use music to convey their unheard messages, express opinions on matters of national importance and remain morally upright.
Her lyrics, she says, are inspired by stories of women, children and friends. She writes those stories and composes music from them. Her music is also inspired by her life’s experiences, family and friends.
At a tender age, she was convinced that she would turn out to be an artiste. “I loved art, singing and my sense of style was always unique,” Musisi reminisces. On her elder sister’s wedding day, her gift to the sister was a song which she rehearsed many times.
Her father, fascinated by talent, offered to pay for studio recording, to make his daughter’s dream a reality. “My father always wanted us to stay in school but I wanted to tell him that I needed him to support my musical career. I just did not know how to,” Musisi adds.
Though Musisi says her parents gave her a green light to pursue a music career, they cautioned her against composing songs that bring disrepute to women. Her songs carry a message of love, empowerment and giving hope to those who are broken-hearted.
In one of her songs titled Olugendo, (the journey) she sings about the obstacles that many go through to reach their destination. Her other song Owoluganda, is a story of charity and love. She explained that most of the proceeds from her musical works are used to benefit children and women.
The star who has never held a music concert in Uganda, has her first album titled “Olugendo” featuring songs like Owoluganda, Muntumulamu, Olugendo, and Mukyalo among others, majority of which still enjoy airplay locally and internationally. Shifah Musisi is planning to hold her maiden concert in November this year.
The fashion star
After completing A-Level at Mulama Secondary School, Musisi went to Record Fashion.
She says that studying fashion was an interesting bit of her life since she was doing what she liked.
“My mother believed that I would be a great artiste. She bought me my first piano and supported my fashion journey,” she recalls.
Seven years ago, she started her fashion line called Marish fashion in Kampala.
She says that her first clients were her sisters and her fathers’ friends. As business grew, she relocated to Kikuubo and Bukoto in Kampala.
Musisi says that she has dressed several celebrities among many who include: Janzi Band, Naira Ali, Irene Namubiru, Deedan Muyira, among others. She looks forward to developing a successful career out of music and art.
Musisi says that many women voices are silenced. She considers music to be a great tool to speak out.
Her dream is to continue packaging her lyrics with messages of love, empowerment and inspiration.
The soul star who strives to see many Ugandan women shine musically on the international scene.
“My plan is to train, inspire and empower as many women as I can, musically”, she explains.
She says her incredible melodies have seen her go to countries she never expected to, adding that she made a successful musical tour to Europe, performing in Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and others.
Her music career and fashion business have opened doors for her to meet leading fashion personalities like Art Punch, Ras Kasozi, and Felix Lubega from whom she has learnt new ideas.
Her dream is to start a fashion and music school for girls, women and children.
Known by her stage name Shifah Musisi, the budding star was born on March 21, in Luweero District. She went to Kampala Nursery School and later joined GreenHill Academy for her primary.She studied her O-Level at Kibuli Secondary School and A-L evel at Mulama SS in 2012. She completed a fashion course at Record Fashion School.