Lillian Mbabazi belts out hits at Uganda Jubilee celebrations

Friday October 12 2012

Lilian Mbabazi performing with her band The Sundowners at the Uganda Jubilee celebrations. Photo/Cyril Ndegeya

Lilian Mbabazi performing with her band The Sundowners at the Uganda Jubilee celebrations. Photo/Cyril Ndegeya Nation Media Group

By Edmund Kagire Rwanda Today

Ugandan girl-group, Blu 3 separated a couple of years ago in order for the members Jackie Chandiru, Lillian Mbabazi and Mya Baganda to try out solo careers.

It had been expected that Jackie Chandiru, the lead singer of the group, would be the only one to succeed in her solo career. Indeed, Jackie proved to be a force to reckon with, recording several hits and collaborations with the likes of Jose Chameleone, while Lillian and Mya took time off to focus on motherhood.

However, Lillian who is Rwandese by nationality and Ugandan by birth, did not take a complete break from music. Together with juggling motherhood and a radio career, she has also been in the studio recording songs.

The husky-voiced singer is looking to prove herself as a leading performer in the region.

It has been quite a slow journey for the 27-year-old, who has chosen to compose well produced studio music and also polish up her stage skills.

Lillian was in Kigali last week to perform at a few gigs with her band The Sundowners. She and the band performed at the Golden Jubilee celebrations held by Ugandans in Rwanda and at the K-Club, in Gaculiro.

The Jubilee celebrations marking Uganda’s 50 years of Independence were held at Kigali Serena Hotel. Lillian was caught off guard when the guest of honour at the Kigali Serena dinner celebrations turned out to be President Paul Kagame.


“If I forget some words or go off key at some point, you will pardon me because I am overwhelmed to be performing before President Kagame. It is the first time I have seen him face to face and I adore him so much,” said Lillian before starting off her performance.

Her performance and confidence belied her remarks. Lillian sang a series of hits from her solo album, from Blu 3 albums and popular songs by Radio & Weasle, Juliana Kanyomozi, Miriam Makeba and Papa Wemba.

The star performed her hits Vitamini, Danger, both RnB/Afrobeat love jams and Kawa, a party jam.

Lillian also sang Yegwe weka, which was a collaboration with Rwanda’s Kitoko Bibarwa.

Lillian must be praised for singing “her favourite artistes” songs her own way and thus proving her musical prowess. One moment she was performing Brenda Fassie’s Vulindela and the next a Whitney Houston ballad.

The Sundowners love music and this was evident in their performance.

Lillian is unlikely to quickly forget her performance at the Uganda Jubilee celebration as she got Rwanda’s head of state to sing along to her music.

President Kagame and his host Richard Kabonero, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Rwanda, were on their feet as Lillian and her band turned Kigali Banquet Hall into a dance floor with their music.