Practice of music blends with business studies

By Ivan Tsebeni
“I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” This is a quote attributed in 1929 to German-born physicist Albert Einstein. Had he not been a scientist, he said he would have chosen a career in music. 

In 2022, Uganda Christian University (UCU) School of Business student Brian Muwanguzi’s life epitomizes the statements. While he pursues a Bachelors of Tourism and Hospitality Management, he has a passion for music. 

By the time he was age eight, Muwanguzi was already demonstrating musical talent. While a pupil at Ekubo Christian Primary School in Luweero, central Uganda, Muwanguzi exhibited exceptional skills in the school choir, and eventually won a scholarship for the rest of his primary education. 

From Ekubo, Muwanguzi joined Kololo Secondary School in Kampala for O’level, and Bishop Secondary School in Mukono, for A’level. Both schools are in central Uganda.

The first born of five children said he chose to make a mark on the music scene by building his capacity to play a harp-like musical instrument locally called adungu. The arched, nylon-stringed instrument is wooden, with a sound hole provision and normally with a leather covering of animal skin.

Brian Muwanguzi performs on stage. (Courtesy Photo)
Brian Muwanguzi performs on stage. (Courtesy Photo)

When he discovered his love for the adungu, Muwanguzi started spending more time learning how to play the instrument. He had one challenge, though. He did not own one to practice and perform with. However, a few years down the road, Muwanguzi acquired his own adungu. 

“It took me two years to learn how to play the music instrument,” says 24-year-old Muwanguzi. “When I was borrowing the instrument from friends, I would not have enough time with it. It was not until I got mine that I came to fully learn how to play it.”

Muwanguzi’s is a common face at UCU’s Nkoyoyo Hall, mostly during creative arts exhibitions. His music has slowly gained acceptance by the students, and he largely attributes this to the songs having “therapeutic potential.”

Having gone through more than two years of restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, he feels he has a community duty to provide therapeutic melodies, to help people recover from the post-Covid trauma, among other mental health issues, which will eventually inspire psychosocial transformation. He has so far recorded five songs in the studio, and looks forward to releasing an album “soon.”  

What others say:

Martin Kajubi – lecturer
Muwanguzi is a talented and focused student. His outgoing personality has earned him many friends. I’m sure his music will contribute to this community’s transformation. In times such as this, people need something that will help heal their souls of the wounds caused by the destruction of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Esther Asiimwe – classmate
When in the company of Muwanguzi, no one gets bored. His music is highly inspirational and full of hope. 

Mark Walusimbi – student
Music heals! His skill of playing the adungu instrument excites many of us. It is educational and yet kills stress. Whereas some youths find happiness in other avenues, Muwanguzi believes that the best joy is hidden in counseling and serving fellow learners through music.