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Music Award Finalists

Artist Name: George Okudi
Track: Wipolo

George who is a musical pastor by profession is a young man aged 34 years born in 1968 by Normadic peasant farmers of north east Uganda. This particular group of people are a musical tribe named the Iteso.

Born in a home where music was a compulsory lesson, raised in both rural and urban environment, George is a natural musician who has commanded respect for the last 10 years in Uganda for his absolutely fabulous african touch. Though the music has a gospel message, this has not prevented the wide command of this touch to all kind of societies in east Africa.

In 1996 George moved to London (U.K) and based himself there, where he was able to do a music course on production. He went ahead to set up his own recording company and record label. His recent video is watched on all the major ugandan and east african channels. His song Wipolo has already won 2 awards and has been nominated for best single in Uganda by Pearl of Africa music awards (P.A.M).

Artist Name: Chameleone
Track: Mama mia

Talented, driven and devoted Jose Chameleone has a place amongst East Africa's finest musicians. Born Joseph Mayanja 25 years ago, Chameleone knew from his childhood that music was his forte. In 1994, a scout spotted him and linked him to the management of Colline Hotel which signed him up as a resident DJ. His most memorable performance was at the Peace Concert in Kigali in 1998 where he got to perform with South African diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka and PJ Powers. He released his first album in 1999 in Kenya.

To date, Chameleone released four albums: BAGEYA in 2000, MAMA MIA in 2001, NJO KARIBU in 2002 and THE GOLDEN VOICE in October 2002. He is a member of the Musician's Community, a coalition of musicians set out to use their fame to help poverty, create HIV/AIDS awareness campaign and keep  the suburbs clean. He also started up a Child Right Campaign in Uganda called "Mtoto Apewe" which means 'Give Children a chance to what they deserve'.

Artist Name: Bebe Cool
Track: Never Trust

Moses Ssali is 25 years of age. He started singing from his senior one Kitante Hill School, that was when he heard about reggae music and Jamaican artiste Buju Banton. He was also the leader of the dancing class in primary one. He met kenyan producers in 1997 at a big concert where Banton was performing and he was asked to perform as well.

From senior three up to six he did Guinness bar promotions, he moved in almost every bar. He was then called Baby Cool Banton because he used to be so quiet and shy. His first hit was "Fittina" released in 2000, then he release "Mambo Mingi" followed by "Okusunasuna" all of them done in Nairobi. "Burn them Down" was done in Kampala Uganda. So far, he has released two CDs of 12 tracks each.

Artist Name: E-Sir
Track: Saree

Isah Mmari Wangui was born in California estate, Nairobi Kenya and lived there for 12 years until the family moved to Pangani. He picked his musical endeavors  in primary school at the age of 8. He started writing overnight songs of heavy content about his experiences, exonerating the youthful day to day kenyan lifestyle. His songs are still slowly drumming up our spirits and rocking all popular night spots as patrons sing along the rhythmes he created.

E-Sir knew all he had to do was take over the entertainment industry, this was in1998, and for five years he worked relentlessly on his ambition writing songs while looking for a good producer. He joined a production  outfit called OGOPA DEEJAYS, they produced the audio tracks together wiht a video production outfit called orange foot. He had just completed the album and passed on three weeks before its launch, the launch was conducted in April with a mammoth crowd turn out. He died in a car accident after a concert. We shall surely miss his inspiration and personality as a friend and one day meet again.

May his soul rest in peace.

Artist Name: Eric Wainaina
Track: Ukweli

Eric was born on the 28th August 1973, a second and last born of his parents. Eric's musical talent initially became evident when at two years, he began knocking keys on the Bluthner grand piano their parents bought. His first performance was at 6 years when he played  a song at the Bacchus Club. He then started along with four friends  "Five Alive", an accapella music group that performed in churches, functions and even discotheques.

Eric hit the airwaves with his song "Kenya Only" a patriotic song that became the signature tune before the nine o'clock prime time news on one of Kenya's top TV Stations. That hit was completely overshadowed when "Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo Ni Nchi ya Watu Wadogo" meaning "The Country of Something Small is the Country of Small People" was released. The song "Ukweli" expresses the sentiment of the Church and the kenyans whom Fr. Kaiser (who died in mysterious circumtances in August 2000) served.

Artist Name: Tewodros Abera
Track: Ethiopia

Born on a warm summer day of 13 of September 1976 in Degahaburg, Eastern Ethiopia, Tewodross Abera did not have the chance to grow up as  any other Ethiopian child would have. He was taken hostage by Somalian soldiers at the age of one with his mother and small sister during the somalian invasion.

Raised in a prison cell up to the age of eleven, he tried to forget the hardships he faced by singing songs with his mother and cellmates.After eleven years of imprisonment he was able to return to Ethiopia.Upon completing his high school in Addis Ababa, he joined the Yared Music School to pursue his careerer.During his years at the  music school, from 1998-2001, he masterd the art of piano and clarinet.Now a professional musician, Tewodros is emerging as one of Ethiopia's new favorite with a bright future ahead of him to make a difference in the music industry.

Artist Name: Chamsia Sagaf
Track: Lol´┐Żya

Chamsia Sagaf, was born in Comoros, she started singing since1970 in women, culturel and student associations and she is commited to different charitable organizations.Today with three CDs (Tsi horo, Iles Comores and loleya), she is the first comoro female singer known in the world.

The main themes of her songs are hapiness and optimism, love, woman's emancipation and children's education. She remains attached to her culture. Her music is mixed of tradition, Zouk and afrozouk sung in a soft and swahili language.

Artist Name: Henrie Mutuku
Track: Amini

Henrie is still a new name in Africa's music scene, credits her musical progress to a loving and able God whom she says has kindly honoured her pursuit of being an acknowledged music artist. Born in April 1978, Henrie grew up in Nairobi, her family was privileged to be her first audience as she sang in family gatherings like birthday parties before graduating to singing in Sunday School class in a neighbourhood church and later in the church choir.

She won the KORA 2002 Best Female Artist (East Africa). She released her debut album "Simama" (Stand) which has gone to contribute hit songs like "Usichoke" (featuring Roughtone and R.K). "Manzi wa Maana" has especially captured the hearts of young ladies and become an anthem of chasitty. You most certainly don't have to be a Christian to enjoy and appreciate her deep soulful sounds and the healing lyrics that seem to define her music.

Artist Name: Zuni Migoze
Track: Yeisa-To

Zuni is a self-taught vocalist, guitarist, percussionist who graduated from Njoro Girls High School in Nairobi in 1981, then attended Premier Business College in Nairobi from 1982 to 1983. She was a recipient of a Macknight Foundation grant program for emerging young artists in 1995. She was the lead vocalist and leader of "Zuni & Heart of Africa", they performed widely in USA and were nominated Best World Beat Band of the year. She was also the lead female vocalist of "Out of Africa" and "Zuni Na Ndoto".

She has released four song demo tape containing the following original compositions: "Vakana", "Undiri", "Yeisa To", and "Africa", in Salmagundi Studios in Minnesota in 1994. Still in 1994, she released six song cassette tape.She also released three CDs with the following new original material: "Ribi", "Wanawake" and "Mchango" in July 2003.

Artist Name: Mercy Myra
Track: Nyisri Malong'o

Mercy Myra began her school life in Nairobi, but shortly after starting primary school, her parents were posted to Zambia and then Malawi, Italy and Sweden.At the age 13, Mercy returned to Nairobi, where she completed her secondary education.From an early age, she was encouraged to sing in the Church choir and during family gatherings. Mercy's first musical influence was gospel music and the inspiration and encouragement to perform came from her talented musical family.

In 1994, while studying in college, Mercy made her first professional appearances at some private nightclubs in the centre of Nairobi called Lukes and later at Galilileos. Initially Mercy did not think music was going to be her chosen career, but as her popularity grew and her confidence in her ability to sing increased, she decided to leave college and follow her dream to become a professional singer.

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