is a very talented singer, songwriter and dancer from Uganda.
In her family, music and dance were encouraged and formed part
of their life since both her parents were music teachers. She
sang in choirs and performed all through her childhood. However,
when Rachel took this a step further and wanted to join a band
while still in secondary school, it was not thought to be acceptable
and the school authorities expelled her. Undeterred, she still
completed her secondary education and went on to a teacher training
college where, quite naturally, she became a qualified music
teacher in 1989.
For over 10 years Rachel taught music in the prominent Kaliro
Teacher's College and her contribution to the curriculum, festivals
and other music-based evnts was immeasurable.
At the same time, developing her own singing career was also
very important for Rachel, and she joined Afrigo, Uganda's best-known
band. Afrigo's songs are frequently heard on Ugandan radio pop
charts. The band benefitted from Rachel's knowledge of traditional
songs and dances from all over Uganda, so those years were a
time of mutual enrichment. She arranged a lot of Afrigo's music
as well as choreography. Every weekend she travelled from the
college to Kampala to perform with Afrigo.
In 2001 Rachel formed and launched her own successful 9-piece
group and they have recorded 3 albums:
Tyenda Wundi and Tonyiiga (2001): the
track 'Vooto' on Tonyiiga is especially popular.
Rachel is very well known for her appearances in Ugandan media
including radio and for her work with health campaigns. Some
of her songs carry
special health messages, for
© Paul Hogan
'Take Me As I Am' for the Sickle
Cell Association of Uganda. Her song ' I Am Not a Toy' emphasises
how important it is for girls to receive education.
Rachel has toured
internationally, being based in UK for several years. At London's
South Bank she led the 'Women of Kampala' group in London's
African Music Festival and uniquely collaborated with South
African trumpeter Claude Deppa.
2009 Rachel and her band performed at the Sauti za Busara festival
Rachel's internationally available solo album Songs
from the Source of the Nile
was released in 2006. Her compositions contain elements of languages
and traditional rhythms from all regions of Uganda, as well
as reggae and zouk, a talent for which she is highly respected.
For her latest album Eisadha, released in 2008, Rachel
worked with producer Kaz Kasozi.
Click here for Rachel's