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Rachel Magoola

Rachel 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
Primary 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
: Inhaife, 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

photo: © Paul Hogan

example '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. In 2009 Rachel and her band performed at the Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar.
Rachel's internationally available solo album S
ongs 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 own website.