Irene Ntale is in control. She has everything going for her. She has the hit songs, the voice, the sassy videos, the deals (face of Oriflame, Red Card Campaign etc…), new friends and booze However, Irene Ntale is not leaving her family behind her. She is diving with it straight into the world of showbiz, money, booze, the night life and men.
We can reveal that Irene Ntale has found a new man in her life, the celebrated drummer Isaac Zimbe. And because she likes the family to go the same way, she has put her younger sister Sandra Ntale into the same line of fire. She has not stopped with Sandra. She has also dragged her mother, Robinah Kamya along. Like daughter, the mother is also now dating after several years. The family that was known throughout Ntinda to be the ideal of Born-again will now be found getting jiggy all over Kampala. The question is not about who will tame the Ntale dames. The question is: how far will Irene go with the rest of the Ntales? She has come a long way with them.
Irene Ntale looks for a father figure
Irene Ntale, who was born on January 30, 1989 in Ntinda, has 12 siblings. However, she still does not have a clear image of her father. George William Ntale, her father, passed on when she was one year old.
For much of her life, Ntale was a child of a single mother. Through school – Kitante Primary School, Kitante Hill School, Makerere High School, she only talked about “mummy this, mummy that”. She later joined Kyambogo University, where she obtained a degree in Procurement and Logistics.
However, during her Senior Four vacation, she started telling her friends about God the Father. It was at that time that she joined Victory City Church in Ntinda, a short way from her home. God the Father required her to be humble and reserved and that was the Irene Ntale that the world knew then. “She was so reserved and we used to make fun of her at school. Fellow girls hated her attitude and avoided her,” an old boy of Kintate Hill School and her classmate, Davis Nsereko recalls. “No one knew the cause of her silent composure. She had only a handful of friends. The boys tried to date her in vain,” says Nsereko.
Irene Ntale opens up to the world
As soon as she joined Victory City Church, the whole city became hers to conquer. It was at Victory City Church that she started her music career- a career that made her discover the lewd world of sex, drugs, alcohol and whatever it is that adults do in the dark. “I guess you could say my music career started from there. When I joined the Victory City Church, the choir leader, Vivian Awil encouraged me to join her. She believed I had a very unique voice and I gladly took up her offer. Before I knew it, I was getting all major lead roles in the choir,” she said during an interview.
In the choir, as she sung to God, the boys listened attentively. You know those choir boys! They are attracted by voices. So they got close to the voice of Irene Ntale. Inevitably, they also got close to her body. At the period, she discovered what she had learned on the blackboard, that she had hormones like estrogen. She took on the boys, who whimpered under her voice. Together with three guys; Simon Tamale, Tsabo David, and Steven Crane, they created a band called The Uneven. It was called Uneven because it was uneven, speaking in gender terms. There were three boys groping around one girl.
The band performed at the church first, then it moved onto weddings, events and small parties. It then moved to playing in pubs, then the festivals came and before the band members realized they had gone fully commercial. As the demand for the band stepped up, time for choir practice became hard to find. It did not take long before she quit the choir, and even stopped going to Victory City Church.
The boys left with her, and Uneven Band became Kampala’s sound of rock. She was then (2012) in her final year at Kyambogo University. Sadly, her friend and colleague Steven Crane died, and with him went the band that had only found its feet, fingers and voice.
“We decided not to replace Steve. We thus took a long break and that was the final nail in the coffin,” Ntale explained about the demise of the band. By that time, Ntale, as the band’s vocalist had a following behind her and the future ahead was bright. She then joined the secular pop music industry. She started by backing up several artistes like Jamal, Aziz Azion, Grace Nakimera and Bobi Wine. She backed them, both on stage and in studio.
Then she went to perform at a gig at Emin Pasha Hotel.
It is there that she met Benon Mugumya, a music producer from Swangz Avenue. He saw her, heard her sing and invited her to Swangz. Then she started singing with another set of boys – Bebe Cool, Toniks, Ray Signature, Vapino and many others. With Swangz Avenue she has had hits like Gyobera, Love letter, Stay With Me, Nkubukinze, and Olindaba.
At the height of her success, she insisted that she was not hooked to any man. “I am single,” she told The Kampala Sun last year. When asked about her virginity, she could only laugh, ever so softly. It is such things that remind you about her coyness. “Every day I go back to my mother’s house and she always knows where I am.
I am too busy to care about men,” she added for emphasis. She was saying that at a time when she used to hang out with suspect people like Vince Musisi and Toniks. She used to tag along with Patrick Salvador Idringi’s friends to places like Ranchers in Kololo, Gatomatto in Bugolobi and Venom in Kabalagala.
She then denied the rumour that she was dating Laftaz boss Jonathan Kyeyo. She was living life in the fast lane, and looked elsewhere for comfort and experience. That way she dragged her mother along, and then “fell” on the bad boy of band music- Isaac Zimbe.