By Emmanuel Ssejjengo
Money is evil, but out of evil comes good. That is what has defined the life of Desire Luzinda since her nude pictures were leaked on social media in October 2014. This week, the Ethics Minister Fr. Simon Lokodo insisted that he (the Government) was still pursuing her case. Meanwhile, she is busy pursuing the money.
While Lokodo pursues the case, Desire Luzinda is probably the happiest Ugandan alive. Happiest because her earnings have more than tripled since October. Finally, Desire Luzinda has arrived as a musician, a person who earns from her art in music. In former times, she was mostly regarded as a businesswoman who sings when bored, or a sexy thing that sings to kill stress.
To-date, she is the busiest musician on the concert circuit, and her pay-per-show far supersedes that of many of her contemporaries like Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Juliana Kanyomozi and Myko Ouma (his friends believe he is up there).
For an artiste who had to rely on charity causes to draw attention to a show at Serena Hotel, this is a dream come true. In former times, only people like Juma Seiko and Al Hajji Nasser Ssebagala attended her concerts. Now Tom, Dick, and the Rich Gang all want her. Now, most promoters believe that you cannot have a successful show without Desire.
However way you go around it, you will come back to one explanation for this change of fortune- the nudes, and the purported sex tape. That was the turning point in Desire’s life. We tracked her life from the moment the nudes were released to today, and found out how much money she has made, and how she is changing the lives of people around her.
. No million, no Kitone
Gone are the days of No million, no Chameleone. Now it is No Million, no Kitone. Kitone is sometimes used in reference to her nudity. So if you are thinking of inviting Desire to perform at your kid’s birthday party, put at least sh1.5m in your pockets before you place that call. For promoters, she is a sure money-minting machine. Monalisa Bar owner, Tito Tong, is said to have paid her sh3m to perform there recently.
“Desire is the reason people like Abbey Mukiibi and Omulangira Ndausi are struggling. They are no longer contracted to voice adverts for concerts,” says a promoter who preferred anonymity. When her voice is heard calling people to a place, it is like the voice of an angel. They all flock to the place. Balaam Barugahara managed to get Resort Beach filled to capacity on Christmas Day because Desire voiced the radio advert.
However, her manager Sam Yiga refutes that glossy picture promoters are painting. “All those are lies. The Chameleones still demand sh5m for a show. We do not ask for such amounts so Desire cannot be the most earning artiste now,” he says.
What he does not refute is that December was a very busy month for Desire. “We had various shows in December. It was a good time,” he adds. However, he doesn’t say it in a “happy” tone. It is a tone of regret.
It turns out that most of the money made during the busy season went into paying debts. “For every performance deal we sealed, we used about 80% of the money to clear debts,” explains Yiga.