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By Dennis Asiimwe

Sekukulu Besti is taken off the album Christmas In Mamaland. The album was released just in time for the 2021 Christmas celebrations. However, Sekukulu Besti dropped in 2020 and was probably included in this album just to make up the numbers. Either way, it is a delightful thing to see Pato and AyDee releasing music again.

Ngoni always had a happy, high octane sound that made their music seem deliriously delighted at itself, which was something of an endearing quality – you just had to enjoy their music. They didn’t give you much of a choice with their infectious enthusiasm.

The lyricism of the song follows a pattern that is true to Ngoni’s origins – simple, direct. It is a song that is built for the Ugandan market – heck, the language the song is performed in, and the song’s lyrical content both emphasise this, which makes sense

Sekukulu Besti fits the mold. This is one cheerful, enthusiastic and generous bit of music. It is structured as a long, winded, happy way of saying “We wish you a merry Christmas”, when you think about it. The difference here is it is significantly customised to the Ugandan market – you almost instantly spot the references that bring it home – an optimistic outlook, and anticipation for lots of food in the holiday.

The production style follows Afro-pop lines alongside a very subtle Zouk groove. AyDee, whom I know from King’s College Budo where we were both organists, likes to experiment, and he shows this trait while opening the song with a Rhodes piano/organ. But the song also features some intriguing and definitive guitar work, both on solo and rhythm, that gives it a nice live band feel, emphasised by that acoustic bass groove that AyDee (whom I assume handles the production) ensures is at the forefront of the song.

More importantly, the lyricism of the song follows a pattern that is true to Ngoni’s origins – simple, direct. It is a song that is built for the Ugandan market – heck, the language the song is performed in, and the song’s lyrical content both emphasise this, which also makes sense. The song is targeting Ngoni’s fan base, and seemingly encouraging them to let their hair down after a year that has just been absurdly bad.

All things considered, it seems appropriate. It’s good to have Ngoni back.

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