Uganda’s turbulence of the 1980s was felt within church walls too

December 22, 2018 was a reunion of sorts for Namirembe cathedral choir old boys.

I attended a special Christmas carols performance at the Ntinda residence of former ICT minister Nyombi Thembo. But apart from the merrymaking, much of the talk during this musical get-together touched on the good old Namirembe cathedral choir days.

This was so because the day’s choir, Ffe Mengo Group, is dominated by remnants of Namirembe cathedral choir such as Samuel Nkugwa, Fred Kigonya, Peter Kaddu and James Bazanye. Thembo, too, was an associate of the Namirembe choir through his days at Mackay church choir in Nateete.

It was a pleasant surprise to meet all these former choristers at the event. It was such a nostalgic feeling all around. For one, the group maintains many of Namirembe’s choral music traditions in style, accompaniment and the black-and-white dress code.

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