TNDQuestions: Artist Profesa Maros on “Cente Pe” hit; heartless parents and Covid
Host: Milton Emmy Akwam
Welcome to the program Profesa. Today you are our fourth guest and we are extremely happy.
PM: My pleasure, thanks for hosting me
Qn: Profesa Maros is your stage name – a name one may attribute to your success. Who chose it for you?
PM: In 2012, I was in the studio opposite Blue Valley Guest House, Olwol rd, recording a song called “ABONYO OTINGERE” and when I came out of the studio for some fresh air, other artists who were on the bench outside started to address me as “Professor”. When I asked them why, they said a certain man in his 50s was outside listening to my singing and asked, “Who is that boy singing like a professor?” So from that day, my friends started to call me Professor but I changed it to “Profesa”.
Qn: In 2017 when I interviewed you, you were also doing piggery and poultry, later you started a bar outside Lira town. How far have all these investments moved?
PM: I must say the bar business was at peak level before Covid came. Yes, I continued with piggery until March of 2019 when a friend of mine advised me to try goats’ rearing which I started immediately with 5 female ones. By March of 2020 the number had grown to 37 and I had sold a few. It’s a much safer venture compared to piggery.
Qn: Before you emerged and shook the airwaves with thousands of fans following you, there were musicians like BSG Labongo, Tempro Omona, Bosmic Otim, Compious Adoko, DJ Super (RIP), Mzee B (RIP) and others. During their time, the war in the north was at its peak and some of their songs healed the wounds, many say their songs lured Joseph Kony to cease hostilities against civilians and the regime. Today, the region is peaceful except for Lango sub region currently recording rampant murder cases. What should a musician like you do now to make peace?
PM: Throughout history, the human race has always been fighting. If we’re not fighting against ourselves, we’re fighting against famine, diseases and other forces of nature that threaten our very existence. So as the likes of DJ Super (RIP), Bosmic Otim, Mzee B (RIP), Dida Moses (RIP) and many more became voices calling for peace by their music. I feel that I should also use my music to fight against the challenges of our day.
These are things: environmental degradation, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, human rights abuses, diseases, inequalities among others.
Sadly in Lango, there have been increasing cases of husbands killing wives, wives killing husbands, parents killing their children and children killing their parents.This are dangerous! It is a moral decay which is worrying! Cultural and religious leaders have work to do; law enforcement officers must protect the threatened and bring the killers to book.
Qn: Similarly, some step mothers/fathers have become heartless; they are torturing step children and this is common in Lango. A proud father you are, and a person many admire, what message do you have for such heartless parents?
PM: There are two categories of people we should never mistreat in life: little children – this is because we can never tell what they will grow up to become. As a child growing up, nobody saw in me an entertainer, opinion leader, social worker in the future. The leaders and people making decisions for the world today were once children like the ones we are torturing today.
Another category is the elderly. Because they were once like me they will never grow young again, but I will grow old like them, and I will want to be treated well when I get old and with grey hairs.
Qn: On Covid and music, the pandemic has hit the industry, no shows for almost two years now! How are you surviving?
PM: I’m surviving first of all by hope that this won’t last forever. I have been living on my savings which should have been for investments but I have to survive first so that when we get back to concerts, I will be alive to perform
Qn: “Cente Pe” (No money) is your latest hit; you released it during the pandemic – during lockdown. Is it about the current problems?
PM: Of course like the title goes, Cente Pe was inspired by the current economic situation caused by the lockdown. I also said Obanga pe wany (God is not greedy) in the song, so let’s keep the hope alive.
Qn: You have won several musical awards – thanks to LEA and your fans. I guess this motivates you?
PM: I’m grateful to God and my fans for bearing me up. I have won a record number of Lango Entertainment Awards (LEA) and also became the first Lango artist to win the Prestigious HiPipo Music Award in Kampala. I know with God and my fans supporting me, more are yet to come
Qn: Covid and its restrictions notwithstanding, where do you see yourself in five years?
PM: In five years to come I shall have hoped to see myself achieve financial freedom, as well as become a full-time social worker.
Qn: The president addresses the country today after 42 days in lockdown. We anticipate he may not allow musical shows to resume – your industry is hit hard. Does this give you pain?
PM: The president has done well in acting quickly when the news of Covid was closer to our borders but now what is worrying me is how slow the vaccines have come in. It looks as though it’s going to take us another one year before half of the population is vaccinated. If it is true that the treatments our scientists have developed are working, why not invest more money on their work instead of spending billions on vaccines that aren’t available for us to use?
Thank you for your time and we wish you the best going forward.
PM: Thanks too for the opportunity.