Mowzey Radio death: How violence and substance abuse killed a star

Mowzey Radio death: How violence and substance abuse killed a star
Eazzy Banking

Singer Moses Ssekibogo, best known as Mowzey Radio of the dynamic Radio and Weasel duo has this morning died from Case Clinic in Kampala.

Radio was 34.

Radio had been in coma for over a week after he was beaten into a pulp at a local bar in Entebbe.

Many artists have started arriving at the hospital in different styles, amid tight security. The mood became more sombre when Mowzey’s singing partner, Weasel arrived at the hospital.

Some fans were heard whispering “What is Weasle without Radio?”

Radio, famous for songs such as Heart Attack, Sweet Lady and Can’t Let You Go, was revered for his “heartwarming” and “lovely” voice by fans local and global alike.

Alongside Weasel, he made several collaborations with several musicians.

Radio was a victim of an attack at a bar in Entebbe barely two weeks ago. Eyewitness reports said that Radio who was in the company of his manager Chagga and a lady friend had downed a couple of bottles of whiskeys. He spilled his drink on the table of the bar owner, which sparked off the beating.

The altercation left him with serious head injuries that necessitated a brain surgery at Case Hospital in Kampala.

Police said they have arrested two waitresses and another man whose names were withheld.

Early this week, Mr George Egesa, the proprietor of De Bar and his friend Xavier Rukere were arrested and are still being detained at Entebbe main police station where a case file number SD REF 85/22/01/2018 was opened as investigations continue.

However, a one Troy Wamala, the key suspect in the case is said to be on the run.

“We are still looking for one person, a key suspect who is on the run. He is the one who lifted Mowzey Radio up before letting him down hard,” Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima said early in the week.

Radio at Case Hospital

Addressing journalists at the hospital on Thursday, Dr.Miriam Apiyo, the inpatient clinic director at Case Hospital said that on admission from Nsambya hospital, he was examined and found out that he was bleeding in the brain and put on life support ” The scan confirmed the bleed in the brain and a surgery was made to remove the clot,” Dr Apiyo said.

It is said that before the surgery, Radio’s brain had a lot of pressure that they worked tirelessly to reduce.

According to the medics, the singer responded well to the treatment prompting them to remove him from the life support machine but his condition deteriorated on Saturday.

“We put him back to the life support machine but his major problem was convulsions and he unfortunately passed on.”

Radio’s history; drug and fights

They might as well be playing Russian Roulette.

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a teenager chasing a higher high or a mega star like the late Mowzey Radio trying to soothe chronic pain. The pills and marijuana they may be reaching for are more deadly than ever, alteast by a look at how Ugandan musicians and socialites battled alcohol and drug addictions.

It is no longer a secret that substance abuse is rampant in the entertainment industry, especially among musicians. From time to time, stories surface of artistes struggling with either alcohol or drug abuse. While some of these celebrities continuously live in denial, preferring to keep their addictions under wraps, others have come out admitting to substance abuse and shared personal stories of how they are coping. But why is it that entertainers are vulnerable to drug addiction?

The criticism from members of the public, bad publicity from the media, urge to experiment or look cool are among the other reasons artistes are said to turn to drugs. Also, performers that use drugs believe that they cannot work without the drugs; it is like fuel to them, as Albert Louis Elwa, the director of Recovery Uganda, says: “I understand there are all sorts of pressures in this industry to keep up with the fame and staying relevant but it is possible to be successful without necessarily relying on the drugs. You only have to believe in your talent.”

The late Mowzey Radio and his partner previously battled police cases of alleged illegal possession of drugs in their Neverland Ranch home, allegations they often refute. That aside, Radio in many circles had for long been known as a heavy drinker, whose uncontrollable habit causes him to act erratically. He has been seen on live TV interviews seemingly intoxicated.

He was heavily criticized by fellow musicians and fans alike after attacking a committee of the Save Uganda Music during a meeting that was held during in October at Laftaz bar and Restaurant Centenary Park. Dembe FM Eddy Sendi who is among the committee member was trying to explain to musicians for a way forward. Radio attacked him and grabbed the microphone off him claiming Eddy Sendi is among the hypocrites in the Music Industry. He never pressed charges but instead claimed the act the singer did was childish before further saying Radio could no longer sing rather spent all day and night taking drugs.

A more dramatic incident had happened in June 2017, Radio’s friends and media asserted he acted “aggressive and wild” during a funeral for the late Rich Gang member, Ivan Semwanga.

Seemingly high on drugs and alcohol, Radio was accused of coercing the Disc Jockey (DJ) attached to Real Sound Ltd, to play his music during the funeral on May 28 at the deceased’s home in Muyenga. On refusing to heed to his demands, Mowzey Radio assured the DJ that he is a singer of high caliber and it would be sin if his music was not played, he then snatched the laptop and hard disk from the DJs box and tossed them in the swimming pool.

In 2016, Radio had publically announced that he was finally to quit smoking weed and alcohol following numerous cries from his close friends and family members. The talented vocalist has been a long term smoker and alcoholic dating back to his hey days while part of Dr. Jose Chameleone’s Leone Isr. land crew. This had become a reconciling shot by the singer after his partner and housemate Weasel asked to part ways bcause he was getting fed up of Radio’s behavior of unnecessarily causing bouts with anyone under the influence of weed” a source narrated.

A highly publicized incident in 2015 had Radio nearly end up in prison after being found in possession of illicit drugs while his compound had plants of marijuana grown.

Fellow musician Bebe Cool went ahead to advise Mowzey Radio to quit use of drugs especially alcohol that was consuming his career life.

He said: “I am not someone who keeps quiet when I see something is wrong. I bumped into Moze (Radio) on Friday in Guvnor and I told him to look at how healthy I look. It is because I no longer drink and he needs to follow suit or else he is finished.”

Radio had just been dumped by singer Lillian Mbabazi, his on-and-off fiancé and mother of two children over substance abuse and unkempt though he showed intent to change. But it is said that he became more dramatic and started acting crazy and it was obvious that he had slipped back to his former ways.

Ugandan musician Moses Ssekibogo, best known as Mowzey Radio of the Goodlyfe Crew who died Thursday morning. His partner and friend Weasal (left) is devastated by the singer’s passing. Photo by Nicholas Bamulanzeki
Radio’s mother, Jane Kasubo at Case Hospital on Thursday. Photo by Nicholas Bamulanzeki
Music promoter Balaam Barugahara said that at around 6am, he received a call announcing the singer’s death but couldn’t believe it. Photo by Nicholas Bamulanzeki
Thousands gathered at case clinic this morning to mourn the death of famous musician Moses Sekibogo alias Radio. Photo by Nicholas Bamulanzeki

Burial arrangements

Music promoter Balaam Barugahara has revealed the deceased’s body is at the city mortuary for a postmortem report before being returned to spend a night at their Neverland home in Makindye.

The requiem mass will be held on Friday before the body is taken for a night vigil at National theatre,

Radio’s body will be laid to rest on Saturday at Kaga, Nakawuka in Wakiso district.

RIP Mowzey Radio



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