Famed Acholi musician Geoffrey Oryema, 65, has died according to his family.
Oryema left Entebbe International Airport almost 41 years at the age of 24 when he was smuggled across the border in the trunk of a car from Uganda; this was after the death of his father who had been a cabinet minister. Oryema then went on to have a very successful music career in France.
He succumbed to cancer on Friday afternoon, it was revealed in a statement by Mr. Gerald Omony on behalf of the Oryema family.
The fallen music star visited Uganda in 2016 and after his arrival, Oryema who could grasp his emotions said: “Today am crying tears of joy because when I left 40 years ago, these tears were soaked in me.
“This is a new beginning for me because I have crossed a chapter and opened another one so it is a new beginning.
“My message to all Ugandans is a message of peace and together. We have to get together as one.
The legendary singer said he never had the courage to return home even after Amin was gone
“For all the love I have for my motherland, I didn’t come back when Idi Amin was overthrown because I didn’t want to become a refugee for the second time. It was because of the hate for the politics that led to my father’s death. Uganda was still very unstable.”
Geoffrey was perhaps the greatest and most known living Ugandan musician in world music. For 8 years, Oryema’s song YE YE YE has served as a signature tune for a cultural talk show, on FRANCE 2 (one of the biggest TV channels in France). Up to this day, the song is on the setlist.
Rest in Peace Oryema!