The Genesis of Fresh Kid’s Singing Career
Patrick Ssenyonjo, commonly known as Fresh Kid sings about his parents’ struggle to provide for him and his four siblings. Fresh Kid became a huge star in Uganda, a country that is poverty bent and stricken by endemic corruption.
The young rapper from Uganda has hit YouTube with dozens of videos. Last year, he was nominated and he won the U.S. Best International Music Video award 2019 at the Carolina Music Video Awards CMVA in North Carolina. Before his eighth birthday, the young artist gained the upper hand from a scuffle with the government.
Some of his hit singles, “Bambi”, which means “Please”, has more than 200,000 YouTube views. The lyrics of the song in English, “Don’t send me back to the village where there is no help, I remember a time when money was scarce, getting school tuition and food was so difficult …”
In Luwero, 60 km (37 miles) north of the capital city of Uganda, Fresh Kid uncovered his gift in a coffee-growing village.
“He would listen and instantly recalls a song on the radio then begins to voice it,” explained his dad, Paul Mutabaazi, an uneducated beautician.
On a fateful day, an artist that he idolized arranged a performance in his neighborhood. Fresh Kid offered a warm-up event that earned him Ugshs500,000 ($136).
His Father Mutabaazi contacted a music producer who started scheduling gigs and producing his songs.
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Fresh kid’s Disputes with the Government
Interestingly, the kid’s career started when Uganda’s State Minister for Youth and Children’s Affairs, Ms. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, attempted to prohibit him from singing under laws forbidding child labor last year.
For the most part, Fresh Kid had become the breadwinner for his poor family. The conflict created national headlines, where Ugandans condemned the minister for suppressing the musician’s progress.
After this, Fresh Kid wrote “Bambi,” a petition song. It was addressing the government to permit him to sing. It was omnipresent on the radio, on TV, and in bars. This is the song that won him the Best International Video from the U.S. Carolina Music Video Awards (CMVA).
“Children should work hard. If they have a talent, they should use it,” Fresh Kid told the press. Consequently, his parents, agent and the government finally reached an agreement. In one of Uganda’s top schools, the Ruparelia Foundation gave him a full scholarship grant.
The young rapper is just another child, playing with his friends outside the studio of Bad Man Records in Kampala’s outskirts. “He concentrates inside the studio. In only an hour, he can record a song with hardly any rehearsals,” said his producers. One of his producers, Aggrey Akena, said that his vocals are magnificent and he has tremendous memory.
Fresh Kid Appointed as an Ambassador
In October 2019, State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Ms. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi named the eight-year-old youngest artist ‘the goodwill ambassador for street children.’ Subsequently, she took the boy to Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda for approval.
Fresh kid’ role is to make certain that vulnerable children do not return to the roads throughout the country, according to the Minister. This happens days preceding Uganda’s cabinet’s endorsement of UgShs5.8 billion (USD1.6 million) for the relocation of street children.
Ms. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi says, “The Cabinet acknowledged success in enforcing the street children’s withdrawal, rehabilitation, and relocation. The expectations are to provide sustained development through the street children’s action plan. It required cabinet funding of Shs5.8 billion ($1.6 million) to execute last year’s strategic plan that is already in progress.”
Currently, Fresh Kid resides in Kampala with his family in a condo he purchased. Above all, he now attends an elite school on a full scholarship. The eight-year-old sings and overlooks his duties as an ambassador for street children. Also, his father, Mutabazi, recently opened up a beauty parlor in Kampala.