Sheebah or Cindy, Who will run this city tonight?

Tonight, Uganda is set to witness a historic music showdown at Kololo Airstrip as two leading female artists, Sheebah and Cindy, face off in their first-ever battle. The journey to this event had its twists and turns, including a previous attempt that stalled when Sheebah’s team demanded a substantial fee of Shs1 billion to compete against Cindy. However, this year, Swangz Avenue brokered a deal between the two artists, offering each a generous sum of Shs100 million. But before the battle could commence, both Sheebah and Cindy announced their respective music festivals, leading to an unexpected showdown. Isaac Ssejjombwe delves into the background of both artists as they prepare for this epic showdown.

Cindy’s Journey:
Cinderella Sanyu, also known as Cindy, embarked on her music career in the early 2000s when she participated in the Capital Radio All Stars talent search at the age of 16. Although she finished third in the competition, her talent caught the eye of producer Steve Jean, who later included her in the Coca-Cola Pop Stars contest alongside Lilian Mbabazi and Jackie Chandiru. The trio emerged as winners, forming the iconic group Blu*3 in 2003. Their music, including hits like “Hitaji,” “Nsanyuka Nawe,” “Burn,” and “Mutima Gwange,” took the Ugandan music scene by storm.

In 2008, Cindy left Blu*3 under circumstances that remain a mystery. Speculation suggests a deal in Spain, her absence, or simply a desire for change led to her departure. She ventured into her solo career in 2009, achieving success with songs like “Nawewe,” “You and Me” (featuring P Square), “Number One” (with Mikie Wine), and “Ayokyayokya.”

Cindy’s contributions also extend to Sheebah’s career, as she penned Sheebah’s debut song, “Ngenda Kunyenyeza.” To date, Cindy has a catalog of 57 songs.

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Achievements and Roles:
Cindy has held two concerts, with her Lugogo Cricket Oval event setting attendance records for a local artist. She has also ventured into acting, starring in films such as “Bella” and “November Tear.”

Her impressive list of accolades includes Female Artiste of the Year at the DIVA Awards (2009), Teeniez Dancehall Artist at the Buzz Teeniez Awards (2010), and Best Female Artiste at the Buzz Teeniez Awards (2010). Cindy’s recognition extends to the international stage, earning her awards such as Afrima Best Female Artiste (East Africa) in 2016.

Currently, Cindy serves as the acting president of the Uganda Musicians’ Association (UMA), a position she has held for over three years.

Social Media and Strengths:
Cindy boasts a substantial online presence, with 89.8k subscribers on YouTube, 12.745 monthly Spotify listeners, 887k Facebook followers, 877,000 Instagram followers, and 20.3K Twitter followers. Her strengths include songwriting, dynamic live performances, and engaging with her audience during shows.

Despite her talents, Cindy’s extensive catalog could pose challenges during the concert if both artists are given significant stage time.

Sheebah’s Journey:
Sheebah Samalie Karungi entered the music scene at 15 after leaving school. Her introduction to music came through karaoke singing and joining dance groups like Stingers and Obsessions in 2007.

In 2010, she launched her solo career with the song “Kunyenyenza,” written by Cindy and produced by Washington. She followed up with tracks like “Bulikyekola” (featuring KS Alpha and Prince Fahim) and “Baliwa” (featuring Coco Finger). However, it was the release of “Automatic” in 2011, written by Sizzaman, that marked a turning point in her solo career.

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Sheebah’s association with Team No Sleep (TNS) in 2014, managed by Jeff Kiwa, catapulted her to the top of the Ugandan music scene. Hits like “Twesana,” “Nkwatako,” “Nakyuka,” “John Rambo,” “Onkutude,” “Mummy Yo,” “Sweet Sensation” (with Orezi), “Enyanda,” “Mundongo,” “Go Down Low” (with Pallaso), and “Weekend” (with Runtown) solidified her status as the leading female artist in Uganda for over five consecutive years. Sheebah’s solo catalog includes an impressive 127 songs.

Achievements and Roles:
Sheebah has hosted successful concerts, including “Nkwatako” (2016) and “Omwoyo” (2018), both organized by TNS. However, her 2022 shows at Kampala Serena Hotel made history, with back-to-back performances and an entrance fee of Shs150,000 per person.

She also ventured into acting, making her debut in the film “Queen of Katwe.”

Sheebah’s extensive list of awards includes Best Female Artiste at the HiPipo Music Awards (2014, 2015), Artiste of the Year (2017, 2018, 2019), and Female Artiste of the Year at the Uganda Music Awards (2018).

Leadership Role:
In 2021, Sheebah was appointed as one of the deputies in the Uganda National Musicians Federation (UNMF), with Eddy Kenzo as the interim president.

Social Media and Strengths:
Sheebah boasts a strong online presence, with 534k YouTube subscribers, 95,989 monthly Spotify listeners, 2.3m Facebook followers, 1m Instagram followers, and 885.1k Twitter followers. Her strengths include a substantial catalog of hit songs, exceptional dancing skills, and effective stage presence.

Sheebah’s potential weakness lies in managing live performances effectively.

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