Monday, September 11, 2006

Ras B and Gloria

When Ras B. Ssali first met Gloria, the magic of her glowing eyes took his breath away. She was one of the dancers he had hired for promotion drives. Her dance moves were exceptional and somehow held his stance.
All the while, she smiled at him alluringly. He couldn't fight the temptation any longer. He got her in private and poured out his heart.
"She was beautiful, attractive and reserved which prompted me to get closer to her if only to learn about the deeper part of her. When she gave me a chance, I discovered two treasures: Gloria had mutual respect and offered an avenue for open communication.""She was also ready for commitment with someone serious. Her simplicity, care and openness helped me to decide she was the ideal girl I could love and trust," Ras B. Ssali recalls.
Ssali (R) and Gloria
She was still at Makerere University Business School then, but has since completed her degree in Entrepreneurship Studies. He used to pay her courtesy calls at the university. They went out together to discover more about each other as well as water the seeds of their newfound love.
To Ssali, Gloria Nabweteme was and still is exceptional and the two have been together since 2002. But like all relationships, he says, they too, have had challenges. Ssali however, discloses that they never have fights or shout at each other, adding that silence has worked wonders for them.
"When we get misunderstandings, we give each other time to calm down so that we can cordially talk about the difference. We prefer to take it slow and easy," Ssali chips in.
Both partners are open to communication and solving their problems. For instance, Ssali confesses that given his kind of business, he meets several women but points out that for him, it is all about sticking to his principles and knowing that his actions subsequently affect his love life with Gloria.
Ssali is a reggae artiste as well as a businessman dealing in promotions and events management. Some women he interacts with in his line of duty send him suggestive messages that upset Gloria.
He confesses that she is quite jealous but has learnt that he's loyal. "We can count on each other. One thing about her is her honesty and the fact that she likes me for who I am," he says. But that's not all. Their shared interests and passions have reinforced their love.
When asked what drives him crazy about Gloria, Ssali smilingly says it's her generosity and thoughtfulness. In fact he also discloses that their wedding is in the offing, a reason he says will enable them celebrate their union with friends and fans.
Reggae's godfather Ras B. Ssali is a name that is synonymous with reggae music in Uganda. He has been at it for well over a decade and he loves what he does -singing and seeing reggae flourish. Fans prefer to call him the Rasta man.
If you want to talk about reggae, he could hold you around forever as he passionately talks about reggae. He is one of the people who have been at the forefront of propelling the reggae concept in the local market. He is a true Rastafarian and his music preaches love, unity and general society. He picks his inspiration from reggae legend, Alpha Blondie. This is discernible in his work. Born Geoffrey Ssali, Ras B. Ssali of the Blood Brothers Band is one of Uganda's earliest reggae voices. As early as 1989, he knew there was hope for the reggae genre in Uganda.
"A few of us had the heart for reggae. We came up as a group and wanted to relay positive messages through music. We felt that we could draw the attention of the crowds to the Aids scourge using reggae."
They did a song, which not only introduced them to the crowd but also had a message to send to the masses. It was called Immorality and for the youngsters then, Ras B. Ssali and Solomon Igona, it was one of their best moments because the hit was used for the various drives to sensitise the masses about the scourge. Later on, the duo adopted the stage name of Ssali Solis Blood Brothers. The group has since changed name to 'Roots Rockers.'
Born 38 years ago, Ras B tells of an eventful childhood but most of all, a passionate upbringing. His mother was tutor at Kibuli Demonstration School. He says he is very close to his mother and hardly tells a story, which does not start with her. "As a single mother, she sacrificed a lot to see me through school and cautioned me to always be patient and honest. I heeded to her words. That is why I have never cheated any person and have always had clean dealings with people," he said.


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