|Juliana Kanyomozi is a talented musician, a dotting mother and a mentor. [Photos: Joseph Kiptarus/Standard]|
JULIANA KANYOMOZI, 31, might come across like a diva, a beautiful enchantress who lives in a glasshouse and is unapproachable — in some respects it is true, she is enchanting and a very gifted vocalist, but she is nothing but warm and very down to earth, writes Shirley Genga
When I arrive at the lavish Safari Park Hotel for the interview with the music diva, I’m informed that she is in the gym working out. The atmosphere is relaxed, but there’s a mounting sense of anticipation in the air. It’s the kind of loaded silence that occurs the moment before the curtain rises and the show begins. However, even before I’m done admiring the luxurious ambience in the lounge, Juliana emerges statuesque in her gym wear and I’m struck at how fabulous she still looks. Her face is perfectly made up and her hair is neatly tied back accentuating her high model-like cheekbones. It’ would make for a pretty intimidating entrance, were it not for the genuine, warm smile etched across her face.
Then I move on to break the ice with a question on whether she is a regular at the gym and she points out: “I’d love to go to the gym every day, but my life is too busy. Today I’m lucky to have been able to squeeze in some time for this interview. With Tusker Project Fame, my new album in the offing and the preparation for my first tour in two years approaching, my life is crazy busy,” she explains with a smile.
Whenever Juliana is home, she opts to exercise in the house.
“I do my skips and sit ups. Nothing intense, but simple workouts to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” asserts Juliana.
I realise this is how she has been able to maintain her hourglass silhouette, which has made her the envy of many women and hence rated as one of the hottest celebrity in East Africa.
Her beauty secret is? “I drink a lot of water, watch what I eat and try to do a facial once every month, but the rest, guess I should thank my mother. My mother is fabulous, at age 63 she looks like she is in her 40s.”
But Juliana is not only about beauty and glamour; she is also one of Uganda’s biggest powerhouse vocalists who has risen to fame since she first came into the Ugandan music scene in the late 90s. She released her debut album back in 2005 called Nabikoowa, which was the first ever English R&B album by a Ugandan artiste that propelled her to fame all over East Africa.
Her second album, Kanyimbe was released in 2007 and is in Luganda. The album earned her the prestigious Pam Award in 2008 for best artist of the year. It is the biggest accolade for an artiste in Uganda and she was the first ever female to win the coveted award.
Juliana is currently working on a new album and fans can expect a versatile album from her.
“I’m?currently working on my third album and this time I’ll stick to what works for me, which is more of R&B. The album will also feature everything from pop to raga, says Juliana.