Judith Babirye is a Ugandan Gospel Musician, politician, Senior Pastor at New Life Deliverance Church in Makindye Division Kampala and a mother.
Judith Babirye is the queen of gospel music in Uganda, best known and celebrated for her soul-touching Christian music by many Ugandans.
That includes; Yesu Beera Nange, Maama, Yesu Asobola, Omusaayi Gwa Yesu, Ekitibwa kyo Mukama, Golokoka, Wanonda, Wambatira, Eno Mbaga, Nzijukira, Wanjagala, Mpulira Yesu Ali wano, Mbadde Nemikwano, Mulamu, Tokengeterera, Ampisizawo, Nywera, Nzigulirawo Egulu, Yesu Amanyi, Katonda Talimba, Nasinza, Hozana, Kwata Omukono Gwange Wanjagala, Buli Uzziah Affe the latest song among many others.
Judith Babirye is the woman legislator representing Buikwe District, elected in 2016.
Judith Babirye’s Early Life and Education
Babirye was born on 23 September 1977, to Mr and Mrs Mukooza in Buikwe District, Nyenga, Busoga Region.
In her early school days, Babirye attended Nalinya Lwantale Primary School in Luweero District, from where she attained her Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) result.
She then moved to Ndejje Senior School for her O-Level classes from where Babirye attained her UCE Certificate in 1995. After, Babirye joined Iganga Secondary School for her A-Level studies from where she attained her UACE Certificate in 1998.
From Iganga S.S, Babirye joined Makerere University Kampala where she was admitted to study a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Tourism, and after completing her studies, she graduated in 2001.
Work and Experience
Babirye started working at the Uganda Tourism Board during her internship training.
However, in 2001 immediately after graduating from MUK, she began working at Arms of Love an NGO that’s all about Love, helping, giving a hand to the helpless children, as the Executive Director until today.
She also worked and still working as the President Gospel Artistes Federation from 2001 till date.
Still, in 2001, Babirye began working as the Director Uganda National Association of Gospel Artistes until today. While in 2014, she worked as the Public Relations Officer at National Union of Creative Artiste and Allied workers.
While in 2016, Babirye was elected the Woman legislator of Buikwe District until today.
Committees membership at parliament
- Committee on National Economy
- Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development
Judith Babirye started singing in S.2 while at Ndejje S.S. the school had organised music composition festival in which they were tasked to compose the school anthem.
And she emerged the best composer and today the School Anthem sung at Ndejje S.S was composed by the Queen of gospel music in Uganda, Judith Babirye.
Again at Iganga S.S Babirye composed the Schools Anthem, and that seems to be the offset of her musical career.
In 2001 after University, Babirye started active music with her first song “Yesu Beera Nange” which enabled her to win the Best Gospel Single of the year 2006 Award, in the Pearl of Africa Music Awards.
The time Babirye began her music journey, she was a shy girl who feared to face huge crowds as she narrates.
“I was a shy young girl when I started. I did not like drawing attention to myself, but Pastor Isaac Kiweewesi and other people put me out there such that I become a success.”Tweet
In the early years of her career, Pr. Kiweewesi could invite Babirye to sing during his lunch hour fellowship at The Plaza. By then she was only known to few people, and singing so often at his lunch hour fellowship, Babirye gained confidence and started rising to fame.
This explains the reason why Babirye stages her anniversary at Kasanga Miracle Centre Church, headed by Pr. Isaac Kiweewesi.
Babirye says; she considers people’s pain, despair and Agony convert it into music to enable her to speak directly to their souls.
Her music brings hope, courage and the will to push on in the hardest times, particularly Omukisa Gwa Mukama song which Babirye composed in 2011 amidst eviction of street vendors on Kampala City Streets.
It was an inspirational song especially to those affected by the evictions, not to resign to fate but rather get courage and move on.
“The truth is we are all going through tough times,” Babirye said. “in this song, I try to tell people that they are not where they are by mistake, but rather for a reason and whatever happens, God will see them through.”Tweet
Babirye says her songs used to make people cry and she decided to change her style because her music is usually emotionally. But when she tried to twist it the other way it went unsuccessful and so, she returned to her original style.
Challenges in her music career
Like in any other career, Babirye faces challenges and these include; a varied expectation of her fans.
“Sometimes when you do something, a section of your fans appreciates it while others do not.”Tweet
Babirye says that her fans expect a lot from her, and they do not expect her to make mistakes and this alone is a huge challenge to her.
“I no longer own my life; the fans do, they choose what they want me to do and what I should not do, so sometimes as we end up crashing and I do not want that.”Tweet
The failure of the copyright law has as well affected Babirye’s music career; as it has done to the other artistes which have declined the value of her musical work. And she hopes this will be sorted soon.
Judith Babirye got married in 2005, to Samuel Niiwo and in 2006 they became parents of one daughter, Nana Mulungi Li. But later on in 2009, Babirye and Niiwo separated.
Babirye said the reason for leaving her marriage was because she suffered physical and emotional abuse, inflicted by her husband. She also said Niiwo failed to take up his responsibilities at home.
In January 2017, Babirye filed for divorce in the Family Court, to dissolve her marriage to Niiwo. The reasons she underlined were sadness due to what she described as Niiwo’s cruel, erratic, violent behaviours’ and lack of respect.
Babirye also accused Niiwo of being a serial adulterer and neglecting his fatherly responsibilities to the many children he fathered out of the wedlock.
But they had not yet concluded the divorce process to dissolve the marriage. According to Babirye’s husband Niiwo, the court had given them time to reconcile, but they had not done the final steps into dissolving the marriage.
“We have not yet finalised the divorce papers. We completed the first phase but I have not yet signed final marriage dissolution.”Tweet
However, a family lawyer, Eva Kentaro Mugerwa, had also said if Niiwo wanted, he could have stopped the introduction and sue Babirye for Bigamy, because it’s illegal to be married to two different men at ago.
“When you file for divorce, the court gives you interim decree (decree absolute) with the hope that within six months, you will reconcile. If you do not reconcile and the court has not given you a divorce decree, it means you are still legally married.”Tweet
“Since the husband said he has not signed the divorce decree; it means that they are still legally married. Unless they sign the divorce decree today morning before the function, they are still married.”Tweet
However, in 2018 she got married to Paul Musoke Ssebulime after Babirye was elected Woman Legislator for Buikwe District, she decided to get married once again to her best friend at parliament, Paul Musoke Ssebulime, a pilot by profession and a legislator for Buikwe North Constituency, last year in July.
Their lavish marriage ceremony was a secret event amidst tight security! The venue was communicated to the guests at the last hour after his wife Lukiya Ntale vowed to disorganise the event.
This was due to threats issued by Lukiya Ntale the wife and mother of Ssebulime’s three children’s who have been married for over ten years warning Babirye against getting married to her husband, but Ssebulime said he was free to marry another woman because he and Ntale are not legally married.
Today Babirye ran away from her marriage where she has been for less than a year despite the promises she made to Ssebulime on their wedding day that includes; loving him till the very end, giving birth to twins among others.
Babirye who is seven months pregnant now lives in the USA in Massachusetts State, Boston City following a strained relationship in her marriage.
Reports indicate that before Babirye fled the country, she was living in fear thinking she could be a victim of ritual sacrifice from her husband, and since then she’s said to have fled their marital home in Naalya.
Also, in the very beginning of their relationship, Babirye and Ssebulime had agreed that Ssebulime would cut ties with her former wife Ntale completely and be hers alone, which he failed to do.
Babirye says after their marriage, Ssebulime started seeing her former wife, the mother of his children once again, and he could absent himself from marital duties at times. Something Babirye wasn’t comfortable with and this as well traumatised her a lot.
She also says Ssebulime’s other ex-wives whom he hid from her at the very start, continuously claimed he’s their husband too and demanded to share him with Babirye. All these kept her sick and she had to leave to the US to attend better medical services.
It’s reported that her close friends have advised her to seek asylum in the US if at all she does not want to return to Uganda soon.
And ever since Babirye left her marriage, Ntale is said to have reposed her husband, who she had for long been fighting for, and Ssebulime no longer puts on his wedding ring and has been introduced by Ntale at her parent’s home.
Amidst the secret introduction ceremony of Ssebulime to Ntale’s parents, his legal wife Judith Babirye released a song “Buli Uzziah Affe” and the message in the song seems to be directed towards her husband Ssebulime, and other people against the gospel music queen.
Babirye opens up a Church
In 2010, Babirye started New Life Deliverance Church, along Salaama Road in Muswangati Zone, Makindye Division shortly after their separation with Niiwo her husband.
She’s the Senior Pastor alongside Pastor Joseph Kabuye. At church, Babirye sings, preaches and prays for the sick.
Awards and Recognitions
Judith Babirye was awarded the best gospel artiste in the year 2006, nominated for her song “Yesu Beera Nange” in the Pearl of Africa Music Awards.
Babirye also won a Victoria Gospel Music Award (VIGA) for the Album of the year 2007 Awards.
Beera Nange, 2006, Yesu Asobola 2007, Nzijukira, 2008, Wajagala, 2011.
Judith Babirye who joined politics in 2016, says she was inspired by the former Executive Director KCCA, Jenifer Musisi Ssemakula.
“Jenifer Musisi inspired me to join politics. She’s my mentor and she has shown me that women can contribute to change in society, despite the challenges they face. I am going to contest for Buikwe Woman MP in 2016, because of her. I also want to become an iron lady like her.”
However, Babirye vowed not to quit music despite joining politics in parliament. She says music is part of her life and is what has pushed her that far. And shunning it would mean denying herself.
“I will remain in the music industry, except that I will be holding fewer concerts and shows. The church too is part of me; I am in music and Parliament ready and ready to serve at all fronts.”
She also vowed not to forget about her fellow musicians while conducting her parliament work.
“My moving to parliament is a blessing to the music industry. I will be giving space to other musicians out there to shine and helping them in every possible way.”
- Dancing and singing
- Looking good
- Long hair
- High heeled shoes “I would rather have the longest and ugliest heels than the most expensive sandals.”
hypocrisy and betrayal
Miles Munroe books
Community outreach and helping vulnerable people.
Martin Luther King Jr. died without realising his dream.
The president. “It takes a brave heart to stay in the bush to rescue an entire nation. I remember we would see bombs flying over our heads and mother would just grab us hide us in the bush.”