INTERVIEW: COVID-19 Has Been a Blessing in Disguise for Me – Artiste Zuli Tums

During the lockdown, a number of artists have been able to release good music that has topped charts in record time. New talent has also shoot up, towering the immense effects of the pandemic and what better way to go through the home-bound period than enjoy some new music.

Zuli Tums, a renowned producer, is one of those talents that came into the limelight during lockdown with popular songs like ‘Tabu’, ‘Easy’ and he also released a 12 track album titled ‘Invictus’.

We caught up with him to know about his music journey.

Away from the limelight, who is Zuli Tums? 

Away from the limelight, my real name is Ssemwogerere Sam, born and raised in Kamwokya, Kampala. I am in my 20s.

The name ‘Zuli’ is supposed to be a Swahili word meaning ‘someone or something good’ (Zuri) but since I am a Muganda and we tend to confuse ‘R’ with ‘L’ so they ended up calling my late grandfather (RIP) Zuli and I actually got all my initials from him.

‘Tums’ simply means ‘Tell the Universe about Me Sam’ so all together that’s how Zuli Tums came about.

When I am not doing music, I love playing football, watching cartoons, hanging out with friends and family, to mention but a few.


When did you join the music industry and how has that journey been like?

I joined the music industry in my Senior Three as a music producer until April 2020 when I switched to a full time artist. I was a producer for Maro, Pallaso, Vampino, Young Mullo, among many others.

The journey has been a learning experience for me, earned my scars and smiles, met people and made good friends.

The biggest challenge I have met on this journey is lack of recognition since the industry at large is more divided than united. In the end, I am grateful for all I have seen because it has made me the man I am today.

You recently released a new Album titled Invictus, tell us about it and what it means to you?

First and foremost, Invictus is a Latin word meaning “Unconquered” and it was released on 27th November 2020. I chose to name my debut album Invictus because it is a personal story filled with love and inspiration which I believe many of my fans can relate to.

This album definitely means everything to me.

Basing on the song‘Easy’, are you seeing anyone?

I am reserved when it comes to matters concerning my private life. My whole focus now is on my music.

Covid-19 had an effect on everyone and many have rubbished 2020, what are your plans for 2021?

So many plans were put on hold and some have not been accomplished because of COVID-19 but to a large extent, it has been a blessing in disguise for me. This is because I got my breakthrough amidst the pandemic.

My heart goes out to those who made any form of loss during the pandemic.

Speaking of 2021, will you be voting for Katumba or you have another candidate of your choice?

The truth is I haven’t had time to look at the policies and programs of these major contenders because I have been busy with bettering myself and improving my career but I admire the courage of the young man. Katumba oyee!

Any Ugandan artists you hope to work with in the near future?

I have a few people I honestly find worthy as there are lots of talent in our industry.

A lot would be unveiled soon.

Any word to people trying to join the Ugandan music industry?

The harder you work, the luckier you become. For me, there is no substitute for hard work.

Anyone who is looking to join the industry must be hardworking, steadfast and above all, focused.

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