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Bernard Kabanda

african africa Uganda singer-songwriter world

Bernard Kabanda Sslongo (1959 – 1999) was an Ugandan guitarist. He had just realised fame in the world music circuit through his appearances at WOMAD in the USA and the UK in 1999 before he died of AIDS less than two months after his performance at Womad's Reading festival, aged only 40.

Before he died, he recorded an album with Womad, called Olugendo.

He was discovered in the streets of Kampala, Uganda's capital, playing on a guitar he had made himself out of scrap. He was content to play solo, or with simple tin-can percussion as he played in pubs in Kampala, and he did so also in his Womad tour, where he played with Samuel Bakkabulindi Sslongo, who played make-shift shakers and tin-cans with drum sticks.

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