The Sunday Monitor | Lady Zani of the ‘Ndoowa’ fame Unveiled

Posted January 21, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Artists ~ 4,622 views


Susan Basemera can best be introduced by her song, Ndoowa, a zouk hit that has been a sensational among Ugandans since its release in 2007. But, the most these fans have interfaced with the woman behind this hit is in the video. Ivan Okuda brings you face-to-face with the woman behind the love song.

The song, Ndoowa has somehow managed to stick on our airwaves for quite sometime (since 2007) yet the voice behind it remains elusive. Not that she is a one time hit wonder but at least not a regular on our celebrity pages. In fact, for most of her fans, the first time they came face to face with the songstress was at the second Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking gala at Kampala Serena Hotel last year where she thrilled the audience.

Susan Basemera, who goes by the stage named, Lady Zani, is the woman behind the song. Ndoowa may be her only song we know but the Ugandan who resides in Hollywood, California, has over 15 other singles to her music career, which started here in 1993 after her high school at Light College Katikamu and Makerere College School. During her Senior Six vacation, she was paid Shs40,000 a week to sing for four days at the Sheraton Hotel, Kampala.

“I was not miming, I was singing my own music cutting across all genres and writing my own songs,” the fifth born of a Munyoro father and Muganda mother proudly emphasises with an American accent laced with Runyoro. It was during these performances that her outlook on music and life got bigger. A long the way, she found herself in “deep love” with an American working with the defunct Uganda Cooperative Bank.

“I was a hot little girl, every muzungu was eyeing me, I had over 10 of them promising to take me to Italy, USA and several other countries. But of all, I chose the American,” the 31-year-old cheekily recounts.

She was only 18 then and starting to think like the typical trendy, upscale and fashionable lass. She wanted to drive a car, live large and enjoy city life, the upcoming-celebrity way. And voila! In 1999, she relocated with the American boyfriend to Los Angeles, USA and “officially” settled together in 2000. Typical of what appears a hit and run relationship, Basemera narrates; “the guy migrated to Asia after about two years and I insisted on staying in the US. We had lots of problems but that’s history.”

This void, laced with racist physical and psychological abuse hit her hard but opened her eyes to reality. Merry making time was up! “I enrolled at University of Los Angeles for an associate degree (diploma) in Physical Therapy and worked with Tri City Hospital in rehabilitation of injured persons alongside my music. I knew I couldn’t make enough money from music alone,” she says.

From 2007 to 2011, she was in school again for an associate degree in Practical Nursing. Lady Chocolate, as fans fondly call her in the US after her light skin, put her foot in the real estate world and claims she owns two rental houses in Los Angeles.

For a woman known to some of us as a singer hustling her way over-seas, it can only be interesting that she does some HIV/Aids-related charity work through her music. Her song, Agaba bintu, which she claims hit in South Africa and US, calls for responsible sexual behaviour.

After staying out of home (Uganda) for a while, Basemera is doing market research for “a serious business come back” and plan to concentrate more on my music career here.” Source — The Sunday Monitor

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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