Minah Izah, real names Aminah Nakayiza, is an easy girl, one that carries herself in a simple way but with dignity, something you don’t find in many female celebrities with talent such as hers. She is on a mercurial but steady rise in the music industry.
She is full of energy and is passionate about her music career. This energy exudes in her energetic music which is steadily getting radio, Tv airplay and rocking party animal in night clubs around town.
In this interview we explore her rise from Masaka as a little entertainer to a voluptuous promising chart topper who has the world for the taking. Read on.
Who is Minah Izah?
Minah is a beautiful, simple, cheerful and talkative girl. I am 27 years old. I never hide my age because I don’t look like it. I was born in Masaka but I grew up in Kampala. I am a daughter of the late Mohamed Sekitto. I am a musician. You can call me an upcoming artist.
Tell us about your childhood? That time when you were growing up.
When I was still young I was a charming and cheerful little cute girl. I used to perform for people and get prizes. In school I was so active. I was once the entertainment prefect for my school.
I went to schools people here in Kampala don’t know so I won’t even mention names. I have a diploma in Information Technology in Business from Uganda Institute of Communication and Technology (UICT) in Nakawa.
When and why did you start music? What is your music career like?
Before I started recording music, I went to a competition called Hot Steps Season Two which used to air on NTV and I was among the winners.
I got a prize of Shs1m. It was the first time to get such money and I was excited. Then I joined Obsessions as a dancer. From Obsessions I started doing my own things.
I would go to school and dance at the same time. From Obsessions I realized that I could be like other musicians. I was used to stage performances.
At that time I realized that I could sing and be a star. Through that experience I got the confidence that I can also entertain people on my own.
When did you start recording music?
In 2012, immediately after campus, I recorded ‘Njagala gwe’ at D-King studio. It was nominated in the Club Music Video Awards that year but people didn’t know me and you know Ugandans. It was a nice song. We used to push it but I was on and off, I was not serious.
Which musical instruments do you play?
The drums. I learnt playing the drums in school.
Which famous musicians do you admire and what have you learnt from them?
In Uganda I don’t admire many artists but I support them. If someone does something good, I appreciate. In the past I would admire Jackie Chandiru because of her energy.
Internationally I love Beyonce. Beyonce is hard working; you can see her on stage, energetic and creative. I also love Tiwa Savage of Nigeria.
What are your fondest musical memories?
When I started, I used to move with Chandiru to perform in different parts of the country. One time in Gulu, people had waited for her for a long time and it was getting late, then I was told to go on stage to curtain raise, people heckled me and chased me off stage. It frightened me but Chandiru calmed me down.
Do you ever get nervous before a performance?
No, the only thing I care about is giving people what they paid for and make them happy. Luckily by the time I leave stage people are happy and asking who I am. When I am on stage I act like a superstar.
What is the best advice you have ever received as a performing artist?
In this industry everyone wants to make you their girlfriend and sleep with you. When I was starting some people told me not to sleep with anyone just because he is going to promote me, play my song on radio or Tv or night club.
They told me that sleeping around doesn’t guarantee success and I have never slept with anyone because they have promised me anything to further my career.
How often do you practice?
I do body exercises at home and dance which keeps me in shape. I do voice recording once in awhile, like a week before recording a song
How do you balance your music career and other things you do in life?
I have a small business which I ran, a boutique at MUBS campus. I always do music when it is time for music. When I am free I tend to my business. I have someone who helps ran it.
What do you like and hate about being a musician in Uganda?
In this music business you get to know very many people, very very important people by the way. When you are in the music industry you get to meet people you admire.
What I hate is that it is very tiresome and puts you under a lot of pressure. You put in a lot. Music is expensive.
Of all the songs you have down which one are you most proud of?
I love ‘Lindazi’. It speaks out the truth. That is the situation we are in as girls but people don’t want to accept.
What would be doing if you were not a musician?
I don’t know. Even at school knew I was going to do music. I am yet to get there but I will get there. I want to be a big star, the best in Uganda. That’s what I want to be.
I am releasing new songs and people are getting to know me. At one time I wanted to be a radio presenter.
If you have a chance to change one or two things in the past life what would that be?
That first song I did ‘njgala gwe’, I spent a lot of money on it. Everyone was like do this and that and asking for money. I spent like Shs6m on that one song. I was a naïve upcoming artist, I didn’t know things. Now I look back and wish I knew the business.
What do you do in your spare time?
I watch movies. I like movies that have love stories.
What’s the side of you that the public doesn’t know?
I am so religious but people don’t know. I love God and I respect Him. Sometimes when I’m about to do something bad I stop because I know it’s not allowed by God. Also I’m not so into men.
Talking about men, are you in a relationship? If yes who is the lucky man in your life?
I can say I am single. I was heartbroken once and lost interest in men. I really don’t care. All I care about is making money. I have a man yes but I am not in a serious relationship.
Who is your ideal man?
The kind of man I plan to get when I decide to get one must be simple, nice looking, has enough money for himself and a Muslim. I don’t like rich men, they have many problems and stressing.
What is that one thing that you attribute your success too?
It has been God’s plan. I always pray to God. I will always and continuously pray and respect myself. When you have respect for yourself everything moves smoothly. Meeting new people has also helped me.