For those who loved Phina Masanyalaze of the “Fundukululu” fame or even “Bampasudde,” her latest release, “FUNYA,” is most definitely your song. In this release, the beats are so danceable, reminiscent of the ones she sang to back in the day.

Even the theme is no different; she calls out the dance queens to “KUFUNYA” their backs and set out for a dance as they follow the beats. In the song, she speaks of the undeniable urge to dance, asking even those who demand their money or time to wait. 

She compares the back to a banana to show that however stiff it may be, it can easily break, making sense of the undeniable urge to dance with no hindrance. For many who loved the original Phina Masanyalaze of the mid-2000s, this is definitely your song because it serves that same energy that the Songstress and self-proclaimed Ugandan Shakira of Ugandan Music exactly is. 

The song, released earlier last week, was produced by Producer Davie and written by Teketwe Joseph.

While Phina has decided to return to active music with a song that brings her old self and style to the forefront, she notes that it wasn’t for the long run as she has grown over the years.

 “I’ve decided to come back on the scene with such a song after realizing that no one is doing it better than I can do, so I had to prove it musically as well,” she said of her return and new song.

“As a dance maestro, you’re definitely going to feel my moves in my new song Funya,” she added, noting that she has changed a little bit when it comes to messaging because in her leadership role at UMA – Uganda Musicians Association, she has learned so much.

She says she has learned over the years that music should not only be about hype entertainment and dancing but also a passage through which key messages and ideologies can be passed. As a result, she has chosen to give back to the public through music that speaks to different elements in society.

“I have songs about the girl child, songs about women, so I’m so much into causes. I want to use my career, my voice to spread the news to the same-stage about the ongoing causes that help their lives for sustainability. In other words, I’m into promoting the SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

Phina Masanyalaze, real name Josephine Mugerwa, is a songstress who made her debut in the entertainment industry as a dancer with the late Paul Kato Lubwama’s Diamonds production Band. Then as a girl, she was a bonny dancer who used to dance for the likes of Martin Angume, Rebecca Jjingo, among many others. After realizing that she could sing, she had to combine dancing and singing.

She had her first single – “Masanyalaze” – in 2006, and that was the beginning of her music career. “Masanyalaze” was such a big song that to date, she calls herself by the name fans named it after her. From 2006, she didn’t turn back as the song won her an accolade for upcoming artist of the year in the famous but now-defunct Pearl of Africa Music Awards – PAM AWARDS. 2006 was a very important mark in my life, and it marked the beginning of me and my career. I kept on producing songs. 

With fellow singer Ragga Dee as her inspiration in industry leadership, Phina Masanyalaze

too realized there was something missing in the entertainment industry, specifically the music domain that she called home.

It’s how she joined the Uganda Musicians Association where she has been General Secretary for five years.

“While at UMA, I have learned much about leadership,” she said, noting that the leadership bug that bit her prompted her to return to Makerere University Business School for a course in leadership, thanks to Prof. Wasswa Balunywa who saw her through the intricacies of that discipline.

Phina’s leadership skills have further propelled her wings as she was named a board member of the Uganda National Cultural Centre, reigning as the vice-chairperson on the board that’s yet to be installed at the National Theatre, which is home to artistes.