ManKing Da RapKid Strikes Chord in Uganda with Songs About Life, Love

Orphaned child rapper ManKing Da RapKid has struck a chord as is one of the youngest rappers the books of Records as a rising singing sensation.

At the age 5 years, ManKing Da RapKid lost both parents, his extended family was in charge of looking after him but the life was already in his hands.

“I didn’t have time to be little.  I learnt to sing and rap as a way to hustle on the streets and that’s what I did from when I was very small.  I would spend hours rapping; dancing or singing because what I earned had to be enough to get me through until the next day.  It was a hard job, I’d get really hot and very thirsty but I’d push myself harder because I had to survive. Rapping seemed like a good idea to me because not many people were doing it so it was a good alternative. Some people didn’t like to hear rap and they would yell at me or throw something in my direction and I’d have to make a run for it,” he said.

The young artist was also one among the eight hip-hop talents in Uganda. “It was very exciting and featured many regional artists like Ghetto Kids among others. However, after his first cover song ‘ENERGY, I was more inclined to western music,” he recalls.

“One day I was singing for the boda boda riders (people who catch motorbike taxis to move around the city) and a man was listening to me. He said he was talented and wanted to know his story.  After listening, he told me I didn’t have to carry on living that way and that I could go to school and carry on learning to rap.  I was suspicious but then he explained that he was the manager of the famous Sitya Loss kids so I agreed to go with him to meet them and see it for myself.  I wondered how many men were walking around Kampala claiming to be the manager of those celebrities and I figured I could run away at the first sign of trouble,” he said.

They  worked hard in dance and continued to develop in rap and they all went to school.  He didn’t find it easy to fit into this new life and sometimes wondered if he would be better off alone.  There are no guarantees things are going to go well and it was difficult to have trust when you’re used to being your own boss.  All the same, they were all very patient with me and we all learnt a lot together.  I pushed myself to rap faster and better and now I have several of my own songs.  It’s a big change to go from a street corner to a huge stage, from Uganda to the US, but that is my story.

ManKing Da RapKid has songs like NEVER LET YOU GO, TAKE MY TIME Man King featuring Fresh Isaac among others.

Audrey Ninsiima