Edrine Kusemerewa, who goes by the stage name of Edrine K is a song writer, singer and a Gender and Women’s rights activist. Born of Yeres Kyakimwa, a food vendor in Kisanga Market and Seith Kazige, a social worker, Edrine is the fifth born from a family of ten.
Kasese is one of the districts in Uganda grappling with child
abuse, more especially the girl child. The abuse includes defilement, rape,
early marriage and discrimination especially in obtaining an education.
report by Isis-WICCE-Uganda an international women’s rights organisation indicated
that at least every family in Kasese has a child between the age of 13 and 17
that is either defiled or married off every year.
This deplorable state of affairs has been attributed to
poverty or ignorance and a long period of conflict that Kasese grapples with.
Several non-governmental organisations have set up shop in Kasese to fight
against the violations and abuse meted on the girl child.
rights activists recently got a boost from 19-year-old, Edrine Kusemererwa
alias Edrine K who has added flavor in the women’s rights advocacy campaign
through music. She made a breakthrough in 2018 through her song
“Get off my Way”, which went viral and has since received more than 25,000
views on her newly-created YouTube Channel.
Today, she is the most sought after girl-child and women’s
rights activist in Kasese. She was invited by the United Nations Population
Fund (UNFPA) to participate in the recently concluded 25th anniversary of the
International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) that was held
in Nairobi, Kenya.
But Who is Edrine K?
Edrine Kusemerewa, who goes by the stage name of Edrine K is a
song writer, singer and a Gender and Women’s rights activist. Born of Yeres
Kyakimwa, a food vendor in Kisanga Market and Seith Kazige, a social worker, Edrine
is the fifth born from a family of ten.
She was born on December 6, 2000 in Saluti Cell in Nyamwamba Division
in Kasese municipality in a polygamous family since her father has two wives. K is a secondary five student of Literature,
Economics and Divinity at Bwera Secondary School in Kasese.
first studied at St Lawrence School for two years before joining a modest Bwera
Secondary where she eventually completed her “Ordinary” level. The rising
star had previously studied her primary at Parental Care Primary School.
Joining Music Industry
K says she has been told by her mother that from the age of five, she started
exhibiting interest in singing gospel and secular songs. At the age of ten, she
joined St Barnabas Choir at St Barnabas Church of Uganda in Saluti, which she
is still part of.
In 2017, during her senior three, K produced her maiden song, Your Awesome
Jesus, a gospel song. According to K, she saved money for about three years to
raise Shillings 60,000 to produce the song.
She adds that singing her original composition and many more songs during
prayers at Bwera SS endeared her to many including, Yunasi Baluku, a teacher of
Economics at the school and a renowned events emcee who volunteered to mentor
her into her music journey.
She however says that
shortly after singing Awesome Jesus, she produced another Gospel song Yesu
Ninawe that was intended to bring people nearer to God.
When K grew up, she says she often saw many young girls being mistreated,
discriminated and more specifically defiled, raped and subsequently married off
at a very tender age. The songbird says she would also see many girls drop out
of school because there was no money to pay their tuition.
Although K doesn’t open
up on whether she has been a victim of child abuse or not, she concedes to the
fact that there has been a time when her parents didn’t have money to pay her
tuition. It is this state of affairs that compelled her to consider writing and
doing music that projects the realities of the girl child in Kasese. In fact
she had left St Lawrence because the parents couldn’t afford the fees.
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Shortly after her O’level exams in November 2018, Yunasi Baluku who had
committed to being K’s mentor wrote for her the first inspirational song: Get
off my Way, which incidentally thrust her in the lime light both in Kasese and
across the country.
In “Get off my Way” K appeals to both state and non-state actors to provide
adequate protection to the girl child and facilitate them to acquire their
dreams. In the song, she cites eminent persons in the country that young girls
look up to. These include the First Lady Janet Museveni, Justice Julia
Ssebutinde, Dr. Maggie Kigozi, and Executive Director UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima.
In fact, K looks up
to Byanyima whom she says has been at the fore front of fighting for human
rights across the globe.
“Don’t touch me, you
liar! Who told you I am ready for love at this time? Who told you my dream is
to be called a wife? Why can’t you see I am too young for love at this time? I
wanna be a great woman; God is my destiny.” K questions men in one of her
“Whose gonna be my protector, who is gonna be on my side for the battle, the
fight is enormous the battle is tight, I am vulnerable with vultures around,
they are shameless, they are cunning they are tougher than me; I count on your
support to proceed to my destiny.” She adds.
K has since produced about six other songs most of them focusing on the gospel,
domestic violence and or advocacy for gender equality and girl child
empowerment. She has since done collabos with Heli Esli and Maurice Hassa of the Kaleke
Kasome fame. Her latest release is titled “Girl Not a Woman” done with Maurice
Hassa. It also cautions men against taking young girls for their wives.
K reveals that she uses music because it is not only easier for her to reach a
bigger audience but it also enables her to communicate to all people without
necessarily being seen to be disrespectful to elders.
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The teenager believes that through her advocacy, she will wake up one day to a
community that is free of domestic violence, sexism, gender discrimination,
early marriages, defilement and rape. She invites the world to work towards
creating an environment that enables all persons to work towards achieving
//Cue in: “I just want…..”
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She says that music especially “Get off my Way” has facilitated her to do self-reflection
of the kind of person she needs to be in future. She also revealed that because
of that song, some people paid her senior five fees saving her and her parents
the burden that comes with lack of fees.
//Cue in: "Get off my way....."
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To K, it is not just about music, she wants to pursue her studies and study law
at university to enable her intensify her advocacy and fight for the protection
of rights of women, girls and children.
//Cue in: “I want to be….”
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She, however also appeals to all young girls to be the first advocates for
their rights, arguing that unless they stand out for themselves, it will be
difficult for the rest of the advocates to fight for them.
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K now has in total eight songs: Get off my Way, Girl not a Woman, Shitani
Nikoome, Mummy Come Back, You’re awesome Jesus, Yesu Ninawe and Wake Up.
What Others Say
Jolly Mbambu is a radio personality and gender activist in Kasese. She says K
adds a lot of priceless effort to the fight for the girl child. Mbambu says K
comes at a right time when there is need to have the girl child directly
involved in the fight for their rights.
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Winnie Kiiza, the Kasese Woman MP, says such young girls need to be supported
so thank their message sinks deeper into all communities and subsequently the
In one of her posts, the former Leader of Opposition says: “I am dazzled by the
time, talent and enthusiasm that “Get off my Way” singer Edrine K and her
management have invested in the campaign against early marriages, sexual
harassment and the quest for the empowerment of the girl child. Edrine K needs
to be supported to live her dream.”
Halima Namakula, a veteran Uganda singer and women rights activists, says Edrine
K is a big talent and an asset that needs to be amplified to highlight the
plight of the girl child across the entire African Continent.