Vivian Tendo: ‘I was so obsessed with Irene Ntale, I defied my own dad and he abandoned me’

Charming singer Vivian Tendo has long told how she got estranged with her dad in the early stages of her singing career, when the two disagreed on what kind of music she should be getting into.

Vivian Tendo

Her father Godfrey Ntubiro, a pastor and music coach had forbidden her from doing secular music, demanding instead that she become a gospel artiste.

But the ‘Simuta singer’ defied him and he got upset, cutting off all financial support for her university education. It was such a major dispute, she says, that the pair didn’t talk to each other for a good three years.

Now in a recent interview, Tendo has shed more light on what really drove her to take a stand against her beloved dad.

First, she says, it was her obsession with super star Irene Ntale. As a young school girl, Tendo told Ruth Kalibbala Bwanika, she fell deeply in love with Ntale, and aspired to take on her style, her music and personality.

I loved Irene Ntale so much; I still do, but at that time I think I was obsessed. I looked up to her; my albums were full of her photos,” Tendo narrated.

Problem was, this was the time her father started pushing her into church ministry and becoming a gospel artiste.

So here I was being told to become a gospel singer, but my role model is a secular artiste,” she said.

Worse still, Tendo says she personally dreaded the life of a gospel artiste. She believed a gospel singer “has to live like Jesus.”

My father knew my talent; he was my trainer and he even used to come to my school to train our choir. I was always the lead soloist; but as I grew up, we disagreed on the type of music. It is not like I hated gospel music, but it seemed too big, because being a gospel singer you are like Jesus; people expect you to be upright and I really feared putting myself in that position.”

When she stood her ground, Tendo said her father stopped paying her tuition at Kyambogo University. Luckily, her mother, who had separated with the father, stepped up and got her through campus.

Now one of the most recognised female artists in the country, Tendo is living a dream. Last weekend she introduced her fiance Moses Waswa Tinsley in a colorful ‘Kukyala’ ceremony that took place on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023.

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