Lady Kola: My music career and why WJ is still my king
Lady Kola—just 24—is a South Sudanese hotshot in the music industry. She commands respect and admiration amongst the fanbase especially after dropping hits such as Dugu kas that gave her the lifeline. She speaks to SARAH OSMAN about her music journey, the beef with fellow artists and her undying love for the voice of WJ the King.
Sarah: Who is Lady Kola the music shankara?
Lady Kola: Lady Kola is a celebrated, multi-award-winning female artist in South Sudan who also doubles as a model and peace activist. My real name is Akuol Ajom and I was born on August 16, 1998, in Ethiopia.
Sarah: Some people consider you naughty and rude. Is that what defines who Lady Kola is?
Lady Kola: I am who I am. I don’t have time to pretend to be someone else. You either like me for who I am or deal with the outcome that unfolds. It’s what makes me unique and unapologetically conquering the music fraternity.
Sarah: Your energy on stage is normally quite unmatched when compared to other artists, what is your secret?
Lady Kola: I’m born crazy and it’s a natural thing in me that needs no further questions. I don’t booze but only smoke (shisha). I can’t tell that it is the smoke that hypes me (smiles).
Sarah: ‘Dugu kas’ was the song that brought you to the limelight and by the time you joined the industry, there were big names already such as Queen Zee, Neetah Baibe, Madonita and many more. Were you not scared of competition?
Lady Kola: To be sincere, the industry was not that stiff so I made sure I got a strategy with the help of good people around me. The first person I talked to was my younger sister Lucky Charm who didn’t first believe in me but was more than willing to join the team in support of a sister.
I never ever feared any competition because I was determined and ready for anything.
Sarah: You collaborated with some artists in the East African region, one being John Blaq, Cindy and Weasel Manizo of the Goodlife. Rumour has it that Weasel and Kola were a thing, hence their collabo. What is your reaction to this?
Lady Kola: The entire Mayanja family is part of me. They are my brothers and there is nothing intimate between Weasel and me.
In order for one to be relevant and also push a song, you got to be creative and come up with stunts for one to also trend. The song I did with him titled ‘Iris Tana’, loosely translated as ‘‘our wedding’’ made people speak in tongues and we were both unbothered because we already had a motive.
When I did ‘‘muhaba’’ with Cindy Sanyu, people thought that I paid her handsomely which is not the case. Once like-minded meet, just expects creativity out of them. I never ever regret having known my East African brothers and sisters because they added a stone to my career and I’m forever grateful.
Sarah: What makes you stand out from all the female artists in South Sudan?
Lady Kola: I don’t fake it; I am real, not like others who pretend in order to get what they want. Once you are truthful, down to earth and realistic trust me you end up winning people’s trust and love. And that is how I conquered over the years.
Sarah: Before you got into being managed, how did you manage to do everything on your own?
Lady Kola: I wasn’t officially in management but was indirectly managed by my younger sister. As of today, I am signed under Lucky Charm management and I also have Viola as my lawyer and camera people. It is basically a whole set of professionals doing a different kind of work under one management.
Sarah: How does it feel like working under your sister’s management? Do you sometimes agree to disagree or there are written rules to be followed since it’s business?
Lady Kola: Apart from music, we are family. We sometimes quarrel and disagree but because she respects elders and given the fact that I’m a celebrity, she has no option but to accord it where it’s needed.
Sarah: It is rumoured that you, John Frog and Mary Boyoi haven’t been seeing eye to eye. Is that also stunt to the top?
Lady Kola: The good thing with the beef I had was that it involved untalented people. Take a look at Mary Boyoi, she is not talented and I’m pretty sure some people can attest to that as for my brother John frog, he is lucky that people liked him despite his lack of talent. I am not in any competition with any of them or against anyone’s music for as long as their fans like them; it’s entirely up to them. I don’t give two flying doves to what they do.
Sarah: Who is your favourite artist in South Sudan?
Lady Kola: My all-time artist in this industry is my baby daddy W.J the king of Lokwilili. He sings with passion and love. In fact, my fans should expect a collabo from the two of us Insha’Allah and among the females, I love Queen Zee because of her resilience in the industry. There were times when it was fully dominated by only men and she was the only lady who fought so hard on our behalf
Sarah: What are some of the music projects you are working on under Lucky Charm management?
Lady Kola: I have a lot of things in stock for my beloved fans. Apart from the Kampala collaborations, I also have international ones coming through with a Nigerian artist whom I will keep under wraps for now. The audio is done just waiting for the video then my management will release the most anticipated project.
I promise to give hit after hit for as long as the support is accorded. By the end of this year, we are likely to release my single just watch the space.
Sarah: Why are artists finding it hard to unite and champion their course?
Lady Kola: What affects our industry is that everyone pulls towards their side and forget others. I would urge all entertainers to come together and fight poverty eating us up then focus on other things.
Sarah: The artist’s management in South Sudan has been accused of giving empty promises to their artists unlike in our neighbouring countries like Uganda and Kenya where artists got privileges. Some even want to be more famous than the artist. How does it feel being under Lucky Charm.
Lady Kola: It is not because she’s my sister, but because she’s a dedicated person who believes in growth. She invests in the artist for the betterment of the future. She’s one focused person who looks further than she can.
Continue listening to ‘’ita ma dafa’’ as you also get ready to be served other songs still in the kitchen. Let love lead amongst each and every one. Support homegrown talent and please follow me on all my social media handles.