Philly Lutaaya

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Philly Lutaaya

Philly Bongoley Lutaaya (19 October 1951 – 15 December 1989) was a Ugandan musician who was the first prominent Ugandan to give a human face to HIV/AIDS. Before dying of AIDS, Lutaaya had spent his remaining healthy time writing songs about his battle with AIDS and touring churches and schools throughout Uganda to spread a message of prevention and hope.

Philly Lutaaya was popular in Uganda in the 1960s, and in the 1970s he toured Congo, Kenya and Japan. In the mid 1980s he settled in Stockholm, Sweden. There he recorded his hit album, Born in Africa, which is still popular in Uganda. The Nigerian-Swedish musician Dr. Alban, who has called Philly Lutaaya "one of the greatest African musicians" later released an album also named Born in Africa.

Philly Lutaaya's Christmas Album, produced in 1986 [1] remains his most popular album todate. The album whose songs were written in native Luganda remains part of a strong Christmas tradition in Uganda. It included classics such as "Tumusiinze", "Gloria", "Merry Christmass, Oh Happy New Year", "Azzaalidwa" and "Zukuka" among others.


In 2004, he won Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards[2]

Later in 2007, various Ugandan artists came together to re-record some of Lutaya's greatest hits. Bebe Cool sang Born in Africa, Juliana Kanyomozi re-did Diana. Iryn Namubiru and Nubian Lee of Fire Base Crew, both re-did Empisazo.


After his death at age 38, the Philly Lutaaya Initiative Association continued his work. With assistance from UNICEF, the Initiative sponsors lectures in schools and communities across Uganda highlighting personal testimonials of hundreds of people infected with HIV. In Uganda, 17 October is the Philly Bongoley Lutaaya Day.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ PAM Awards 2004 Winners at the Wayback Machine (archived February 4, 2005)

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