Mugabi earns big money from playing his saxophone

Medi Mugabi is a saxophonist who plays the instrument at different functions including weddings, introductions, birthdays, get together parties, baptism and baby showers among others mostly around Kampala.

For a few years now, he has been cashing in by playing for crowds -and entertaining guests at corporate parties, a skill he taught to himself.

He says that between 2005 while in primary school, he went to the home of one of his friends where he saw a number of musical instruments. However, he fell in love with only one instrument: the saxophone.

“It was love at first sight I must say. My first time to saw the sax was the day I fell in love for it. I just loved the way it looked. It was so unique and more beautiful than all the instruments at my friend’s home. I fell in love with it,” Mugabi says.

The senior six drop out says whereas he had fallen in love with it, at the friend’s home, no one knew how to play it and therefore no one could teach him how to play the saxophone.

However, despite not knowing how to play it, Mugabi’s admiration for the saxophone never waned at any one time.

He devised means for teaching himself how to play the instrument that he loved so much.

“Whereas the instrument existed there was no one who could play it and neither was there anyone to teach me. When I asked for it, I was given a green light to use it and I started by slowly teaching myself how to play it. Because there was no one to teach me, it took me four years between 2005 and 2009 to perfect it,” he says.

As the adage goes, practice makes perfect and for Mugabi, this has come true.

Making money

Whereas initially his plan was not to make money out of playing the saxophone Mugabi was later asked by a friend to think of cashing in from playing the instrument.

He bought the idea.

“It was a suggestion from a friend that I could earn money out of playing the sax. He told me I could play at function for a few hours and get paid. I bought the idea and here we are, I do it for a living,” Mugabi says.

He adds that whereas he plays at different functions, he doesn’t market himself to the public but rather through referrals.

“I perfected my game and I play the sax to the best of my ability. I get clients through connections and referrals but I am thinking of making use of social media to make more people get to know me.”

He says he has no fixed charge for clients but says he is not that expensive, adding that since he has not been in the game for a very long time, charging clients less gets him more customers.

He however says he doesn’t always get clients and sometimes goes many months without any gig.

“This is a gig that comes during certain seasons. Therefore, the income is not constant.  Sometimes you get clients, other days they are nowhere to be seen,” he says.

No regrets

Mugabi says he has no regrets for having taught himself how to play the saxophone since he has achieved a lot out of playing it.

“I have been able to sustain myself because of money got out of playing the sax. I have made some music and uploaded it on YouTube. I was also able to open a studio, though I got some setback a few years back. I have no regrets for the saxophone.”

He also has some advice for fellow youths.

“Use your talent for own benefit. Talent can take you places but can also keep you away from bad influence,” he says.

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