Akello is a singer/songwriter hailing from the northern part of Uganda. When the war with the infamous Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) broke out, her family was forced to flee and find safety in the suburbs of the country’s capital, Kampala.
Counting herself among the “lucky ones” since the conflict claimed thousands of lives, Akello debuted her singing career with a song entitled “Wan Wilobo” which is Acholi for we are the world. A song that tells the story of the Acholi women, who braved a 25-year long civil war tasked with the responsibility of holding the home together despite the fact that the world seemed to be crumbling around them. With their husbands and sons abducted by the rebels and recruited into the rebel army, the Acholi women had to be strong not only for the families left behind, but for the entire Acholi tribe.
“I use my music as a tool for social change and to tell inspiring, lifechanging stories.” – Akello
Despite a background loomed over by a dark memory, Akello penned songs of love and thanksgiving. She looks to spread the spirit of togetherness, love, hope and utter happiness, traits affiliated to the African. Akello says “there is a lot of beauty in the hearts of Africans and the best way I see fit to share it with the world, is in the one language we all understand, MUSIC”.
Akello started out her musical career like most artists – at small gigs, in church, at weddings and at various events. These, no matter how small, fueled her career which saw her linked to a number of musical projects, including the very successful Singing Wells Project in 2012 being the most successful, on which she worked with the “Adungu Cultural Troupe” along with various artists. The project was aimed at re-digging the wells of music in various parts of Uganda, with hers primarily being the Northern region.
Having embraced the African contemporary style, Akello sings mostly in Acholi and occasionally in English and Luganda. She has quite a following in Uganda and an appeal that transcends geographical boundaries. “I use my music as a tool for social change and to tell inspiring, life-changing stories.” she says.
As a recording artiste, Akello has released singles like Wan Wilobo, Samanya, Apwooyo, Amaari, Wer Yang, Tam, Ffena awamu and Aywer Kedi, collaborating with some of the country’s top names such as Levixxone, Mun G, Myko Ouma.
As a performer, Akello has graced several events including the annual Bayimba International Festival of Music and Arts, Qwela Junction Divas Edition (2015), Blankets and Wine, and alongside Uganda’s Janzi Band on several occasions. Akello has also performed at the Laba Arts Festival and Fete de la Musique both organised by the French Embassy. These led to international engagements in France.
In 2015, Akello collaborated with Levixone on the song “Samanya” which received great reviews from fans and saw the song being nominated for a HiPipo Award and a Viga Award for “Best Religious song of the year”.