Sheebah Karungi, the Ugandan musical artist, recently shared her journey from uncertainty to success in the music industry. Sheebah, also known as Queen Sheebah or Queen Karma, was initially hesitant about joining the popular group Obsessions. Ronnie Mulindwa, the group’s manager, reached out to her while she was in Rwanda to replace Cleopatra Koheirwe, who was departing from the group.
Sheebah had previously worked with Obsessions as a member of the dance group Stingerz, which had been hired for some projects. This prior collaboration made Mulindwa aware of her potential. However, when offered the opportunity to join Obsessions, Sheebah confessed that she lacked confidence due to her educational background. She believed that Obsessions typically attracted girls from elite educational backgrounds, while she had dropped out of school during her second year of secondary education.
In an interview, Sheebah expressed her initial doubts, saying, “Obsessions was crazy… it was famous. It was every little girl’s dream. So, me, being chosen… first of all, I didn’t think I was pretty enough to join them, or I was in shape enough to be there… I was learnt enough to be there.”
Sheebah Karungi, whose birth name is Samalie Njagala, was born on November 11, 1989, and grew up in Kawempe, a division in Kampala. She dropped out of Midland High School, Kawempe, during her second year and entered the music industry as a dancer at the age of 15.
Sheebah began her career with the dance group Stingerz in 2004 before joining Obsessions in 2006. She later left Obsessions in 2010 and released her first official single, “Kunyenyenza,” produced by Washington and written by Cindy. The song became a hit, and she continued to gain recognition.
In 2014, Sheebah released her first mini-album titled “Ice Cream,” featuring songs like “Twesana,” “Jordan,” and the title track, “Ice Cream.” Her popularity soared, leading to her first well-attended concert at Hotel Africana in 2016, following the success of her hit song “Nkwatako.”
In addition to her music career, Sheebah Karungi ventured into acting, making her debut in the movie “Queen of Katwe” as Shakira. She has received numerous awards from organizations such as HiPipo Music Awards, Uganda Music Awards, Abryanz Styles and Fashion Awards, Zzina Awards, and Nigeria Entertainment Award, among others.
After a decade, Sheebah Karungi left Jeff Kiwanuka’s Team No Sleep to pursue her solo career and entrepreneurial endeavors.