ARTHUR WATUULO, a graduate of Information Technology from Uganda Christian University, tells how the love for playing music instruments led to his salvation. The UCU call centre manager recently narrated to The Standard his great passion for musical instruments.
Born on April 04, 1991 to Dr Richard and Mrs Lydia Watuulo in Mbale District, Watuulo attended Nabumali Primary School.
“While in Primary Two I joined the choir. Then I went from singing to playing the xylophone, which was my favourite childhood instrument. I loved music so much that I failed a class because I attended all the practices, and participated in all concerts and competitions at the expense of my academics,” he said.
“However, I became an asset to my school because I always won competitions. At home, we were blessed with a neighbour that taught piano so in Primary Five, I took up piano lessons.”
He said that during his O-level studies at Nabumali High School, his passion for musical instruments grew.
“As fate would have it, the school purchased music instruments the year I joined. A condition was set that for one to be in charge of the instruments, one had to be born-again. Driven by my obsession, I became born-again and was put in charge.”
“Being born-again did not mean anything to me, it was only a ticket to access and play instruments anytime. However, God had a better plan of transforming and molding me into a minister that would serve His people in spirit and in truth. Later when the Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF) Band visited our school, I made a true confession to salvation.”
Watuulo says that when he joined Mengo Senior School, his hero status was challenged by those who played the musical instruments much better than he did.
“I got jealous and decided to join them and learn how to play like they did and better. Our trainer, Daniel Sempereza who was the music director at UCU then, noticed me in high school and connected me to the UCU band while I was studying in Senior Six. So by the time I joined UCU I had the confidence and connections.”
Exposure to the band enabled him to play professionally and he was equipped with the discipline of playing for ministry.
“Soon I was training whoever was interested in learning how to play instruments. Very many high class people call me to train their children and these relationships have humbled me. Alongside other duties, I am working with Pastor Wilson Bugembe; and I am daily encouraged to do what I love.”
Watuulo said that his dream is to reach greater heights and even play with Israel Houghton.
He added that he enjoys playing the keyboard, organ, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, recorder, the xylophone and drums, but the piano is his favourite.
“When I sit down to play the piano, I get lost in awe. The accomplishment is due to both skill, and anointing. When going into battle, you have to be prepared, thus the way one plays an instrument for ministry should not be the same way that one plays in a club or bar. People come to church with different problems, and your skill should enable them receive healing and relaxation.”
Playing instruments has helped Watuulo raise capital for another business: setting up a video game centre. He set up a video game station in Mukono, which accommodates 12 people. His goal is to raise this to 50 or 100 play stations.
His future plans include starting a band and setting up a professional music studio.
“Currently though, I perform in churches, functions and parties with the Elgon Groove Band. But I will not stop until I get to where I want to be.