Dubai cleaner who is a musician hopes to become world's best rapper

My time will come, says the Ugandan expat, who is inspired by Bollywood movie Gully Boy and saving up to study music


SM Ayaz Zakir

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KT Photo: Rahul Gajjar
KT Photo: Rahul Gajjar

Published: Thu 1 Sep 2022, 11:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 1 Sep 2022, 10:24 PM

A mop in his hand and a song on his lips is what Kibirige Athanasius Kalule is known for at a restaurant he works in.

Fondly known as Thana by his friends, colleagues, and relatives, he is a cleaner and a dishwasher at Jafer Bhai Restaurant in Al Karama, with a high spirit and big dreams. “I don’t want to be a cleaner all my life, I want to be the best rapper," said Thana.

Thana is inspired by the Bollywood movie ‘Gully Boy’ and repeats the iconic phrase from the movie ‘apna time ayega’ (my time will come) to himself daily.

The subject of his songs is unique, and he writes based on the situations he comes across in daily life. “I write on traffic, people who catch my attention while I walk on the road while travelling, and any incident my eyes catch a glimpse of,” said Thana. However, he mostly prefers writing about love and religious belief. “Love is what keeps the world moving forward peacefully, and God is what I completely trust in,” added Thana.

He is very confident with his lyrics, “You give me a story, I can transform it into a rap or a song.” Thana mentions.

Thana keeps a writing pad with him and writes lyrics based on his everyday life. In this manner, he has composed and written nearly fifteen songs in the last fifteen years. “I practice the written songs daily at work, and my colleagues enjoy it. At the moment, I sing for them, but later in life, I wish to sing for hordes of people at my concert,” said Thana.

“When I record these songs, it will be in just one take as I practice daily,” he said.

The Ugandan rapper has lent his voice and lyrics to a few artists for their YouTube channels back in his home city of Kampala.

Thana had been a businessman in Kampala. After his business failed due to the pandemic, he came to Dubai four months ago to support his family in Uganda. “I failed for good, I believe. Coming to Dubai, I get so much content for my write-ups as I come across various nationalities, cultures, and traditions. It is a learning process for me,” said the Ugandan artist. He is married and has two kids, and the reason he works as a cleaner is to feed his family and plan a better future.

Thana said that age is just a number, and he will continue his studies in finance and music. “I will save money and go to Canada with just one focus, to be the best rapper. I will study music and come up with my album no matter how many years it takes,” said Thana.

Thana’s colleagues believe in him and his dreams, and they say that his dedication will surely take him places.


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