From a Houseboy to King of music: Meet Mozambique’s Mr. Bo
Mr. Bow is one of the most outstanding and beloved musicians from Mozambique. Unique for his ability to play and sing both modern and traditional styles of music, Mr. Bow stands out with his smash hits: Nitati-Dhaya, Nitafa Wena, Good Life and My Number One featuring his better half Liloca, who also happens to be a Coke Studio Africa – 2017 singer. Mr. Bow recalls his remarkable music journey from the bottom up:
Houseboy at 15 years old
In 1997, Mr. Bow got sick with Malaria and lost the opportunity to go to school during that year. He says: “My parents were both farmers and I did not feel good staying home watching my parents do all the hard work; I had to look for something to do.” He then decided to go out and become a houseboy at the age of 15. “I have to say it was difficult as it was a new experience for me, but I had to do it,” he says. After that experience Mr Bow pushed himself to continue with life’s struggles as there was no way he was going back to live in his mother’s house.
The turnaround tale
Mr. Bow quit being a houseboy in 2001 and went to Maputo. As he recalls: “That is where everything started!” He knew some friends who were rappers so he joined them and started going to the studio with them.
“Most people don’t know this but my first song was a Hip-Hop song,” says Mr Bow, who formed a rap group with his friends and they rapped together but that did not last long. “Staying in a group was difficult for me because working in groups is not as easy; everybody must give their best to one project even if they do not advocate for the project.”
I always knew I had a passion for music.
From the very start, Mr. Bow always knew he had a passion for music. “When I was young, my brother and I would take coconut shells and play them pretending we were drummers.” From playing coconut shells to working with Jason Derulo… he says that this is a dream come true. “What if Coke Studio Africa did not call me? Where and how would I get this opportunity? Coke Studio Africa is what I call a magic project,” he Mr. Bow.