Daniel Kiyega is the brain child behind the Esom School of Music in Rubaga Division, Kampala but it was not a rosy start for the musician.
He dropped out of school as early as primary six, but that did not stop him from dreaming. He allowed his mind to wander, hatching up ideas that many would say were beyond him.
In his mind, boiled a series of plans, but deep in his heart lurked the desire to pursue music. Luck knocked on his door step when he was picked from the street by an NGO. The NGO hooked him up with woman who adopted him as his parent.
“I made my desire to study music known to my parent immediately,” he says
He later enrolled into a music, dance and drama class for a few months before joining the Reformed Theological College in Bunamwaya. His musical skills kept improving and his dreams became clearer to him.
Upon his first completion in 2000, he joined Trumpet Church where he played instruments for a full year. It was the same change that would later link him to international and local churches for performances.
Life after school
Kiyega got lucky when the Principal of Creare College of Music Bloemfontein South Africa visited the country. He saw him doing his work and saw a lot of potential in him recommending him as a result to go and study at the Creare College of music located in Bloemfontein South Africa.
This was a life changing experience for Kiyega.
Just as luck could have it, he started traveling and touring several countries in Europe as he preached his good music to the citizens.
A step into music
After playing instruments for some time, Kiyega decided to dip his feet into the music business. He became a singer under the stage name Dan Wonders however his recordings never went beyond his friends.
“I first recorded an album but shelved it because things were not going well for me as a singer so I decided to pursue other parts of music,” he said.
While in Europe, Kiyega hit a major obstacle, he had expected to make good money as a performer and instrumentalist and was planning to settle in the United Kingdom but things didn’t go as planned. Gigs never came and the little money he had on him was fast running out.
“Things got really hard and I had to cut my dreams of life in Europe short and come back home after almost 3 years out there” he says.
Building a music school
First thing he did when he landed was buying a second hand car. Life gets easy with rides, but not when they are second hand. Kiyega learnt his lesson. The car was always in and out of the garage which forced him to sell it off.
With just a piano and a guitar, he managed to rent a two roomed house to conduct his lessons and searching for students to join his school little knowing it would turn up into the best musical school in the country.
“There were many young men who wanted to enter the music industry but lacked adequate skills. This was compounded with the rampant unemployment that music could give a helping hand to solve.I displayed posters and attracted students, one, two three, four, more. The number kept growing. It was a hustle, but like they say, it is history,” he said.
The then two-bedroom school now boasts over 400 students and enrollment is increasing by leaps and bounds.