Navio Vs G.N.L Zamba: Who is the King of Ugandan Hip-hop?

[Image Source: Instagram]

By Gloria

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Ugandan artists Navio and G.N.L Zamba are two of the best Hip-hop musicians in the country at the moment. Having been in the industry for more than a decade, the two have kept the rap game going in Uganda. You can't talk about Ugandan Hip-hop without mentioning Navio and G.N.L.

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In this article, we review their music journey, highlighting some of their key milestones:


Navio started his career under Hip-hop group Klear Kut which also had The Mith, J-Baller, Langman and Papito. They introduced a new term ‘Ugaflow’ to mean Ugandans doing Hip-hop. They had their debut album 'Mind, Body and Soul' in 2000. Later, they opted to pursue solo career with Navio releasing his album ‘Half the Legend' in 2009.

On his part, G.N.L Zamba began professional music in 2007 under Platinum Entertainment. He later started his label Baboon Forest Entertainment in 2008. He specializes in Lugaflow; Native Ugandan rap.


Navio has won awards like Buzz Tenniez Awards, PAM Awards, Africa Entertainment Awards, MTN Hip-hop awards, HiPipo awards among others.

G.N.L Zamba has won awards like 256 Hip-hop Awards, The Arts Award, Uganda Buzz Music Awards, Club Music Video Awards, Kadanke Awards, Pearl of Africa Music Awards, Press Association Awards among others.

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Navio has several albums that include; Half the Legend, Mind, Body and Soul, Strength of Numbers, The Chosen, African Hustler Music, Pride, ML and One Step Away.

G.N.L Zamba has several albums that include; Dreaming in Colour, I Am Zamba/Ceazar, The Renaissance/Uganda Yaffe, Speaking Vernacular, Koyi Koyi (Riddles of Life) and The Spear.

YouTube Viewership and Subscribers

Navio's YouTube account was created in July 2013. Currently it has 16.3K subscribers and a cumulative viewership of 3,218,730. On the other hand, G.N.L Zamba launched his channel in April 2010 and has a cumulative viewership of 2,087,844.

Social Media Followers

Navio boasts of 369K followers on Instagram and 452K on Facebook. On his part, G.N.L. has 502K followers on Instagram and 305K on Facebook.

International Collaborations

Navio has collaborated with artists like Sauti Sol, Sarkodie, Wizkid, Vannessa Mdee, Seyi Shey, Burna Boy, Ice Prince, Khaligraph Jones, Joh Makini among others.

On his part, G.N.L Zamba together with his American wife under their label Nsimbi have a number of collaborations.

Life outside Music

Navio has always partnered with Reach A Hand; an organization that transforms the status and life youths in the country. In 2014, he was one of the featured artists in the second season of ‘Coke Studio Africa’.

On his part, GNL Zamba participated in ‘Friend A Gorilla’ which was an Oxfam-sponsored campaign about environmental education with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. ‘Story ya Luka’, his song was selected by the Uganda Ministry of Health to headline a 2010 AIDs Youth education campaign. His Record label, Baboon Forest is expanding from just music to a full production house and a clothing line.

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