The story of Prince Igumira plays out like Shakespeare. Born in Africa, Prince Eddie Atlas Igumira and his family fled the continent due to extreme war that had erupted in his home country of Uganda. Tragically, when he was only two years old his father died in the war, leaving him to grow up as a refugee in North America and disregarding that he was born to be amongst the elite in society.
The struggles of being raised by a single mother in a new land quelled any queries that he might have had about the royal life he was supposed to be living in Africa once the war had finished. Growing up Prince Igumira started listening to Hip Hop music and was influenced by many of the usual suspects from the late 80s and early 90s like Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Public Enemy, KRS ONE, NWA, Kool G Rap, EPMD and Run DMC. At the age of ten he took an interest in writing lyrics and by twelve had developed the skills to open up for Will Smith, Redman, Black Moon, Run DMC, ICE-T and LL Cool J as part of a group he formed with local friends under the alias ATLAS. In 2004 he appeared on Much Music television after winning a nation-wide freestyle competition to open up for Fabolous in which he defeated over 100 participants. On stage at the concert he was awarded with a gift by Universal Records for winning the competition. More recently Prince Igumira got props from Jay-Z during “Caribanna” weekend in Toronto while Jay-Z was getting interviewed on Much Music. The recognition from such stars was welcomed, but Prince Igumira still has his reservations:
“When I left the studio I had a lot of messages on my phone from managers and record labels interested in working with me. It felt good, but I was making more money hustling in the streets, so being a rapper wasn’t something I took serious at that point in my life”.
Eventually the street life grew cumbersome for the Prince, and he left it behind. Ahead of him, were far greater spoils. The knowledge he had gained from the streets combined with attending business courses in college led him to figure that it was time to put his entrepreneurial skills to good use. In 2006 he met Hip Hop boss Big Apple of Swagg News (founder of the legendary “Im Not A Rapper” t-shirt, and became the road manager and his assistant. Prince Igumira finally got a foot in the entertainment industry.
“Apple is the reason I am not dead or in prison, he took me under his wing at a time in my life when I needed a father figure. He had me on tour with Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, attending all the industry conferences and learning the game. I am forever grateful to him. I never lived the life of a Prince, and after 25 years of struggling I feel very blessed to find out who I am. I am very thankful for all the blessings that god has given me in the last 3 years. Most people would be bitter if they went through what I went through. I have forgiven those who hid my royalty and riches all these years that I rightfully should have inherited from the day I was born. Life Goes On”.
In the end, things came together for the Prince in a word that encapsulates many great stories: redemption. Prince Igumira currently lives back in his home country of Uganda, where he is the CEO of Igumira Enterprises, Team Atlas Sports, and the President of Swagg Studios. Future projects coming in 2010 include his book, “From Pauper To Prince”; a new album, “Poverty in Paradise”; and in 2011 a movie titled, “From Pauper To Prince”, which is based on the true life story of Prince Eddie Atlas Igumira. True life can be stranger than fiction, indeed.