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Milege World Music Festival: A Melange of Disorganisation, Unprofessionalism and Wacky Ways

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Yesterday I had a heated conversation with the Army guys and the people at Milege World Music Festival. I must say I have attended hundreds of events in my life time but yesterday’s Milege festival turned out to be the worst organized, most unprofessional on all fronts.

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It lost it from the word go. I love to give everything the benefit of the doubt but yesterday all my patience buttons were used up. These guys no matter how low they sunk, they kept on proving they could even go lower. First an email comes in requesting “BigEye” to cover the 3 day festival. We write back and ask them to reserve 4 tickets for our team that will cover the festival.

A one Allan Wasswa whose email signature says he was their PR and Branding lead writes back confirming the reservations. He specifically notes; “there will be four tickets titled BigEye at the entrance. In case of anything call me while at the entrance.” Then an email comes in some days later regretting their inability to have a media launch and thus ‘no press conference.’

They write; ‘Unfortunately we were too busy to hold the press conference. Nonetheless find attached the media pack.” And guess what was contained in the pack; ‘endless photo albums.’ At this point we must have smelled the rat and called off our association to the festival. But hey, everyone deserves a chance. On Friday we get to Entebbe, two BigEye people and a friend we were going to pay entrance for. It was 11pm.

The first thing that welcomes us at Botanical Gardens is darkness, then two army guys with their guns. For a moment I thought we had mixed up the venues. Then out of nowhere, another unidentified guys springs out of the darkness and asks for our tickets. I humbly tell him to check the media list for tickets under ‘BigEye.’

This simple confirmation takes him 30 minutes, just to confirm their is even a media list. At this point I request him to call ‘Allan’ their PR guy. He has no idea of Allan. Then I try calling Allan and his phone is off. Completely off. Now I begin to really lose it. Four people come around and they are asked to buy tickets.

They pay and someone has to rush some distance to go bring their tickets and arm bands. Others come, get annoyed by the army guys and leave. While waiting, the army guys ask that I identify myself. I hand over an ID and thereafter ask for it. But everyone manning the gate is unidentified. At this point I have no idea who is doing what in this darkness.

As we wait for the media list, I show one of the guys the “email threads” so as to make the verification process easier. I am already tired. Finally two more unidentified chaps (no tags speaking to their role) panting come around. They say they have kind of seen the list but it actually has two people. I call off their bullshit. The army guys keep giving them orders.

I begin to wonder who is really making decisions here. At this point I make it clear that if this takes another 5 minutes I am out. The army guys ask that we all identify ourselves again. I make it clear that we have already gone miles to prove this. We are not going through the process again.

I ask what the Air Force is actually doing manning the gate and the whole event. I ask for the police. Where are they? None is on sight. I tell them this is unprofessional. Air Force shouldn’t be handling an event of civilians. The 5 minutes elapse and I start to walk away. One of the ladies runs to ask that I wait. I tell her; “if they could not sort themselves in the last 30 minutes, the next won’t make any difference.”

Meanwhile another guy comes in and is almost thrown out. He explains that he is the guy handling the tents and accommodation. The chaps at the entrance have no idea who this colleague is. Anyway how would they have known? None of them carries a tag speaking to their actual role at the festival. At this point I am wondering, did they even have an internal meeting amongst themselves as different stakeholders? Did they have planning meetings? Another guy runs after me to apologize. I tell him I need no apologies for a festival that has run for over 5 years. And apologies won’t make me change my mind. I had already cancelled my whole affair.

I call the other reporters at BigEye and tell them that we won’t be covering Milege. Till today Allan’s phone is off. He is also unknown to most people. But what annoyed me most was undecisiveness and lack of organisation at the festival.

Thank goodness there was Oz’s bar to calm down my anger. To Milege, you must sort out your house. You can’t still be limping with all these many years in the game. You are a World music festival for goodness sake not an Air Force induction programme. If all this could happen at the entrance, one then can’t imagine the bigger trash inside.

Yet this is not a piece to denigrate the festival. It is one to help them improve. Only a good friend takes the time to point out one’s weaknesses. And only because we believe in Milege and expect a lot from them did we get to pen this…

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Entertainment News

World Music Day fete on this Saturday

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Fête de la Musique main concert

One of the acts at a previous edition of the Fête de la Musique concert.

World Music Day 2018, also know as Fête de la Musique, celebration is on this weekend. The annual music fete which is aimed at promoting music for everyone, from amateurs to professionals, and encouraging artists to perform in public spaces for free will be held on Saturday, June 23 at the French School along Lugogo Bypass.

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To be held under the theme, “transforming the youth through music, creation, fusion and the power of the MC”, it will be headlined by UK hip-hop artiste Rodney P alongside Skitz in a hip-hop reggae fusion showcase. The concert will also feature performances from regional artistes including Uganda’s Byg Ben Sukuya, Nemesis Keya, Recho Rey, and Yallah MC, and DRC’s  Control Posse Kongoloko and R’Afrika among others.

The music concert will be preceded by a traditional instrument making workshop which will kick off at 3pm at the same venue. The session will be led by Albert Ssempeke, a well know instrumentalist and creative hailing from the Buganda Kingdom.

Started in France in 1982, Fête de la Musique has grown to over 120 countries and 700 cities around the world, transforming the event into an iconic international music affair.

Staff Writer

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Celebrity Gossip

Socialite Zari Hassan named judge for Miss Uganda Pageant

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Zari Hassan

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South Africa based Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan has been announced as one of the judges and patrons for the 2018 Miss Uganda Pageant.  She will also be a guest speaker at a CSR (corporate social responsibility) activity targeted to young girls organised by the Miss Uganda Foundation.

According to Brenda Nanyonjo, CEO of the Miss Uganda Foundation, Zari was chosen as one of the judges because she is the epitome of “beauty and brains”. “Zari is the perfect example of our motto at Miss Uganda which is beauty with a purpose! She is not only a beautiful woman but she has managed to achieve so much in her career as a businesswoman while she is raising 5 children. We believe she will be an excellent judge for the pageant.” She said.

Talent Africa’s CEO Aly Allibhai also noted that, “We are really excited to have Zari as a part of our team for the Miss Uganda Pageant. She is a strong independent women who is an inspiration and role model to young women in Uganda. The things she has achieved are phenomenal, she has been though many hardships but she always find a way to bounce back and keep developing and building her personal brand to be one of Uganda’s most celebrated personalities.”

The Miss Uganda finale is slated for August 10th at Kampala Sheraton Hotel.

Staff Writer

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Entertainment News

When Drugs Become The Music: The Addiction Problem in the Entertainment Industry

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By Our Reporter

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At his peak, Bobi Wine, now a member of Parliament remixed one of the Late Paul Kafeero’s songs; ‘Dippo Nazigala.’ The Kadongo-kamu singer had sang about his long journey towards quitting alcohol, Bobi Wine on the other hand sang about his struggles with marijuana. He laid down reasons why he had quit and went on to take a swipe at his musical competitors; Chameleone and Bebe Cool both of whom had come close to death. He blamed Chameleone’s fractures and Bebe Cool’s bullet injuries on addiction. Yet subtly, Bobi Wine had blown the lid off the drug problem in the entertainment industry, but no one did take him serious, at least no serious case had yet to surface.

It’s more than five years since the ‘Ghetto Nazigala’ song, the country awakens to the Ginkesse Star, Qute Kaye, who’d just survived a lynching over stealing car headlights. There were more questions than answers; “what happened? what went wrong?” How could a music star fall so low into an abyss that could not be explained any longer? “Drugs,” some guessed. But if it was drugs, how many had gone down this path? Did they ever find their bearing back to a normal life?

1. Dave Dash (Davis Lukwago), TV and Radio Presenter

Dave Dash

Last year in September, social media was hit by shockwaves as a video circulated. It was of Dave Dash taking a naked mile, his dreadlocks had given him away. Dave Dash would immediately check himself into rehabilitation at Butabika. A month later, he were to give a testimony of his recovery describing this moment as the most alive he’d been his entire life. Today, he seems to have left his past life behind and seems excited about the future ahead. He’s also gone on a drug awareness drive, partnering with organisations such as Reach A Hand Uganda to sensitise the youths about the dangers of drug use. He clearly did not live in denial about his problem, he came out and confronted it and seems to be winning so far.

2. Kennedy Zziwa, Hair Stylist at Hair by Zziwa

Zziwa

Speak of relapses, and Zziwa is there as a witness. He first publicly shared his story in light of the Dave Dash saga. In April this year, he once again came open and talked about his relapse. “I discovered from the news sites that I knocked an electricity pole in Biina. Survived being lynched. And then I was whisked to Rehab where I have been for two weeks,” confessed Zziwa. He’d been unaware of being high on drugs. Despite the relapse, he described it all as part of the recovery process and apologised to those he’d disappointed. It was no clear that there comes a point when drugs take control of one’s personality enslaving them in ways they can’t explain.

3. Iryn Namubiru, Ugandan Musician

The Ugandan music artiste was detained in Tokyo Japan for illegal possession of drugs. The singer claimed innocence and blamed her promoter, one Nigerian Kim Ueno for setting her up. Although Namubiru survived a punishment that could have gone up to seven years in jail, it still left the country talking. Till today, the facts of the matter remain unclear. Was Namubiru trying to export drugs? How many other Ugandan celebrities were in this kind of business?

4. Jackie Chandiru, Ugandan Music Artiste

Jackie Chandiru

Of all the former Blu3 girls, none has faced it rough more than Jackie Chandiru. The cracks of her life were first revealed by a leaked photo that showed her body with needle marks at various points. She had morphed into the Ugandan Elvis Prisley. Drugs were digging gold from her music stardom. But what could have driven Chandiru to drugs? Could it have been her failed relationships? Was it something she’d started out as an experimental exercise only to find euphoria in it? Chandiru last surfaced in public in 2017 during another of her relapses. The family rushed her back to rehab in a Bunamwaya health facility. We thus wonder; “did she hit a point of no-return or will there be a music reformation for this artiste?”

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