By Ian Ortega
I have fully recovered from the Nyege Nyege explosion. It also marked my third time of making an appearance at Nyege Nyege. So then, I am in a better position to review last weekend’s fourth edition.
I must confess, this year marked an all-time FOMO for Nyege Nyege. For many, it was a do or die. Many planned for Nyege Nyege months in advance, yours truly as usual has always left things to randomness. Heaven is hidden in those things you don’t plan for, taking routes you didn’t intend to take. In there, you find the joys of serendipity.
This year, Nyege Nyege went truly extreme. If last year was Nyege Nyege’s mark of maturity, this year, it cemented itself as the festival that will always dot your annual calender.
Bell Lager and Uganda Waragi left no stone unturned when it came to executions. The world of Waragi had nothing close to it, the UG pineapple garden, the coconut beach and the silent disco, it was a new step in the party world.
Then came Bell Jamz with that music studio. All you had to do was get in, and rock out your music hit. Imagine having the Swangz team mastering your song on spot. Talent for many was discovered on that day. For many, it was living every moment, for those 4 days do rush by so fast.
We then moved to wild bae; MTN decided to transform its space into your normal night club, only that their club now played 24-7.
As usual the mainstage continued to bring some of the usual main acts such as Beenie Gunter yet did not fall shot of unveiling some authentic sounds from South Africa.
I found my heart at the Tropical Stage, it was an actual boiler room. The energy over here had no lid to it. It was a furnace of all characters. But I also fell in love with it because it presents this classic view of the Nile.
Did I say the cheapest rolex was UGX 5000? But give it to Busoga, after tasting a Jinja chapatti, you never want to taste these fake Kampala chapattis. The Food Court was expanded, well organized, it offered too many options that you could almost fail for choice.
One thing that Nyege Nyege has kept true is the ability to give people the chance to express themselves in the most authentic of ways. It is the one time of the year where people are truly themselves. If you desire to be shirtless, this is the time. If you want to show up as a Caesar, you are sorted. If you hate shoes, this is the time.
Nyege Nyege also has the unbeatable location. Greatness is about location, location, location. Nile Discovery beach is that perfect location. The trees, the landscaping, the waters. Or yes.
Speaking of the waters, I missed the rain. Nyege Nyege missed the rain. When it finally rained, it was a little too late, on Sunday morning and then disappeared so quick. Many last year argued that rain messed Nyege Nyege. I told them they were wrong, rain is a key ingredient in Nyege Nyege. It makes a big difference. For when it rained last year, you just stopped caring completely and just decided to dance, people would fall in the mud, hold each other up, the soggy conditions more than ever, brought them closer.
I also felt like this year Nyege Nyege was in a battle between mainstream and the arts. To be or not to be. For the arts and culture loyalists, Nyege Nyege kinda did dim on this front a bit. Nonetheless, this did not kill that irrestible urge to dance, shake, move and just go craaazzzzy.
As usual, Nyege Nyege wins on security. Yet as the audience grows even bigger, the fight will be on how to never kill the culture that makes Nyege, Nyege. Could there be a day in future where Nyege Nyege becomes another prolonged blankets of sorts? Or will Nyege remain true to its cores of the afropolitan vibes? For that afrocentric culture should never die. Those are the strings that hold this guitar.
Yet one thing remains clear, Nyege Nyege remains Uganda’s top event, East Africa’s top festival. That is not about to change. Whatever meaning one derives out of Nyege Nyege, it will always be personal. Whether one sees it as the afro burning man or coachella, it is still unbeatable. Ekinyegenyege for the Baganda, Nyege Nyege for Basoga, Swahili, and other languages. All those means come alive in those four days.
If one thing ought to happen at the next edition, it ought to rain, it ought to get muddy….
Hymn Experience to bring christians together on Good Friday
Christians of different denominations will come together to celebrate Hymn music on GoodFriday in a Christian event dubbed The Hymn Experience. The show that will beheld at Kampala Serena Hotel is organized by Masrob Events and the idea was championed by Hymn Singer Julian Nakato also known as Nakie Julian. Accordingto Nakie, gospel events have not seen success and have not been fully supported over the years. “I sat down in 2014 and thought of how to change the mindset of those who attend gospel concerts and thought about something fresh” Nakie says. She goes on to say that the Hymn Experience is an idea he got because Hymnsongs are forgotten but loved by many church goers. This year’s theme will be Bring Back The Choir and different choirs from different churches will come together to perform for the crowd at Kampala Serena Hotel. Among the notable performers who will be on stage alongside Nakie Julian will include calvary Cross Choir, Golden GateChoir, All Saints Choir, and Jehovah Shalom which is an Acapella outfit. Singer Levixone will also perform alongside Ezekiel and Esther, the youngsters who recently won the East Africa has got talent music competitions. The only difference is that these singers will not perform their songs but will perform together with church choirs and they will perform Hymns.
Cindy looking to inspire fellow female musicians in daring Cricket Oval concert
By Our Reporter
Musician Cindy Sanyu is set for a mega concert dubbed “Boom Party Concert” slated for this Saturday, March 7 at Lugogo Cricket Oval.
The “Ayokyayokya” star will be hoping to make history as the first Ugandan female musician to take on the arduous venue, one that has predominantly been used by international artists and countable Ugandan male artists.
Although she admitted worrisomeness about the choice of venue, she insists it is for the greater good and hopes to inspire fellow female musicians with the daring move.
“As a female musician who has been in the industry for over a decade, I wanted to cement my legacy with something that has not be done before. This is why I ended up choosing to hold my concert at Lugogo Cricket Oval.” Cindy told media during a press briefing held at Bight of Benin restaurant on Monday.
“I also want to squash this notion that it is only international musicians that can fill up Lugogo as well as inspire fellow women that it can be done.” She added.
Meanwhile, Cindy has promised to give fans a memorable experience, revealing that she will be performing with twice the number of dancers and instrumentalists than she usually does.
The “Boom Party Concert” will feature other artists such as Kent & Flosso, Eddy Kenzo, Maro, Karole Kasita, Rabadaba, Silver X (from South Sudan), and Viper Ranking among others.
“I know I can’t do this on my own. I am calling on everyone to come and support me. Join me and we make history together.” She concluded.
The concert is being organised by Nexus Events and sponsored by Tusker Malt. Tickets are on sale at Shs. 20,000 (ordinary), Shs. 50,000 (VIP) and Shs 1,000,000(table).
Talent Africa’s Sam Lamara aka Samurae shines at the MTN Hip Hop Awards
For over a decade, the name Samurae has echoed through the corridors of the Hip Hop fraternity as he has been producing and engineering urban music under Talent Africa Studios. His real name is Sam Lamara and has worked with some of biggest brands that have driven the UG HipHop industry including Klear Kut, Navio, The Mith, Tucker HD, Play 01, Flex D Paper, Byg Ben, Keko, GNL and so many more. Whether he is producing the track or recording, mixing & mastering, its no secret that what Sam touches comes out a master piece. His prowess with instruments & ear for great beats have earned him his place among the most respected music producers in the country right now. Last Friday at the MTN Hip Hop Awards Samurae was awarded the accolade of the Producer of the Year.
Another product of Talent Africa is hip hop artist Tucker HD who won Album of the Year for his album titled “Vroom” which was recorded, mixed and mastered and executive produced by Samurae at Talent Africa Studios. Tucker HD now a solo artist was signed to Talent Africa in 2012 through a talent search that formed the musical group called AirporTaxi.
The Collaboration of the Year was “UG’s Most Wanted” which featured Byg Ben, Tucker HD, Tushi Polo, Play 01 and J Watts. The project was produced by Josh B and engineered, recorded, mixed and mastered at Talent Africa Studios.
The Inspirational Song of the Year was “Amen” by The Mith Ft Mal-X. The track was produced by Kozneffekt and also engineered, recorded, mixed and mastered by Samurae at Talent Africa Studios.
The Rap Fusion of the Year was a “Giddem” a collaboration by Big Tril and Talent Africa’s dancehall sensation Beenie Gunter.
Talent Africa’s CEO Aly Allibhai states “Talent Africa has always been a strong supporter of Ugandan hip hop music and culture and it very nice to see that our projects and talents are being rewarded for their hard work and dedication. We are also set to open our brand new state of the art studio premises in Kololo where we will be offering 360 degree content creation services with a brand new audio studio, video studio, editing suite, live music production and a music school. The new studios will be re-branded under the name TAG Studios.”
Vusi Thembekwayo to host cocktail this Friday
Acclaimed South African business mogul, venture capitalist and global speaker, Vusi Thembekwayo, will host entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts to a Johnnie Walker cocktail this Friday, March 6, 2020, at Protea Hotel by Mariott Kampala Skyz.
Vusi is set to land in the Pearl of Africa this Wednesday for high-class engagements with the business community at Kampala Serena Hotel on Thursday, where he will host a breakfast meeting and later on Friday, where he will host the Johnnie Walker cocktail at the Protea Hotel by Mariott Kampala Skyz.
The self-made millionaire will share from his well of expertise in strategy, leadership, and sales.
While addressing the media, Uganda Breweries Limited Head of Luxury Portfolio, Annette Nakiyaga, urged the public to seize the opportunity and draw from the wealth of knowledge Vusi will share at the cocktail.
“Johnnie Walker celebrates success, achievement, ambition and hard work. Vusi is a true representation of these values we hold dear and as such, we are more than honoured to host together with him, the cocktail at the Protea Hotel by Mariott Kampala Skyz. This is Johnnie Walker way of contributing to the passing down of the same values to entrepreneurs and the business community in Uganda,” she said.
Vusi is currently the CEO of Boutique Investment & Advisory firm in Africa, a firm that guides large and listed businesses towards more lucrative directions. He is also the chairman of MyGrowthFund, a venture capital Fund and business accelerator.
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