CONCERT OF THE YEAR: Club beer is behind the Mega Fest that is on tomorrow at Namboole. Edgar R. Batte talked to Club’s brand Manager Sam Hooper about the event.
Why did you choose to bring four international artistes for a single show?
We didn’t want the event to be about an artiste, but a music festival just like in Jamaica and the UK. These guys are guest artistes and not feature artistes. They will not perform last. They are going to perform somewhere during the line-up, mixed with our own artistes.
Some people feel you have brought old artistes like Patra who was popular in the 1990s and Shaggy who has been here four times before …
The whole idea is that we brought people we think represent our brand. When I started drinking Club in 2000, that’s what I was listening to. It is also a bit of a reminiscence for those people who are our loyal Club customers. Club is not a young beer. We have been there for a while but we move with the times.
Why did you settle on Namboole as the fest venue?
Namboole is the most accessible venue we have in Uganda. If you look at Lugogo, it is limited with traffic. We have only two major roads that lead to Lugogo. Every time we’ve had shows at Lugogo, especially massive shows, we struggle with maintaining the crowds out there but Namboole was designed for this purpose.
Namboole has four roads leading to it, one of them being the Northern By-pass, it has parking space in excess of 1,000 cars, it has 32 entrances, it has holding areas and 18 entrances into the pitch. If you think about all those cumulatively, it is actually the right venue. It also has about 40 restrooms.
To us as a brand, Namboole is the right venue but unfortunately, it has been stereotyped as a venue for either crusades or biggunda (local FM radio fetes), yet if you go to any other part of the world, the stadium is where they will stage world class events.
Namboole being stereotyped as a kiggunda venue. What assurance do VIPs have for getting the right kind of treatment?
Well, Club Music are the only people who when they do an event, VIPs are given real value for their money. They are given free drinks and food and it is the same thing this time.
The show starts from midday to midnight. How are you going to sustain 12 hours of entertainment?
Initially we wanted to go for a whole 24 hours but we were limited by the logistical capacities in this country. People actually do not know that you can’t run a sound system for more than a certain number of hours, you need to let it cool down. That’s one of the reasons why we have two stages. There is a whole load of equipment. Fenon Events is doing most of the production and we are bringing the same technical engineers that did the CMVAs. But we had to get a few things from Kenya and South Africa, like the 84 channel mixer that Shaggy uses.
How much have you injected in this?
It is a lot of money, it is in excess of Shs1b, for Ugandans to have fun.
How much have you paid these artistes?
The total expenditure on artistes is about Shs400m. It depends on their schedules and how big they are, but you will be shocked that the biggest cost is really in flights and accommodation. For example, Mafikizolo is an eight-man team, so just Mafikizolo’s tickets alone are Shs25m. Shaggy comes with his DJ and band from Jamaica. This is live music. Shaggy is playing live, Mafikizolo is playing live, Burnaboy and Patra are playing semi-live, then we have our top acts themselves playing live. There are more than 20 Ugandan artistes like Bebe Cool, Chameleone, Ragga Dee, Sheeba, Eagles, Golden Band, Maro, Big Eye, Aganaga, King Saha, Cindy and others. Some artistes like Radio and Weasel and Bobi Wine have that convention in the UK. That’s why they did not come on board.
Shaggy is a good and infectious performer and Ugandans simply love him. He returns to Uganda for the fourth time, this time for Club Mega Fest that is slated for tomorrow at Namboole Stadium. On his official website, he acknowledges he will be here as per his events schedule.
Shaggy is behind songs like Bombastic, It wasn’t Me, Angel and Summertime, among other hits that have made him a popular artiste. He was born Orville Richard Burrell but picked the stage name Shaggy given his hairstyle.
One of Shaggy’s last concerts was in August 2008 when he headlined at the Passa Passa Dance contest finale that was organised by Pilsner Lager. His performance overshadowed the event.
The artiste born in Jamaica but raised in America is a likeable fellow who engages with revellers as he performs. A lucky girl or two will get lucky to rub-a-dub with the reggae-ragga ace on stage as he usually does.
Since he was last here, Shaggy has done and released a number of songs including Rise Again, on which he features Sean Paul, who has recently performed here too, For Your Eyes Only with Alaine, along with the hit singles Sweet Jamaica, featuring Mr Vegas and Josie Wales and Girlz Dem Luv We featuring Mavado in 2011.
He has also released a collaborative single titled Smile with Egyptian star Tamer Hosny, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, featuring American female rapper Eve and one of his latest is Fight This Feeling, featuring Beres Hammond, a reggae legend.
These and more will be some of the songs the 46-year-old will be performing at the fest tomorrow. You might want to know that apart from music, Shaggy has been a soldier before. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps as a field artillery gun bunny during the Gulf War. This was in 1991.
He has 12 studio albums to his name. Shaggy has won a number of awards and nominations. He won a Grammy Award in 1996 for Bombastic as Best Reggae Album. He also has been nominated for It Wasn’t Me, featuring Rikrok, for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, Clothes Drop for Best Reggae Album in 2006 and Intoxication for Best Reggae Album in 2008
Mafikizolo here, for the second time
South Africa’s Mafikizolo, duo which is currently riding on songs like Tchelete(Goodlife) on which they feature Davido, Khona and Happiness, among other songs, will be one of the main acts at the Club Mega Fest tomorrow.
They were in Kampala for a performance in 2007 and have only kept raising their bar, and are considered one of Africa’s best performing groups at the moment. Khona is one of the songs on their latest album titled Reunited, which they released last year. They have seven other albums to their name. The group does Afro pop, House and Kwaito music styles.
The members of the group are Theo Kgosinkwe, the male member of the duo and Nhlanhla Nciza, the female member of the group which has won cross-over appeal among fans.
One of the albums that has performed well for them is Six Mabone, after a classic car of the 1960s. Kgosinkwe says on their website that Six Mabone had the same status as BMW today. “Our music is enjoyed by the young and the old. We are taking our fans back and forth,” he says.
Though their hits like Tchelete are big hits in the country at the moment, there earlier songs like Ndihamba Nawe are very popular in Kampala and they get people dancing to the “Mafikizolo Shuffle” whenever they are played.
You will recognise her for her mid 1990s song Romantic Call, on which she showed off some seductive dance moves. That earned her fame, and branded her as the dancehall queen. Some of the big boys in Jamaica who were famed as ragamuffins did collaborations with her. Shabba Ranks featured her on Family Affair in 1994.
Now 42, Patra, born Dorothy Smith, will be relishing memories on stage tomorrow at the Club Mega Fest in Namboole. She is behind four albums, namely Queen of the Pack (1993), Scent of Attraction (1995), The Great Escape (2003)and Where I’ve Been (2005).
Her ambition as a child was always evident, and she soon entered neighbourhood singing/deejaying competitions in high school. In a 1994 essay, Patra wrote: “I am a country girl. I grew up in the church, which instilled morals and values in me. I was raised by my mum along with my four brothers. I am the second child. My father died when I was three, so my mother has been my example of a very strong Black woman, and I know that I have her strength.”
On coolness.nl, it is stated that Patra first began singing in her church choir and later tried her hand at deejaying. At age 15, she began to realise that music really could be her life. “I always enjoyed music, but up until then, I didn’t really think about my goals,” Patra explains. “In addition to many Jamaican artistes, I listened to Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Sade and Alexander O’Neal. And Michael Jackson, of course – he really taught me how to dance!”
Patra is currently working on a comeback album.
At first sight your eyes will be caught by his numerous tattoos. The next thing you will appreciate about him will most likely be his smooth Patois-influenced dancehall crooning, which has earned him fame across the African continent as one of the fastest rising dancehall artistes out of Nigeria.
Burna Boy, born Damini Ogulu, is behind songs like Don Gorgon, Wombolombo and Yawa Dey among other popular songs. The 22-year-old found his calling in music while in school in the UK. He is talented and ambitious. He has done a number of music collaborations with contemporaries like Davido.
His mother, Bose Ogulu has guided her son and is partly behind his success though recent reports show the two have had a strained relationship. Burna Boy has been recognised with awards and nominations in awards back home in Nigeria like the Nigeria Entertainment Awards, and on the continent like at the South Africa Music Awards and the coveted MTV Africa Music Awards.
The mega fest
Ticket prices: VVIP is 100k, VIP is 50k and the ordinary ticket is at 2Ok.
Ticket selling points: Available at supermarkets like Nakumatt, Capital Shoppers and Game.
Free tickets: Under each Club beer crown, there is a code. Send that code to *298# to stand a chance to win one of 8,000 free tickets.
Showtime: The show will begin at 12pm and end at midnight.