Looking back: The year 2016 has seen many stories hit Uganda’s entertainment industry. There have been a lot of outrage in the entertainment circles and Dorcus Murungi takes you through some of the hot stories that rocked Kampala this year.
Jeff Kiwa’s arrest
This year has been a good one for music promoter Jeff Kiwanuka aka Jeff Kiwa and his Team No Ssleep camp. But there is that one incident that ruined everything and got him a stint in jail over human sacrifice charges. The story came to light when Herbert Were, a 21-year-old student of Lumino High School in Busia accused Kiwa of sending him to bring a human head as a condition to join the illuminati cult. Were had apparently approached Kiwa seeking wealth. According to Were, Kiwa’s demand forced him to behead his younger brother Joel Ogema. The allegations led to Kiwa’s arrest and detention in police cells to help police with investigations. The incident reawakened previous allegations of Kiwa’s illuminati links. His former close associates Radio and Weasel claimed that the secret behind Kiwa’s prosperity lied in super natural powers. Prior to Kiwa’s arrest, Radio and Weasel had issued a video on social media alleging that the music promoter was a witch. This got on Kiwa’s nerves and he sued them for defamation. The singing duo was, however, unmoved and refused to apologise. They were ready to face Kiwa in court. Looks like the saga died with filing of the suit.
Jackie Chandiru hospitalised
Former Blue*3 singer Jackie Chandiru has nothing good to say of 2016. The Gold Digger singer who had curved her way out in the music industry spent a good time of the year in hospital and rehab, which put her music career on an abnormal standstill. Chandiru underwent a heart surgery at Mulago hospital. While at Mulago, her skyrocketing bills were handled by her manager Balaam. Within that period, it was discovered that the singer’s excessive use and abuse of substances were the main cause of her illness. She was later transferred to Bunamwaya Rehabilitation Centre to help her recover from her substance abuse problem. In an interview with Sqoop magazine, we learnt that most of Chandiru’s friends in the industry had abandoned her and none had set foot at the rehabilitation centre to check on her. The singer is currently at Arua Referral Hospital and we are reliably informed that her health state is steadily improving. We hope 2017 will be a better year for her.
Tubonga Nawe artiste boycott
The year has not been all that good for 12 musicians who were part of the Tubonga Naawe project, a song that was used as the official campaign song for President Museveni. Immediately after the elections, Tubonga Naawe musicians faced a boycott from a section of Ugandans who accused them of selling off their country.
First it was the opposition leaders who requested people not to attend the artistes’ concerts. Many artistes on the list chose to postpone or call off any planned shows and Goodlyfe duo Moze Radio and Weasel will testify to receiving only a handful of fans at their concert. Some artistes were beaten up at upcountry events. We also heard that MTN cancelled their partnership with the artistes in the Tubonga Naawe project on grounds that it did not want to get associated with partisan musicians. However, during the ‘Life of Bebe Cool’ concert, a number of State House officials graced the event at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
The return of Bad Black
On March 14, city socialite Shanita Namuyimba aka Bad Black was released after spending four years in Luzira prison. Bad Black was jailed for defrauding a British businessman and her then boyfriend, David Greenhalgh, of Shs11b. On the day of her release, Black was swarmed by fans who camped outside court for close to seven hours as she finalised paper work for her freedom. At a press conference after her release, Bad Black made a point to change and asked all her old friends who did not visit her in jail to keep away. When she left prison, Bad Black’s colour complexion had changed! She was now Bad Brown. Also a few weeks after her release, Bad Black hit the studio and recorded a song, Mud Guard, which was not well received despite having invested heavily in the project. She later confessed that Ugandan music was not easy to penetrate. Black later declared she had become born again and she in fact posed for photos with pastors and also unveiled plans of constructing a multimillion church. Word has it that she is currently constructing a church in Bugolobi where she will be the main preacher. Shocking news, however, recently emerged that Bad Black was dragged to police by her baby nanny for allegedly failing to clear arrears of Shs2m. Although the bills were cleared, we can’t help but wonder; Is Bad Black broke?
Mbuga’s knot & Leilah saga
Self-styled young tycoon Suleiman Kabangala Mbuga aka SK Mbuga has been in the news for treating Ugandans to one of the most lavish weddings this year, which allegedly cost Shs3b.
Mbuga and his wife Vivien Birungi (now Jalia Mbuga) hosted
approximately 1,000 guests to a reception at the Kampala Serena Hotel. However, although Mbuga entrusted professional events managers to manage his lavish wedding, some visitors who
attended missed out on food and drinks contrary to what the young tycoon had promised his lovely guests. Before his wedding, the businessman was previously in the news for his estranged relationship with singer Leila Kayondo whom he dumped for Vivien. Their cat and mouse fights flooded the media after Leila dragged Mbuga to police for allegedly battering her, although she later dropped the charges. Mbuga’s wedding did not go on well with Leila as she hoped to be on the performers’ list which never
happened. She fled to America for
hibernation and returned a few days ago in time for the Abryanz fashion awards.