Nothing makes for a great show like the element of surprise; and surprised we were as The Usual Suspects, a talent management company, hosted Zambian music group Lota House in concert yesterday. What was the surprise? Definitely not that a Christian talent and events outfit brought in artistes from unfamiliar territory to entertain Ugandans. The surprise was getting His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to ‘curtain raise’ for these musicians…and keep time while at it.
The concert themed Born Free that took place at Kati was the culmination of a three day Youth Conference under the same organized by Covenant Nations Church; a Luzira based Pentecostal church ministry. The highlights of Museveni’s short speech was his admission that there was “no loss in following the path of Jesus,” a statement that drove the Christian crowd wild and also a selfie he took with his family and the excited crowd in the background.
When it came to the music, “Crazy Fish” Band, the night’s instrumentalists, kept the crowd out of their seats. “Crazy (Fish band) know their stuff; it is like they are from outer space,” intimated Myko Ouma, a Ugandan guitarist in attendance. The crowd went wild when they played a groovy version of the nursery rhyme “One Crocodile”. Ugandan gospel artistes Sam Kimera and G Way crooned soulful performances, performing household songs like Gwe Wange and Sinza.
Rapper and Lyricist Ruyonga Edwin lightened the mood with an electric performance of his track Sky High as he performed it with the track’s feature artist, Zambian rapper and producer Magg44. “Five years ago we started Lota House as a joke,” Magg44 told the revellers, “it is amazing how far God has brought us.” He went on to perform some of his music; songs of which included Pwililika, Me I Beat and newer ones such as Brave Only; all which the crowd sang along to line by line. Crooner Abel Chungu took over the stage…and resultantly the ladies’ hearts with his timbre voiced performances of household ballads like Ichitemwiko and For Better or Worse. “He pointed at me!” An awestruck female fan in the VIP section shouted, stunned by her luck.
Pompi brought back the excitement by doing new versions of some of his already famous music such as Bacteria, No Rent, and Giant Killer before he called again to the stage all other Zambian acts for the last performance; a rap battle, Vichani. Not wanting to be outdone, Ugandans yelled Ruyonga onto the stage and he delivered in kind. The crowd willingly picked up the rubbish just so they could hear one more track from the Zambians. That, in Ugandan books, is unusual. Trust “The Usual Suspects” to pull it off!