Gospel Rapper Edwin Ruyonga trashed the public opinion held by most Ugandans and people world over that Christian performers are to be split and vacuumed from those in the mainstream industry. “It is wrong that people call me a Christian or gospel rapper and place their own self-imposed rules of what a Christian performer should be like and what they can or cannot perform,” the rapper said.
He mentioned this after his performance at the Watoto organised event dubbed “Phatfest ’16” that took place at Makerere University’s sports grounds last Saturday. His comment was a reply to the claims from some Christian circles that his politically themed work such as the spoken word “Theopolitan” and the critical track The Wound, both released this year, were unbecoming of a Christian rapper or performer.
“If we do not set the trend as Christian performers, who will?” the 34-year-old rapper quipped, adding, “Our duty as artistes is to speak the times as the late Nina Simone said and Jesus further commands us to be the light and salt of the world, guiding it and giving it its sense of taste.”
Phatfest, an annual gospel show did not take place the previous year under the promise of revamping the entire show. “We had to revamp the entire concept of Phatfest to fit both young and old,” Esther Agwang, Watoto’s brand manager says, “We had bouncing castles, face painting and music available for children from 1pm so that families too would come out and enjoy the experience of Ugandan and African gospel music at large.”
The show that started at 7pm also starred artistes such as acapella group Canaan Gents, Holy Keane Amooti, Levixone, worship leader Brian Lubega, Zabuli and D Reign, all backed by live music, stunning lighting and energetic dance choreography. The crowd in the VIP had no need for their seats, most joining the general area to pick the fun. Zambian acts Tio and Sobre’s crooning abilities left the ladies swooning.
The show came to a close, but not before the cashing in of a promised Surprise artist, Mag 44, a renowned Zambian rapper and producer. The crowd was ecstatic as the artiste did banger anthems such as Me I beat and No Fear among others. He was joined by Tio and Sobre for one last performance which the crowd seemed not to get enough of.
This show stands out for the fact that it has the most orderly of crowds who voluntarily picked after themselves and racked up chairs as they heard Ugandan acts Coopy Bly and Levixone end the show.