The ‘Lockdown’, organisers had said is ‘an artistic engagement in a public entertainment spot – be it hotel or bar.’
A brainchild of Mavuno Church, the Lockdown is aimed at providing alternative entertainment with a positive message.
The crowd that filled the Primrose Hall at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Friday hoped for that. And they were not disappointed; maybe a little.
The show kicked off with Afrie, who was followed by Naava Grey who lasted about 45 minutes. By then, revelers were still trickling in.
And they did not miss Pompi’s performance. Born Chaka Nyathando, the gospel musician from Zambia has been active in the music industry for over a decade. No wonder he did not disappoint during the 13-song performance. Nonstop!
He had the ladies ‘drooling’ and the men nodding their heads in approval. Some dared to dance. At 9pm, as he exited the stage, comedienne Anne Kansime joked about ‘how when you sing along to his music, you wonder whether it is him you are praising or God.’
He blushed. The crowd laughed. He left.
At 9.15pm Kanji, a founding member of Lockdown took over the stage. This was the third Lockdown concert he was attending and performing at.
His performance, however, was forgettable. He started off by miming Bruno Mars’ Treasure, then Sauti Sol’s Shura Yako.
He then performed his own songs, Rauka and Wewe Tu among others. Forty five minutes later, he left, paving way for the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi.
Dressed in black and white combo pants and shirt, Mtukudzi stepped on stage at 10.10pm, guitar strapped around his neck. He was accompanied by two guitarists, a drummer, a pianist and female backup singer.
His trademark husky voice made every other musician before him look amateurish. The ultimate showman, Mtukudzi’s experience was on show- from ‘Ndezvineita Ukudzwe’, throughout his performance of ‘Neria’ and ‘Madiro’, among others.
Tuku, as he is fondly known, is ‘considered Zimbabwe’s most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time.’
Having started singing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, Mtukudzi has produced more than 100 songs. The crowd in attendance knew only two artists; probably the biggest disappointment. By the third song, almost everyone in the entire hall was still seated, only to stand up during his performance of Neria, his fourth song of the night. One of the two the crowd was comfortable with.
When he announced that he would perform his last song, the crowd almost rioted. But he assured us that he was not dying, a calming joke before he unceremoniously left the stage.
No one would leave. Everyone wanted a piece of ‘Todi’, the other song everyone knew. He returned and granted the crowd its wish. They danced and sang along. An elderly man, who left Zimbabwe about two decades ago jumped on stage and shared a moment with his icon; the highlight of the night. A total lockdown!