On Friday, the National Theatre was an artistic vibe as revellers gathered to experience Lily Kadima in concert. The afro-fusion singer was no disappointment as she brought on her signature energy.
It was at about 8.30 pm. The audience was still slowly gathering but she was not going to wait a minute longer. Buka Chime had just done a good job warming up the stage, so when Lily Kadima got on, the audience was ready for her. They cheered as she got on stage, full of energy reciting a Lusoga love narrative dubbed Nagalyaaku.
For most music shows, one of the things that will welcome you at the entrance is angry-looking bouncers or black market ticket sellers.
The mood was different at Kadima’s show. The artiste chose to give revellers a feel of what to expect at the concert. At the entrance of the National Theatre auditorium was a couple of traditional symbolism which could not miss your eye. From the ushers who were dressed in zombie-like outfits to the traditional troupe that welcomed guests on the red-carpet with dance and folk music, the afro-fusion mood was thoughtfully set.
The show started a few minutes to 8 am, with comedian Isaac Kudzu as the emcee. The first act he introduced was Afro-fusion singer Buka Chime, who mixed up his session with a couple of genres and languages, crowning it up with Oliira Otya Musowaani Yange, a remake of the 90s popular Kayanda song.
When Kadima got on stage, she was accompanied by a couple of dancers as they performed Wekunkumule played in a fusion of reggae and traditional beats.
She later introduced her friend and fellow singer Clarrisa Nabulime with whom they did Bwosumagira.
When she returned for her second session, Kadima returned with a message that was to be told out loud with her outfit. In her eco-friendly dress, she preached a bit of tourism before introducing soul singer Kenneth Mugabi who did Nkwegomba. But of course the fans could not let him leave the stage without performing Naaki — this he performed alongside the concert director and guitarist Aloysius Migadde.
Kadima is an intense and energetic performer, so when she made emerged for the last session of the show draped in a little red Latino number, the audience knew what was coming next. She had not yet performed her top hits, so it was right to imagine that she had saved her best for last.
Looking all naughty, Kadima a former cover singer had transformed into something else at this last hour. She did a rendition of the late Carol Nakimera’s Omusujja, unleashing dance moves that can only be defined as fierce.
At this point, the audience was on their feet and when she performed her signature songs Nazaala and Akuloga, the auditorium was in the chorus.
In her last performance, Kadima ably exported local beats into the urban when she unleashed Ighe Olinaki alongside a band that comprised of a collection of acts from Mugabi’s Kemba, Fusion Band and others.
From the dances, the lights, the sound and the performances, there was proof that indeed Nabirye was in the City as the name of the concert promised.