Newsmakers: It is exactly 18 days to the end of the year and as is norm, we usually look back at the year and revisit some of the things that made news. In this edition, Isaac Ssejjombwe takes us back to some of the entertainment stories that made headlines.
Gravity Omutujju’s shooting incident
Date was February 20, and social media was awash with news that Gravity Omutujju had been shot and was fighting for his life. Police would confirm the story, with Wamala Region Police Spokesperson Nobert Ochom saying the incident happened at LK Petrol Station in Kasanda at 9.45pm. A security guard attached to the fuel station had been arrested, and according to police, he was being charged with attempted murder. However, it later turned out that Gereson Wabuyi had not really been shot because a few hours after he had been admitted to hospital, he was discharged – there were no bullet wounds. Many accused the rapper of pulling a publicity stunt while his rival artistes made fun of the incident, saying the wound kept moving from one body part to another.
Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine handshakes and hugs
When President Museveni shook Besigye’s hand in 2015 at the Anglican shrine in Namugongo, it made headlines and this year, the entertainment industry got its version of the same when Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine shook hands and even hugged. The incident happened on January 4 during Eddy Kenzo’s 10 years of Kenzo concert at Kampala Serena Hotel. The two were first instructed by the Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga to reconcile at least for that moment and they agreed by hugging and shaking hands. They then repeated the act on stage at the request of the show’s host Roger Mugisha. A photograph of the incident went viral on social media and although it did not mean a squash of the beef between the two, it was relaxing to see the two put their differences aside for a moment. Have they seen eye to eye since then? We will not lie to you, but your guesses are as good as ours.
Buchaman, Kusasira presidential advisors
Buchaman’s music career might have ended at the time he was fired from Firebase, but it did not mean an end to his relevance. This year, lady luck smiled down on him when President Museveni appointed him presidential advisor on matters to do with the ghetto while Catherine Kusasira, who is also a close friend to the president (ahem), was named presidential advisor on Kampala affairs. With this appointment, Kusasira said she would be the boss of Salim Uhuru and Godfrey Nyakana who she claimed “have been stagnant for years”. This did not go down well with the two politicians, who demanded an apology. They are still waiting, the same way Kusasira and Buchaman await approval on their postings.
Museveni attends Catherine Kusasira’s concert
President Museveni seems to have found a new fondness for the entertainment industry and this year alone, he must have made friends with more musicians than any other. In September this year, the President put his busy schedule aside to attend Catherine Kusasira’s ‘Tears of a Woman’ concert at Kampala Serena Hotel. The President admitted that he rarely attends music events and has attended just three. At the concert, the President met and shook hands with a number of artistes. The last time he was spotted at a concert was Bebe Cool’s Golden Heart Concert, which took place at Kololo Airstrip last year.
Geosteady child negligence scandals
In May, a woman known as Noreen Nalubega came out and alleged that Geosteady had fathered a child with her but was not giving them child support. She claimed that it was at Nyondo Club that their relationship started and it was not long before she was with child. This story made rounds on social media and other media. It was a huge scandal, but Geosteady, real name George William Kigozi, first ignored it all as BS, but later agreed to take a DNA test. But before the results came out, the true father of the child showed up and both he and Nalubega were detained at Katwe Police Station on charges of giving police false information. In his statement, Geosteady distanced himself from Nalubega, saying he had never seen her. He told police that he was ready to support the child if Nalubega provided proof that they knew eachother – in any way.
Rema Namakula and Eddy Kenzo were one of our popular celebrity couples until they were no more. Although there had been rumours for a while that the two were not living together anymore, it still caught many people by surprise to learn that Rema was due to introduce another man, Hamza Ssebunya. He was little-known but a doctor – a gynaecologist to be specific. The revelation of this relationship came with dates for the kukyala and introduction ceremonies. Although Rema and Kenzo had reportedly broken up almost two years ago, this news did not seem to treat him well because the next thing we saw was him dropping rant after rant. Rema and Hamza’s kwanjula was attended by many prominent people, including the Nnabagereka and it is said to have cost more than Shs800m. Are the rumours about Rema choking on debts over this true? How about will leave that story for another day, huh?!
Vinka, Irene Ntale get signed
One was the manager of the other before she too turned into an artiste. Some rumours had it that this was one of the reasons Irene Ntale left Swangz Avenue but I guess, bygones should be left as bygones. After about three years since her breakthrough, Vinka, real name Veronica Luggya, has been enjoying massive reception and she has proved those that doubted her musical abilities wrong. She has worked hard and in May her efforts paid off when her record and management label, Swangz Avenue, announced that she had been signed to Sony Music Group. But we later learnt that she was not just signed to Sony but three other labels; Tsumami, Rock Star and Swangz Avenue.
And before we could climax Vinka’s achievement, Irene Ntale announced that she had been signed to Universal Records. “@universalmusicgroup shall we begin? #NtalèIsBack,” she posted alongside a photograph on her Instagram page, which she had wiped clean probably as she prepped us for the announcement. Although the announcement came in August, Universal Africa boss Ezegozie Eze Jr revealed that they had put pen to paper in March.
Cindy vs Sheebah
One is the King Herself and the other Queen Karma. To date, there are people who still discuss these two; Cindy and Sheebah, who is better? Although for a long time these two chart-topping female artistes have kept a distance from eachother, this year they gave us an insight of how they truly feel about each other. Sheebah and Cindy engaged in a cyber-catfight and it all started after Cindy said that Sheebah was a horrible performer who needs practice on live performance. In response, Sheebah hit back, asking why a good performer does not have a house like hers in Munyonyo. The war of words went on until Cindy asked for a music battle with Sheebah, to which Team No Sleep boss Jeff Kiwa responded: “No billion no battle”. Next thing we saw was a music war, with Sheebah releasing Kimansulo and Jealous, while Cindy released Copycat. Who is better? …over to you!
Freshkid, Fresh dad and their wrangles
In March, we witnessed the breakthrough of a new artiste – a seven-year-old rapper we would later learn was to trade by the stage name Fresh Kid. He was talented and fascinated many people. In fact, we heard that on his first appearance at Comedy Store, he was tipped an amount close to Shs1m. Fresh Kid, real name Patrick Ssenyonjo, became the talk of town and he was hitting concert after concert. The boy even caught the attention of Youth and Child Affairs minister Florence Nakiwala, who expressed concern about his education. To this, Rajiv Ruparelia stepped in and offered him a scholarship at Kampala Parents School.
After Fresh Kid, who had become his family’s breadwinner started school, his father Paul Mutabaazi thought it was all over. He created some drama about child ownership, management and almost blocked two trips to Dubai, where Fresh Kid was booked to perform.
Not to let the stardom pass him by, Mutabazi turned to plan B and decided to join the industry under the name Fresh Daddy. He was lucky and got signed to Khalifa Aganaga’s Bad Character Records. He released two songs (or were they?) Mazike and Buchupa. Fresh Daddy’s career lasted as long as the joke on him.