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Keep time, respect your audience- Kanda Bongoman to Ugandan artists 

Congolese musician Kandabongman (left) addressing the media today at Sheraton ahead of tomorrow’s concert as Kampala metropolitan PRO Patrick Onyango (right) look at Sheraton Kampala hotel in Kampala. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

At the beginning of this year, B-Club Kampala and Pearl of Africa Hotel- the organisers of Davido’s 30 Billion concert in Kampala on New Year’s eve, had to apologise to fans after the artist turned up late for his performance. 

They claimed the late appearance was caused by a flight delay and clearance at the airport. While that might be understandable, what is hard to understand is the indiscipline by a number of Ugandan artists who unapologetically turn up late for their own shows here in Uganda. 

Appearing on NTV’s entertainment show, The Beat, legendary Congolese Musician Kanda Bongo Man who is headlining the Dance Party show at Kampala Sheraton Hotel Tonight, cautioned artists on time management. 

“Wherever I go, I respect the audience, because the audience is the ones who make you who you are. If you don’t respect the audience, they will let you down and you will never come back. If you tell people I will be there at 10 pm and you arrive at 3 am, next time you will be alone. Because the audience is the ones who buy your CD, the ones who dance to your music, if you don’t respect them you are finished,” he said. 

The 64-year-old artist has been in the music industry for close to thirty years and says he learnt the soft skills of music while in school in Manchester. 

“I went to the school of Music in Manchester for two years and some of my teachers were musicians. They taught me some behaviour and skills. I learnt how to be serious, how to perform on stage. I remember in 1991 when I first came to perform n Kenya, I announced on TV that I would start performing at 9:30 pm, but 9:00 pm, I will be backstage and if you are not there, by that time you will miss the show, and I was true to my word.” 

Kanda Bongo Man is widely known for the structural changes he implemented to soukous music when he revolutionized the style by encouraging guitar solos after every verse and even sometimes at the beginning of the song. His form of soukous gave birth to the Kwasa Kwasa dance rhythm, a style that was never known in Congo. Asked why he changed from Rumba to Soukous, the musician said it all changed when he went to France in 1979.

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