ATTACKED: Last week, a story broke of how musician Pius Mayanja, aka Pallaso was attacked in South Africa. In light of the incident, Isaac Ssejjombwe looks back at some of the celebrities who have been attacked before and although some did not make it through their ordeals, some managed to pull through.
Last week, Ugandans woke up to shocking news from South Africa that Pius Mayanja, commonly known as Pallaso, had been beaten up in South Africa where he had travelled to shoot a video for one of his two songs as well as perform. According to Pallaso, he and his team were attacked at night when they were moving to the set of the video but because he was carrying a Ugandan flag, South Africans descended on him and beat him up, asking why he was shooting a video in South Africa yet Uganda had denied Yvonne Chaka Chaka chance to perform in Uganda at the start of the year.
And although there were many that empathised with Pallaso, the reports were not devoid of suspicious thoughts; one claimed that the singer was beaten up after he was seen making a move on a South African woman while others say he was beaten up after a drug deal went wrong. Well, whatever the case, what we know is that the Mayanja brother was indeed beaten up and it was not one of those stunts that artistes sometimes drop to gain publicity or promote an upcoming song.
Bebe Cool vs Police officer
It was December 30, 2009, New Year’s Eve. Moses Ssali, aka Bebe Cool, was shot alongside four other people at Efendy’s Bar Centenary Park in the wee hours of the morning after a bar brawl between him and the Goodlyfe boys. According to an eye witness, Bebe Cool and his aides were denied entrance to the venue but they tried to force their way into the bar and it was during this scuffle that bullets were fired.
Bebe Cool was shot twice in the thigh and taken to St Francis Hospital, Nsambya where he underwent surgery. According to his father, Jaberi Bindadi Ssali, the bullets did not hit the bones and neither did they hit major veins. The police officer who shot them was charged with attempted murder and Bebe Cool got good compensation from the government too.
Bebe Cool was also a victim of hooliganism at the 2018 Swangz Avenue 10-year anniversary concert where fans pelted him with bottles while performing on stage. The incident forced the singer to halt performances in Uganda for three months.
Danz Kumapeesa was a budding and promising producer. At only 23 years, he was already making hits but in 2017, fate had other plans for him. The Jahlive audio producer was on his way home from the studio when unknown people attacked him with iron bars, beating him up to a point that saw him hospitalised at Nsambya hospital. After almost four months of being bedridden, a fundraising car wash drive was organised at Panamera to help raise funds for his treatment. About Shs7m was raised, Bebe Cool offered Shs5m and challenged other artistes to donate too, collecting about Shs30m but still that wasn’t enough. On October 7, 2017, the producer, real name Dan Muwanguzi, died.
Master Blasta vs hooligans
Master Blaster, real name Cornelius Oloya, was a star after his Emboko song hit the airwaves. And he seemed to have gotten lost in the fame and forgot to make new music because when he faded, the next time we heard of him was with RIPs coming before his name. Master Blaster was shot twice in the stomach during a scuffle, allegedly between a group of youth and South Sudanese party-goers in Bwaise. The singer had just released a new song, Ekibala, which had become popular in bars. Police revealed that a group of South Sudanese nationals blocked locals from accessing the hall because they had booked it for their annual concert. This reportedly angered some youth who wanted to join in the merrymaking.
Fellow musicians and eyewitnesses said the scuffle that started at about midnight went on until morning. The shooting is said to have occurred at about 6 am when the police came to intervene in the row. There were conflicting accounts on who exactly shot the artiste, with many accusing the South Sudanese.
Bosco Nsingwangabo, an eye witness, said Master Blaster was shot in the stomach and fell by the roadside, where he lay in a pool of blood for some time. Police later took his body to Mulago Hospital, where he was pronounced dead two hours later.
Dr. Bitone vs assailants
Doctor Bitone in 2018 was admitted to hospital after he was thumped to pulp by unknown assailants who attacked him while on his way home. The singer nearly met his creator but was saved by a Good Samaritan who found him badly injured and unconscious on the road. Bitone was rushed to Kiruddu Referral Hospital with head and body injuries but was discharged after some days.
Radio vs Troy
Two years ago, Uganda lost one of its most talented artistes. To date, many are yet to come to terms with the circumstances that led to his death.
Mowzey Radio was beaten into a coma at an Entebbe hangout known as De Bar. In October last year, the court found Godfrey Wamala, known as Troy, guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to 14 years behind bars. It was reported that during an altercation, the singer had poured drinks on people and broken bottles in the bar, prompting Troy to throw him out and forcibly lift and drop him on the floor, injuring his skull.
Prior to this incident, Radio had been notorious for involving himself in both physical and verbal fights but this was what his mother had to say after the incident that took his life: “However much others knew him as a chaotic man, I knew him as a simple, humble and talented son.”
If you know this story, then you will understand why Chris Evans had to give an equal clap back at Rema during her concert. The news that made rounds on social media on May 8, 2018, about Chris Evans’ attack, it was not a good sight.
Chris Evans, real name Christopher Evans Kaweesi, was attacked by thugs in Lungujja on his way home after a video shoot. It is said before heading home, Evans decided to pass by the market and get something to eat and it was from there that two men on a motorcycle trailed him. The singer narrated that he thought they were normal people minding their business but got suspicious after he made a few unplanned turns. He even decided to stop at someone’s gate and hooted but instead, the men got off their motorcycle and ordered him out of the car. When he refused, they crushed the car window and forced him out, hitting him several times on the head with a hammer until he lost consciousness.
He was taken to Mengo hospital and although his attackers had made away with his car, police recovered it the following morning abandoned. According to his manager, Mr. Godfrey Kayemba, Chris Evans’ head was badly injured and for social media, this narrow escape deserved a baptism – Uganda’s Lazarus.
In 2017, Spice Diana was a new kid on the block, so it was surprising to hear that she had beaten up at the Kampala City Carnival in 2017. What was even more surprising was that she was beaten up by police. Reason: Trying to force her way onto the stage with her aides.
According to an eye witness, the artiste was beaten up because she refused to abide by the rules: “The route from the main stage was blocked and revellers were supposed to use another route. But she wanted to go through that particular gate, so police bundled her up alongside her groupies,” a source said.
In an attempt to cross over, Spice Diana, real name Hajara Namukwaya, and her group reportedly tried fighting with one of the policemen and injured his nose. This forced the police officers to go rough on the whole group with the rest running away and leaving Spice Diana to battle it out with the men in uniform. The artiste was rushed to Malcolm Hospital in Kibuye where she was monitored the whole evening.