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How are silent players in the entertainment industry coping without business?

SILENT PLAYERS: The guideline President Museveni outlined to help curb the spread of the coronavirus has affected many businesses and among the people who were dealt a big blow were the entertainers. After the President’s announcement, there were artistes that cried out was singer Catherine Kusasira, who asked government to compensate her for the lots of money she lost organising her Easter concert. Of course she did not have it easy with the feedback from fans. She apologised and we moved on. With almost three weeks into the ban, Lawrence Ogwal sought out some entertainers on what life is like.

Patrick Shuben

Patrick Shuben, Tugende Mukikadde – Mobilising artistes to join fight

Patrick Shuben, who is the organiser of the annual Tugende Mukikadde, says he was among the first event organisers to postpone his event. According to him, since the concert that was slated to take place this Saturday was postponed, it has been tough. “It came at a time when I had just paid for media adverts for the concert, among other taxes”. He is, however, confident that the sponsors will not bail out and after the pandemic, they will put up a big show and recover their lost revenues. Meanwhile he is using this time to bring together artistes that were meant to headline the Tugende Mukikade show this Saturday to join the cause in the fight against coronavirus. Among the singers he has mobilised is Raggae Dee, Kabuye Sembogga, Phoebe Nasoolo, Sarah Zawedde and Fred Sebaale whom he says will record a Covid-19 awareness song titled ‘Keep a Distance’.

Aly Alibhai

Aly Alibhai , CEO Talent Africa – I created online entertainment

The CEO of Talent Africa Group says coronavirus has affected him a lot. “All my events have been cancelled until May, which means a huge loss of revenue.” He, however, mentions that as someone who is always full of ideas, he decided to come up with something that can keep him in business and that was the new audio, video and content creation hub called TAG Studios as well as an online TV called TAG TV. The TV was meant to bring entertainment straight to the people while they are at home on their mobile phone, tablet, computer or Smart TV.  When the President issued new directives of curfew and no movements even in private cars, Aly says his plan B will be put on hold but the good thing is that he had gathered enough content that will be running concurrently until this is over. The content that will be on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, will include live performances from comedians and musicians.

Cindy Sanyu, Artiste – Spending time with family

Cinderella Sanyu, aka Cindy, she feels so blessed and cannot believe her luck. The President’s ban came just 11 days after her Boom Party concert. She claims she has not been so affected by the lockdown because her initial plan was to go out of the country for a one month holiday as a way to cool off after the concert. The total lockdown for her therefore means a continuation of her holiday because regardless of the pandemic, she had not planned to take on any gigs. She is currently using this time to enjoy some quality time with family, especially her daughter. When all this is over, it will just be back to business because as a singer, every day is an opportunity to get creative.

Julius Kyazzeo

Julius Kyazze, Swangz Avenue C.E.O – A lot will change after this

The Swangz boss says health is one of the things that must be prioritised, so when Covid-19 outbreak hit Uganda, he locked up his office and sent all the employees home. He thanks God that he is not a hand to mouth earner and in this lockdown, he is able to survive for long but if it goes on any longer, it will inevitably hurt even the well prepared in any other industry. Kyazze says as soon as everything returns to normal, a lot of things are going to be done differently going forward as the world might not be the same as new ways of doing things have to be adopted.

Hannington Bugingo, Comedian – Staying home

The Fun Factory director says the pandemic is a big blow to him since he is a weekly earner, just as many of his colleagues. He did not expect the issue to be this serious that is why in the first week of banning public gatherings, he decided to work with his team to work on a virtual show as they entertained an online audience but the National theatre was shut down. Bugingo says he is not sure when he will get back on his feet because he is not sure if this lockdown will go on for a month or two or even more but as soon as it is done, he will come back to business because he works with a team of creative people who work together to make things get back to normal. At the moment, it is a stay home for him.

DJ Nimrod

DJ Nimrod – Making mixtapes

Like many other DJs such as Unik Dray, Fikie and Slick Stuart, DJ Nimrod has not let his machines go to sleep but rather gotten creative by recording mixtapes, which they have chosen to send to their contacts to enjoy while they stay at home. “While at home, I have resorted to making mixtapes and shared them with my fans through WhatsApp and email,” DJ Nimrod said. For DJ Fikie who used to host the African Mondays at Fame Lounge, he has decided to sets up Facebook Live and plays music for his followers online.


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