ISSA WRAP: 2022 has gone down as one of the busiest years in the entertainment industry. It is on rare occasions that weekends went by without a show and this could be attributed to the two years of no activity on the entertainment sector due to Covid-19. Week-in, week-out organisers have been holding concerts with both local and international artistes. Isaac Ssejjombwe looks at some of the best concerts of 2022.
A night with Chike
President Museveni had earlier announced that the economy would be open in January but organisers were still unsure about the safety of holding a concert in January with the Covid-19 lockdown trauma. So they held off a little longer until Valentine’s Day. Malembe Lifestyle set the pace and flew in Nigerian artiste Chike for a Valentine’s Day event dubbed ‘A Night with Chike’ at Kampala Serena Hotel.
A few weeks after advertising the show, the organisers announced that the show was sold out and no tickets would be sold at the gate. They were not bluffing because those who had not secured their tickets earlier online were seen begging to buy at the entrance even if the price had doubled.
By 7pm fans had already started flooding Serena and by 8pm, the lower part of the hall was fully-packed. This forced the organisers to also make the upper section of the hall accessible and by 9:30pm, it was also full.
Chike, real name Chike-Ezekpeazu Osebuka, came on stage at 10:30pm to a ‘wild’ crowd. He started off his performance with a tribute to fallen soldier, Mowzey Radio. Chike put up a memorable and engaging show, having a conversation with the crowd, something the revellers enjoyed.
The show sold out. The performance were top notch. Organisation was impressive. He quenched the lockdown thirst.
Adekunle Gold and Costa Titch
On July 16, Nigerain artiste Adekunle Almoruf Kosoko, better known as Adekunle Gold and Costa Titch performed at Lugogo Cricket Oval during the Club Dome unleashed Kampala event.
The venue was split into four sections; VVIP, VIP, ordinary and then a dome, and each section was filled with revellers. You would think the VIP section was ordinary, going by the number of people and if it was not for the chairs and table set-up, the VVIP would be no different.
Costa Titch, a South African DJ/artiste was on stage for not more than 20 minutes but to many, he was the best performer with his Amapiano vibes. Those who knew the drift, came with their whistles and added more spice to his performance. He did three songs, including Big Flexa, Superstar and Uthini.
Adekunle came on stage at 11:15pm with AG Baby, backed by a live band and during his performance he called on some women in the crowd to share the stage with him. This was the official return of Club Beats that had last happened two years ago.
African Music Concert – Azawi
There were misconceptions about Azawi’s debut concert earlier this year. Some people had issues why Azawi would have a concert before Winnie Nwagi who had been signed by Swangz Avenue for more than eight years. But at the end of the day, it was clear three things had won; a lengthy catalogue of good music, an irresistible brand and professional art management.
On July 23, Swangz Avenue held Azawi’s maiden concert at Lugogo Grounds with hundreds attending. According to industry experts, this was one of the best-produced shows ever. Azawi outdid herself on the stage, doing live music throughout her time on stage. The audience still wanted more even after two hours of her performance.
She did songs the audience expected her to and further had her boss Benon Mugumbya on stage to do their collaboration.
Azawi later paid tribute to Radio and again, two people backstage were willing to make the tribute complete; Weasel and Viboyo. The two joined her to perform Nyumbani. Whether the move had been planned or not, it sent the audience into a frenzy and when Winnie Nwagi joined her on stage, it was the cherry on top.
Soul Safari picnic
There was controversy surrounding the Soul RnB Safari event. Juliana, who was supposed to be the headlining act, pulled out a few weeks to the event and this left a lot of skepticism about it. Tshaka Mayanja assured the public that the event will go on as planned and it sure did. The Bailey’s Soul Safari picnic turned out perfect.
Juliana was replaced by three artistes; Ntaate, Naava Grey and Irene Ntale and the soulful trio performed to their best at the event. From their dazzling costumes to the astounding live performances, revellers got more than they paid for.
Ntaate performed for 30 minutes before Naava took it up from there, diving right into her catalogue to play some of her most loved hits while Irene Ntale did magic with her guitar.
Black Roots Academy Band did not disappoint on the back-up and they later took the audience to a musical journey with a blend of soulful ballads, jazz and reggae.
Fire Concert-Winnie Nwagi
The debate is still on whether it was in Swangz Avenue’s plans to have Winnie Nwagi do a concert this year or they just gave in to the public’s demands.
Dubbed the Fire concert, Nwagi after eight years at Swangz Avenue had her first concert at Cricket Oval, organised by KT promotions.
All signs pointed to a successful event with the early downpour in the day. More than 15,000 people are said to have been in attendance and they started coming in as early as 3pm and by 10pm, Lugogo Cricket Oval was full.
Her performance was well executed and she gave the crowd what they had been longing for, cementing her place as one of the most talented and loved musicians in Uganda.
She started off with smooth ballads and kept elevating the show with the crowd’s favourite jams.
The fire concert should go down as the most attended concert by a local artiste and surpasses Cindy’s Boom Party concert that happened before the lockdown.
The seventh edition of the annual Nyege Nyege festival happened between September 15-18 but with several challenges.
Tororo Woman MP Sarah Opendi had attempted to have Parliament cancel the show with the backing of the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among.
However, the event still happened but with eyes open from the parliament.
This edition happened at Itanda Falls from the Nile discovery. It was estimated that more than 12,000 revellers attended, including more than 5,000 foreign tourists.
A new venue. A new headline sponsor – Uganda Waragi. The new venue offered so much more than the previous venue. Seated on a five-acre land, this edition provided so much. From businesses that thrived, the lives impacted, opportunities created to basics such as food and music.
Perhaps the biggest music festivals in Africa and the biggest electronic music festival in East and Central Africa, Nyege Nyege happened for four days and according to the official transporting partner Treepz, on the opening day of the festival, they transported 510 people from Kampala to Jinja, 224 people from Jinja to Itanda and had for the past two weeks transported either festival goers or artistes who chose to travel early.
The event had more than five stages all offering different kinds of entertainment and the festival programmed more than 300 artistes and DJs, creating business for restaurants and food chains.
Several artistes have had concerts at Kampala Serena Hotel but none has ever held a two-day concert at the venue. The self-proclaimed Queen Karma made history.
Victoria Hall was full on the 9th and 10th of this month courtesy of KT Promotions and Sheebah made sure she gave her fans who had paid Shs150,000 and Shs3m as entry fee for each of the shows their money’s worth.
The curation of both shows was similar apart from a few changes. Sheebah made a grand entry to the stage, impressed with her wardrobe and performed to the best of her abilities.
The band was awesome and the back-up artistes were also on point, especially on the second night. She was escorted by artistes she collaborated with, including Crysto Panda, Roden Y, King Saha, Chance Nalubega and Sama Soulja among others. Lydia Jazmine, Pia Pounds, Levixone and Aziz Azion also came through.
With these two shows, Sheebah Karungi sealed her status as a queen in Uganda’s entertainment industry and this concert will definitely go down in history books.
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