Zzina annual entertainment awards were held last week at the International University of East Africa auditorium on Thurdsday. Besides Alien Skin sweeping most of the categories, there was drama, choas, some of which may define Uganda’s music industry in 2024.
When the Zzina nomination list was released, one category stood out. The Best Lugaflow/Rap Song. Not because of the 11 songs nominated, but because of the criteria the organisers used to select some of the songs in that category.
The nominated songs in that category included Okwepicha by Gravity Omutujju, Chaw Chaw by DJ LL and Fik Fameica, Influencer by Feffe Bussi, Did I Die (Remix) by Hatim & Dokey featuring Sheebah, Feffe Bussi, Vampino, and D’Mario, Bwe Paba by Fik Fameica + Sheebah, My Guy by Bigtril featuring Fik Fameica, Chai Wenjaye by Omutume Planet, Banga by TomDee Ug, Buzibu Bwo by Feffe Bussi, Ntondo by Recho Rey, and Beautiful Mami by Rickman Manrick.
Some people felt like an artiste being nominated three times in the same category was unfair to the rest of the nominees and that some songs didn’t really deserve to be in that category.
However, the organisers let the criticism pass as they went on to award the best in different categories last Thursday evening at an event held at the IUEA (International University of East Africa) auditorium.
The night came after several weeks of voting after the release of the nomination list, and by the time the event came to a close, Fangone Forest’s Alien Skin was the biggest winner, walking away with a whopping six awards.
He won Artist of the Year, beating Fik Fameica, Vinka, Gravity Omutujju, Sheebah, Cindy, Eddy Kenzo, and King Saha. He took Best Male Artiste, Song of the Year (Party), Best Dancehall Artist, and Best Dancehall Song (Party), while his Fangone Soldiers took the Best Fans Team.
Alien Skin was not the only winner of the night; his nemesis Fik Gaza walked away with Breakthrough Artist; King Saha’s Ebiseera took Best Inspirational Song, Dokta Brain won Best Songwriter, Best Lugaflow/Rap Song went to Gravity Omutujju’s Okwepicha, Best Lugaflow/Rap Artist went to Fik Fameica, D’Mario was voted the Best Producer, Vinka took two accolades as Best Female Artist, and her collaboration Believe alongside Dax Vibez took home the Best Contemporary Urban Song. Balipila Boda by Eddy Kenzo was voted the Best Afrobeat Song; Vyroota won Best Contemporary Urban Artist; and Bwe Paba by Fik Fameica featuring Sheebah Karungi took the collaboration accolade, among others.
Despite being an award ceremony, the night also featured some performances, but Vinka’s Bailando and All Over You with backup dancers were the standouts. Their dance moves were a joy to watch.
Then Fenon Record’s Warafiki girl group couldn’t also be unrivaled. The trio has been going hard with their craft, and that was evident in their performance. The dance moves, movement on stage, and confidence were some of the most beautiful moments of the night while performing their single Bwekati. Vyroota and Jowy Landa were some of the other performers during the night.
Despite the glitz and glamour at this year’s edition of the Zzina Awards, there was chaos as Fik Gaza’s camp collided with Alien Skin’s Fangone camp.
The chaos started when Alien Skin’s camp approached the stage while Fik Gaza was performing his Sanyu song, and they started throwing bottles and insults at him. Not to stand the disrespect, Fik Gaza’s gang intervened and attacked their rivals. A few punches and bottles were thrown at each other before the fight was stopped after one of Alien Skin’s gang members used pepper spray. Shortly after, police intervened to separate both camps.
Of course, this is not the first time that the local music industry has been enveloped in musical gangs. In the early 2000s, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, and Chameleone all had some sort of crew they were heading.
However, Leone Island, Gagamel Crew, and Fire Base Crew, at the end of the day, released a sizeable number of artistes, but are still generally known for fights rather than music.