The National Theatre will again become a hub of musical performances, dance and acting showcase Uganda’s finest and rising acts in the arts. The calendar event of the Bayimba International Festival this year brings more than 625 artistes from more than 12 countries, with up to 100 performances around the theatre space.
After year-long countrywide tours, Bayimba shall kick-start tonight with a comeback from incredible Maddox Sematimba at the big stage and shall end with a band performance as fine acts such as Naava Grey share the stage with Radio and Weasel, who shall close the festival on Sunday night.
“Every year has been different, and this year, we have engaged a number of DJ showcases because they are becoming more relevant globally and also focused on presence of new emerging artistes,” said Faisal Kiwewa, founder and director of Bayimba Cultural Foundation.
Indeed, several young and vibrant artistes in theatre and dance like Mbale’s Dream House and Batalo East will be showcased.
But for years, Maddox’s unique voice and strong reggae vibe of his love ballads like Namagembe have been a sound to reckon with. His prophetic and educative lyrics are exciting. “He performed late last year, many missed him now all his fans want to see him again” says a cheerful Kiwewa.
This 8th edition also stays true to the international market, inviting showcases from South African music crooner Paras Dlamini, whose style blends tribal sounds with modern day soul to create a unique Afro-Centric contemporary sound (Ubuntu Soul Afrique) and Megan Yankee from USA, are among international acts to grace this year. Others include Bado (Kenya) with his Traditional urban mix, Kareyce Fotso (Cameroon) and Aly Keita (Mali).
Performances have been allocated to different stages across the theatre, with a variety in comedy, dance, silent disco, film and music.
From the main stage, upper stage in the gardens, main theatre auditorium, and the big hut, showcases shall simultaneously fill the whole atmosphere, but there are acts you cannot afford to miss.
While Naava flares her Ganda folklore, rock and RnB, Daniel Okiror’s musical roots from Teso brings a true Ugandan genre fusing instruments such as the Akogo, Adungu, Adeudeu, and Arigirigi. Expect percussion sounds that merge western instruments (acoustic, bass guitar, saxophone and keys) with traditional Uganda sounds.
Santuri DJ from Kenya in collaboration with DJ’s from German, shall also play live jams that have with their own signature percussion. DJ Racheal will treat you to dance on the main stage tonight.
Matooke Roots Fusion and their raggea vibes shall take you down the Caribbean, as Jay Santino, first runner up at Eyodub Hip hop battle turns up the heat with Lugaflow hip hop. In the auditorium FourSum with the play, Burdens, shall add a comic twist to drama much as the all-female group Queens of Comedy who follow in the footsteps of Ann Kansiime, to thrill you with laughter.
Dream House Uganda shall engage audiences with break dance and B.Boy moves at 6pm and film screening by Maisha Film Lab will show what Uganda cinema has to offer. Babisainiwe Poetry will have a relaunch of Boda Boda Anthem, and other art and craft sales, photo exhibition by Geoff Walker (New Zealand) Doreen Adengo and Ecwalu Daniel (UG) shall add to variety.
Uganda’s only qualified Art curator Robinah Nansubuga will showcase Ekyoto, in a reed thatch accompanied by cross board games and a display of local brew (tonto). Yoga, Capoeira, Tango for enthusiastic dancers will energise you, but one can also opt for Silent Disco.
Kiwewa said they are focusing on engaging the audience in activities that allow them to participate. Thus discussions in the Green Room The Burdens Symposium with FourSum, Tuwaye Ku Kadongo Kamu, Poetry Symposium, Animation Conversation, Focus on Photography and The Arts in a Shrinking Media.
Batalo East at 2pm
Maddox Sematimba at 7pm
Levixon Lala (gospel artiste) at 8pm
Hip Hop legend, St Nelly Sade at 10pm
Tuwaye Ku Kadongo Kamu 4:30 pm (Green Room)
Don Mc at 6pm
Megan Yankee at 7pm (Big Hut)
Joel Sebunjo and Mali’s Ali Keita on at 7pm (Main Stage)
Sheeba Karungi at 10pm
Santuri DJ’s 10 -11:pm
Daniel Okiror at 6pm
Naava Grey at 7pm
Kareyc Fotso (Cameroon) at 8pm
Saba Zibula (Senegal) at 9pm
Radio and Weasel at 11pm