After a heavy morning downpour, which lasted until noon last Friday, the cold that engulfed Kampala the rest of the day was unbearable.
But trust Kampalans with their love for partying nothing stands their way. And last Friday presented two choices to them it was either singer Ronald Magada aka Maro’s “Kyokoba Mubbi Bubbi” charity concert at Mackinnon Suites in Nakasero or Jamaican artiste Christopher Martin’s show at Freedom City.
At Maro’s, the turnout by 7pm was worrying, which was understandable because it was still early. But what was shocking was the stage, which was not yet ready. The events company, Extreme Music and Events (EME), which was hired for the job, claimed the delay was caused by the event organizers.
“The organizers were late on many things. The budget for the sound system was Shs 15m, but they had not cleared by today (Friday). However, because it is my brother Maro, I had to do what I can to get everything fixed,” EME Manager Shadrack Kuteesa told The Observer.
Kuteesa added that whatever he tried to arrange was just basics, but he would have prepared for Maro something different if he had approached him on time. Setting of the stage started at 3pm, which was way late compared to other concerts that usually have stages set up a day or two early. This delayed the sound testing by the band, greatly affecting their performance – as they were disorganized throughout the night.
At 8:50pm when the numbers of guests had grown, the organizers asked us to temporarily walk out to create room for them to do final touches on the stage. Can you imagine! Who does that?
Later, the show officially kicked-off at 9pm with a cocktail by Vocal Police Entertainment, a music group started by Maro, which brings together artistes for charity. However, the other shocker was that big shots such as Bobi Wine, Irene Ntale and Rema Namakula that were lined up as curtain-raisers didn’t show up save for Aziz Azion, GNL Zamba and Levixone.
Fortunately, Maro had gifted MCs that kept guests excited as they waited for his performance. The MCs included Salvado Idringi, Mosh, DJ Nimrod and Dangy Nice, among others. At exactly 10:38pm, Maro finally got to the stage clad in a white gown, woolen scarf, cream pants, blue shirt and a glittering silver hat. Of course, he didn’t forget his tiny cross that dangles from his dreadlocks.
With two women on either side, he faced the band and some wondered whether he had planned to perform like that. Before more conclusions were drawn, all lights struck to his back – to his gown, which was inscribed “RNB KYABAZINGA”. This excited the Basoga around, who screamed in support of their home boy.
After close to four minutes, he now turned to face the crowd, and it was evident that he was overwhelmed by the turnout. In the VIP section, some tables had been pulled out to create space for chairs for guests who came late. He rolled off his performance with his 2012 Lusoga hit, Biweewo. However, his hoarse voice that evening left us thinking he had not done enough rehearsals. He really struggled to keep on the key.
“You people will excuse me, mwana. I have lost my voice because I am so excited,” he said.
Even when he performed songs such as Sula Bulungi, Baibe, Rising Star, Under 18, Omuweesi and Genda Ewamwe, he couldn’t impress that much. Fans cheered him for the sake of it, and he looked puzzled. It was not the sweet-singing songbird they had paid Shs 50,000 to watch. Till the end of the show, he was struggling to get back that sweet voice we all know. Even when he attempted doing renditions of other musicians, he just couldn’t make it.
This mess was covered with auctioning of his CDs that raised Shs 1.2m. One of his excited fans asked him to pick a Friesian cow this week, and also gave him Shs 200,000 cash. Maro said 40 per cent of the concert proceeds would go to Uganda Hands for Hope, a non-governmental organisation that helps deprived children in Namuwongo.
The night was wrapped up by inviting his family on stage before performing Kyokoba and Mubbi Bubbi. At this point, the crowd was on fire but management stopped the music at 12:10pm.
Source : The Observer