They came, they conquered and they left a mark, a very big mark at that. The Qwela Divas stormed Kampala Serena Hotel in what would turn out to be one of the most impressive performances by local stars in a long time especially the female stars who for a long time, have been playing second fiddle to their male counter parts who have dominated the scene for decades.
Last night offered something new and hopefully has ushered in a new trend others can follow as the Qwela Divas comprising seven top female artistes swept the fans off their feet with superb energetic performances that left the audience stunned and glued at the end of it all.
Before the show, the line up had left some music critics sceptical of what these ladies could offer and here at the Qwela Junction Episode three ‘Divas Edition’, was an opportunity to disapprove them and oh boy did they do it in style.
The ensemble which had MoRoots, Solome Basuuta, Naava Grey, Sandra Suubi, Guitarist Ritah Sabiiti, Jemimah Sanyu aka The Stage Gladiator and veteran Rachael Magoola, kicked off their performances at exactly 8:oopm and from their grand entrance, one could sense something special was about to burst. And after Jackie Akello had superbly warmed up the stage, Kenneth Kimuli also known as Pablo, the MC of the night concluded his funny antics and did the honours of announcing the entry of the beautiful and talented ladies, it was ShowTime.
They got to business straight away with MoRoots on Keys and Ritah Sabiiti strumming on the lead guitar, taking to stage first. The other Divas then whizzed in gently with Rock-Star pomp and aura that left many a fan feeling the goose bumps. Some could be seen holding back tears as the Divas bellowed tunes in sweet harmonies.
As they interchanged songs and relayed some mellow vocals, the audience could not help but sing along as the soulful Solome and powerhouse Sandra Suubi led the first session of a collaborative Afro-Pop and rock n Roll fusion. With one artiste stepping at a time while other backed up, every stage movement was well organised and choreographed. The Qwela band was in sync too with Steve Jeans’ Fenon Records taking charge of the sound which was crystal clear and stage lighting illuminating the stage.
When the audience finished singing ‘Soka Lami’ alongside Naava Grey, it was now time for the electric Jemimah to take control of the stage. Like a possessed demon, the entire stage was not enough for her as she danced her way through the audience and onto the VIP tables unleashing weird lingala strokes punctuated by some acrobatics moves that had the crowd on their feet.
The last act was reserved for veteran Afrigo band crooner Rachael Magoola who twisted and wriggled to ‘Obangaina’ like teenager to the amazement of the fans and that signalled the end of the show at around 9:35pm. The good byes and Pablos ending remarks fell on deaf ears as the audience remained glued on their seats expecting more.
Even Qwela Junction’s Joe Kaheru’s ‘good news’ that there will be another episode next year did not move the fans who demanded for ‘our money’ and shouted ‘we want more’. After no more action on stage the crowd reluctantly moved out cursing why such a beautiful concert could end so soon.
Qwela junction is a quarterly series of collaborative concerts featuring artistes of a specific discipline on the same stage to give their audience a unique high quality live music showcase.
The first featured top guitarists in the country which was dubbed ‘Guitar Maestros’, episode was the ‘Sax Aces’ featuring seven top Saxophonists with this latest one, ‘The Divas’.
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