The biggest event on the arts calendar The Bayimba Festival of the Arts kicked off last night at the Natioal Theatre in Kampala. And what a way of introducing an action packed weekend of fun and entertainment as one of Uganda best ever Raggae artistes Maddox Sematimba and fast rising gospel artiste Levixone Lala Kick-started the program in style.
According to the organizers, The Bayimba International Festival of the Arts is that exciting festival held annually in Kampala during the 3rd week of September which has become Uganda’s number one multi-arts festival. The festival has developed into an important benchmark for the consumption of Uganda’s finest arts, presenting Ugandans and visitors with a series of unparalleled feasts of music, dance, theatre, film, and visual arts from renowned and upcoming local and international artists.
Maddox who opened up the performances of the night took center stage on the main platform at 7:00pm amidst cheers from the fans and a sizable crowd which had many foreign visitors and ‘Bazungu” that looked every inch excited as they danced and sang along. Kenneth Mugabi was meanwhile at the Upper stage plucking away on his strings
The veteran Raggae artiste accompanied by a live band, performed some of his popular hits like ‘Nakatudde’, ‘Irene’, ‘Eddembe’, ‘Tukolagane’,’ Wowooto’, ‘Kankulagye’, ‘Munnakyalo’ before concluding with Namagembe that sent the crowd wild as they jumped and waved in the air.
When the veteran was done, it was now time for new blood as Gospel artiste Levixone stepped on stage at 8: oopm. He started on a low key as his lead guitarist Charmant Mushaga was nowhere to be seen. The young former street kid was how ever not deterred as he continued with his performance without the Congolese born guitar Maestro
After a performing a few songs, Charmant arrived and the tempo was upped as the crowd cheered and danced. Levixone who surprised many obserevers with his energetic performances and versatile style of music then took the performances to a whole new level when he performed his popular song Shuga (Featuring Daisy Ejiang) Ndombolo style with fans and artistes like Jackie Akello and Ruyonga joining him on stage.
He literally brought the roof down as the crazy dance moves started flowing freely and then reached boiling stage when he jumped off stage to dance with the fans to conclude his session with fans still yearning for more.
There were also performances from Nelly Sade, Matiya Luyima (Auditorium), Msafiri from Tanzania and DJ Rachel closed off Day One with hyper mixes at around midnight.
The festival continues today with more performances expected from the likes of Joel Ssebunjo, Ally Keita and Sheebah Karungi as Photography, Art and Craft exhibitions also continue on the sides.