Big things seem to be coming for Ugandan artistes as The Aka Dope 2020 is reloaded as it marks 3 years after launching the One Night Only Experience. This follows a mega partnership deal with International Record Label Universal Music Group to support and push Ugandan artistes to the next level.
The announcement was made by one of the co-founders of Aka Dope Band Francis at a get together listening session held on Tuesday at Kurb Rooftop in Kisementi, Kololo.
A Ka Dope is a monthly event that takes place in Uganda every first Friday of the month. It is an initiative Kemiyondo Coutinho started in order to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their talent and garner support from the general public. It features a well mixed variation of performers such as Musicians, Painters, Poets, and Actors.
Kemiyondo is a Ugandan actress, writer, producer and director. She wrote her first one woman play “Jabulile!” in 2008 and went on to take the play to Grahamstown National Festival in South Africa. She later got a scholarship to Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, USA where she continued to pursue her writing.
According to Francis, the idea of Aka Dope came when Kemi as she is fondly known attended a show in which multi-talented artiste Mo-Roots performed and had no idea about the artiste, she wondered how little is known about an artiste so talented.
That’s when she decided to come up with the idea of creating a platform for such little-known, talented (underground) artistes to express themselves and a chance to shine as well.
Three years later, Aka Dope now with a full in-house band has featured or hosted over 200 artists. It has now reached a point where they are seeking partners and collaborations to take the platform to the next level where even more fresh talent will be discovered and exposed while showcasing already established ones to see how they can perform on a different setting.
“First of all we would like to thank our partners like Roke Telecom and Uganda Waragi for standing with us even when we had no sense of direction and didn’t know where we were headed. We call upon everyone one here from the corporate world, the media etc to support us in taking this to the next level”.
With the introduction of the One Night Only series, the organisers hope to create a new exciting experience that will take the entire concerned stake holder to the next level as it will provide a bigger “Out of this world” experience that “will blow you away”.
The new One Night Only series which kicks off with first show on 17th of April 2020, will have 7 different out-of-this-world experiences where the little known artistes will be given a chance.
They have been performing at Design Hub although a new venue for the experience may be sourced.
Uganda Waragi’s Brand Manager Agaba Tumusiime said they are proud to partner with Aka Dope after seeing the conviction the passion of the group and will always celebrate the vibrant(Ugandan) spirit that binds us from the team.
The Aka Dope band also entertained the guests as they played some of their original compositions like ‘Amari’ and other love songs like ‘Daisy’ as well as inspirational songs like ‘Keep Moving’ with a brief blessing of rain not dampening the mood.