Ever since the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni first banned public gatherings as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of Corornavirus, several businesses have since been directly or indirectly affected.
From the time the lockdown was declared about 2 weeks ago, Ugandans have been confined to their homes and urged to stay safe by following the measures rolled out by government. A curfew decreed from 7:00pm to 6:30pm every day.
The entertainment industry was one of the first and most affected as big gatherings and events were banned while entertainment places, bars and public places were all closed.
Now the wait has be prolonged as President Yoweri Musevei yesterday extended the days of the lockdown by 21 more till May 5th2020. Some of the major events on the entertainment calendar which have since been suspended indefinitely or cancelled all together include;
HiPipo Music Awards: This was one of the first events to be postponed even before Uganda reported any Coronavirus cases or the president issued any directives. Although it was originally scheduled for 14th March 2020 at Victoria Hall of Kampala Serena Hotel, the organisers felt the timing was wrong. Much as they claimed it was due to logistical challenges, insiders told Chano8 it was actually due to the outbreak of COVID-19 which was already killing many people in other parts of the world.
The Kassav & Vegedream: The live concert which was scheduled for 28th March 2020 at the Sheraton Gardens was being organised in celebration of the Uganda France Friendship week 2020. The concert was also supposed to have performances from Jose Chameleone Bebe Cool Spice Diana Vinka and many more.
African Star Vs Uganda Cranes Legends: The African Stars’ match against Uganda Cranes legends which was being organized by French Embassy in Uganda was also ‘painfully Postponed’. The decision was taken in the spirit of protecting humanity and in the midst of the world wide spread of Coronavirus pandemic. This decision was made also as a precaution before a single case was reported in the country.
Eddy Kenzo Festival: The inaugural Eddy Kenzo festival scheduled for Saturday 28th March, at Kololo Airstrip was cancelled last minute following the ban of public gatherings. The promoter of the event a one Moses Lubulwa of Luba Events, who had invested heavily in the event, kept hoping that things will be fine until the president made the first pronouncements on March 18th where all public gatherings were suspended for 30 days sending him into buckets loads of tears. To make matters worse, Kenzo travelled to Ivory Coast for a concert and got trapped there when passenger flights in and outside of the country were also banned. Since then, the BET winner has never returned and is living in fear that he may contract and die of the disease from there.
The NSSF Kampala 7 Hills Hash Run: The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) annual charity Marathon dubbed the NSSF Kampala 7 Hills Hash Run was to take place on March 29th. The run which is organized to raise funds in support of KCCA public schools was pushed to an unconfirmed date.
5-Star Madness: Funfactory’s 5-Star madness comedy show which was supposed to celebrate 10 years of the comedy outfit, also hit a snag after pandemic wrecked havoc across the globe. The group which was originally known as Theatre Factory started in 2010 and was due to mark a decade in the industry. The event which supposed to be ‘their biggest show ever’ was due on Holy Thursday (April 9th) at Kampala Serena Hotel.
Jazz With Isaiah: This annual event organized by Jazz maestro Isaiah Katumwa to celebrate world Jazz Day, usually takes place on 30th April. This year was not going to be different but it was posponed by Katumwa and the sponsors Johnnie Walker to ‘a later day’. To make matters worse, Katumwa also recently lost his friend and Manu Dibango to the deadly COVID-19 in France. Dibango, a Cameroonian Saxophonist and singer, performed at Katumwa’s concert at Kampala Serena Hotel in 2018.
Tugende Mu Kikadde Season 4: Tugende Mu kikadde which is according to the organisers Sprout Africa is a celebration of ‘Greatest Band Music’ which was to happen on 4th April 2020 at Kampala Serena Hotel. It is usually for the oldies to bring back the golden memories.
Voltage Music Live in Concert: Music duo Kent and Flosso were preparing for their first ever major concert scheduled for this weekend April 17th at UMA Multipurpose Hall in Lugogo, when everything was thrown into disarray. With nothing clear in the foreseeable future, the young singers are now locked in total confusion under quarantine at home as the country continues with the lockdown.
Easter Weekend Shows: Notably the Tugende Mu Kiwatule Easter Monday organized by Bebe Cool. The artiste himself says he has already lost over 60 million he usually makes from that show alone. And when you add other concerts where he is invited to perform, he says he has missed about 40 million from that.
Other artistes like Gospel singer Levixone resorted to holding their concerts online from home which they broadcast on their social media pages. Several others like Spice Diana and Sheebah whose concerts were also cancelled have resorted to cooking Katogo at home in isolation.
Purple Party Tours: This year’s Purple Party upcountry tour shows in places like Mbale and Hoima have all been put on hold with no clear date of return. Although the climax concert usually takes place in Kampala, those that were supposed to take place this period were all in lockdown.
Blankets And Wine: Nigerian star Yemi Alade was itching to put up a memorable performance at the event she termed an ‘African show’. The 25th edition of the picnic style show characterized by contemporary Afro-pop and Soul music was to take place on 25th April. A new date will now be communicated later after things settle down.
OTHERS IN BALANCE
So many other concerts have now been thrown off balance with uncertainty hovering all over the place. Some of these include annual shows like; Roast And Rhyme (June 6th), Nyege Nyege (September 3rd-7th) and concerts by the big guns in the industry like Bebe Cool(August), Sheebah Karungi(November) and Jose Chameleone(Not clear).
However, not everyone else in the industry who had scheduled shows this year have been affected badly. Top of this list is Cinderella Sanyu aka Cindy who got a lot of stick after organizing a concert that flopped terribly in 2017 had the last laugh when her ‘Boom Party Concert’ at Lugogo Cricket Oval on March 7th SURPRISINGLY attracted a mammoth crowd. The icing on the cake was when film actor Prynce Okuyo Joel proposed to her and of course she said a big ‘Yes’ to start social distancing herself from other men.
Others whose isolation and quarantine is going smoothly include, comedian Patrick Salvado Idringi who successfully celebrated 10 years in the industry at the Africa Laughs show in Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Valentine’s Day 14th February 2020.
After ditching Love Nigga Eddy Kenzo and replacing him with Love Doctor Hamza Ssebunya, Rema Namakula had to celebrate this milestone at Hotel Africana with yet another successful concert where they freely touched each other even in the soft parts which are now prohibited.