The recently elected leaders of Uganda Music Association (UMA) formally took the reigns yesterday amid funfair and pomp at a ceremony held at the Uganda National Theatre gardens in Kampala.
The event also marked the launch of the main office and address of the association located at the 2nd Floor of the Ugandan National Cultural Centre (UNCC) also known as the National Theater in Kampala opposite Parliament of Uganda. The opening up of UMA offices is seen by many as a strong indicator of the seriousness and unity of purpose among Ugandan musicians, this time round.
The swearing-in ceremony was witnessed by nearly 80 musicians, was administered by musician-turned lawyer, Sylver Kyagulanyi, in the presence of Flight Captain and NRM Vice President for Eastern region Captain Mike Mukula.
The swearing-in ceremony marked the climax of leadership uncertainties that have been characterised by lack of cohesion and a permanent address.
It is not clear yet whether the prevailing sense of unity has anything to do with the involvement of the government, under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Elly Kayanja, who recently urged artists to unite in order to receive government help in fighting piracy.
The new committee comprises;
Sophie Gombya: President,
Tugume Wyclif aka Ykee Benda: Vice president,
Phina Mugerwa aka Masanyalaze: Secretary,
Kagonda John aka Bushington: Public Relations Officer,
Rena Nalumansi: Treasurer,
Ibrahim Mayanja aka Big Eye: Assistant Treasurer,
Mugwanya Michael aka King Michael; Dancehall representative,
Grace Ssekamatte: Band representative,
Derrick Katongole aka Victor Kamenyo: Hip-hop representative,
Vincent Segawa: Kadongo Kamu representative,
Kasumba Abdul Rashid aka Swahaba Kasumba: Religious affairs Islam,
Sam Lucas Lubyogo aka Levixone: Religious affairs Gospel
Jamie Kasujja aka Jamie Culture: Chief whip.
After speeches a two-layer cake designed with three ball-like structures (one yellow two grey) on top, was cut.
And finally the grand opening of the office on the second floor of the National Theatre was opened amidst lots fanfare and ululations.
How the event unfolded
A section of famous artistes, government officials and revelers yesterday thronged the National Theatre to witness the official launch of the offices of the Uganda Music Association (UMA).
Unlike many occasions where one has to pay to watch their favorite artiste, this time it was different, all manner of artistes were readily available and at no fee for everyone to see. Many made good use of this God-given manna and took to posing for selfies with their favorite artistes.
At around 2:00pm, different artistes started arriving including Benon Kibuka, Dr. Tee, Silver Kyagulanyi, Jami Culture, Rena Nalumansi, Phina Masanyalaze, Bushington, and Hajji Haruna Kitooke.
Their arrival excited revelers who started wondering about what was going on only to see so many artistes in the same place at the same time.
As revelers were still lost in this fete, they cited ‘bootilicious Catherine Kusasira’ dressed to kill in a black trouser and top with five golden stars and this escalated the excitement.
Kusasira was followed by the dancehall King ‘Michael!’ who was dressed in a brownish suit and Vincent Segawa the Kadongo kamu maestral who once paraded over 50 women after appearing of Bukedde TVs Abanonya program purportedly to search for a wife. Spotting a spotless white kanzu he looked a real Musajja Wa Kabaka and he insisted I call him Master Vicent.
At around 4:00pm the vice president (elect) of the Uganda Music Association Ykee Benda arrived.
As revelers were enjoying this free fall of close proximity with their famous stars and taking selfies, the famous ‘Kampala Boyz’ the B2C arrived in splendor donning their characteristic stylish jeans.
As the party was climaxing, the man of “His things” aka ‘another problem’ Kabako!! Landed in style dressed in a short and a long sleeved T-shirt of mixed color (black, red & white), white canvas and black ribbon inscripted with Christian Dior.
Though he did not perform, but no sooner had he arrived, than everybody felt his presence as he was seen posing for selfies with fellow artistes as well as revelers.
Kabako was followed by the president elect of Uganda Music Association Sophie Gombya who was donning a Black Hijab dress with gold linings around the neck.
The ceremony that was aimed at launching the new office at this point had turned into a fashion show since every artiste was coming in his/her own style
To the revelers this was enough since they had seen their favorite artistes. “Kati nebwe gugwera wano kasita ndabye kubayimbi bange” one of the revelers said meaning even if the ceremony ends here I have seen most of my favorite artistes.
Kiwanda Suubi the state Minister for tourism who represented the guest of honor accompanied by Major Gen. Elly Kayanja who represented Gen. Salim Saleh arrived at around 5:00pm and the ceremony officially started.