Afro-soul songster Maurice Kirya treats his fans to another of his signature grand concerts this Thursday July 18, 2013 at the Kampala Serena Hotel. He will ride on the back of a new album; The Book of Kirya, a new look in which he sheared off his trademark Afro and the fact that unlike the last time, corporate entities have been queuing up to sponsor the Broadway-meets-concert musical do.
What if some fans are crazy enough to turn up with their poodles at your concert. Won’t a cacophony of barking and screaming be a little too much to bear?
[Laughs] maybe we’ll have a kennels section for the dogs. I haven’t decided on that yet. Perhaps there will be some sort of punishment for people that turn up with their dogs but that was all in jest; the bit about dogs in the concert ad.
You finally got a sponsor this time around. They must be queuing up now after you literally told them to shove it the first time and just plunged headfirst into doing a show with no sponsors in 2011…
I have worked so hard that corporate companies now know I deliver what I promise in terms of a good experience. You know that Luganda proverb about people believing after they have seen. But even before these gran concerts, I had done The Maurice Kirya Experience [music sessions] with no sponsors for six months. They now understand the power of my brand. And not to sound almost spiritual I believe what I do is a calling and it will reflect 10 years later. I remember in 1999 when I’d move around with my guitar on my back and people would tease me mbu Kadongo Kamu. I guess I’m having the last laugh now. Continue reading
This year’s jazz safari will have celebrated US R&B songster Keith Sweat as its headlining act. The announcement was made at an evening cocktail event at Moringa in Bugolobi on Tuesday night at which keyboard maestro Pragmo and bass guitar virtuoso Sam Bisaso serenaded guests. The other acts at the Friday October 4, 2013 Kampala Serena Hotel do are saxophonist Tom Braxton, trumpeter Patches Stewart and The John Blackwell Project featuring one of the world’s most acclaimed drummers. Genre enthusiasts have been promised a jazz-funk and soul at the sixth instalment of Kampala’s premier music event.
Sweat will travel to Kampala alongside his seven-piece band. He boasts record sales of more that 25 million copies and was an R&B mainstay in the ‘90s gaining instant recognition owing to the heavy rotation of his hits on FM radio back in the day. Nile Gold Brand Manager Dorothy Muttu affirmed that they had not only consistently delivered a great annual jazz experience in Uganda but had contributed to the growth of the genre. “We are proud to have supported a platform that has resulted in more creativity and diversity in Uganda’s music and culture scene with the growth of more jazz talent and fans in the country. This year’s array of new headliners is a reflection of our commitment to granting our fans a musical experience that is beyond the ordinary,” she said.
The Nile Gold Jazz Safari made its debut in 2008 and has grown to become Uganda’s premium jazz event attracting legendary jazz artistes like Eric Marienthal, Jonathan Butler, Gerald Albright, Howard Hewitt and Regina Belle. The increasing growth of the jazz fans has resulted in two straight sold out concerts in 2011 and 2012. This year’s tickets sales will be hassle-free courtesy of Payway selling points. Concertgoers will trade in their receipts/ codes for tickets on the day of the concert. Entrance has been kept at UGX150, 000.
Jazz Safari founder Tshaka Mayanja intimated that this has been one of the toughest line-ups he has ever had to assemble. “They [the musicians] are all very busy and so renowned that getting them here has been hard,” he said. “This year, we are gearing up for one huge funk party. Put on your dancing shoes because you certainly won’t need seats coz the jazz-fun & soul will keep you up!” The other concert partners are Rwenzori Premium and British Airways as the official airline.
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“Zamora” Director Shams Banji flanked by the film’s leading cast Richard Bezuidenhout (L) and Richa Adhia (R).
Zamora has yet another accolade under its belt. The enchanting film, a Swahili love story revolving around the evolution of one man’s hidden desires and his quest to find true love scooped the top accolade at the 16th Khouribga Festival held in Morocco from June 22-29, 2013. “Jury member Sanaa Alaoui emphasized the jury’s difficulty in discerning this year’s prizes, because of the overall high quality of the films in competition”, a statement from the film’s screenwriter’s Facebook page read. She added that ZAMORA nevertheless stood out for its originality, its poetry, and its imagery. Seventeen films from fifteen African countries competed in the festival seen as the second most important rendezvous for African film on the continent after FESPACO. The film’s director, Shams Bhanji for whom is his first feature, was accompanied by his two lead actors, Richard Bezuidenhout and Richa Adhia to the festival. Earlier this year Zamora won a special award at FESPACO for best digital film.
Zamora was filmed against a backdrop of mystical and mythological world of Zanzibar and the story revolves around Zamora, a vain artist/womaniser on a voyage of self discovery. Filled with romantic connotations about the spice island, he meets a beautiful Omani woman who mesmerises and inspires him to buy a dhow to have a comfortable life in paradise. Zamora’s passion for the unknown, a reckless adventurous lifestyle and a sordid past lands him in nightmarish situations. Through three separate emotionally charged relationships, (Zulfa, Saada and Zareena) he almost becomes a victim of the confrontation between the good and the evil. Zulfa stands for innocent love spiced with traditional restrictions. Saada stands for the mystical, magical and unconditioned side to the African psyche. Zareena stands for power and obsession and its immoral implications. Zamora’s winning streak started with the special jury prize (Silver Dhow) as well as Best East African Film at the 2012 Zanzibar International Film Festival.
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Part of the discourse at this year’s ZIFF (Zanzibar International Film Festival) will revolve around mooting an East African Film Commission. The sessions takes place on Tuesday July 2nd, 2013 at the DCMA Old Customs House from 9.30am to 1pm. The idea is premised on appreciating the fact that East Africa Community (EAC) comprising the five regional countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania Kenya and Uganda is not simply a geographical/ political entity but a cultural one as well that boasts a combined population that is almost as big as Nigeria’s which boasts Africa’s biggest film industry.
“It (EAC) has a sense of shared history, with each country’s borders reflecting similar political and economic values despite its traditional and colonial histories,” a statement on the festival website http://www.ziff.or.tz reads. To steer the conversations will be an eminent panel of experts in film policy who will deliberate the existing film funding activities in the individual countries most of which have been modeled around European experiences adapted to the present African realities alongside policies that will enhance the burgeoning film industry.The panel of experts includes Joan Peters; Commissioner-Australian film Commission, Prof Mick Brodeick; former Commissioner-Australian Film Commission, Lidia Pilcher; Producer–10 films by Mira Nair, Prof Jane Bryce; University of West indies–Barbados, Charles Asiba-Kenya Film Commission, Alex Mulwa-Kenya Film Commission and Kivu Ruhorahoza; GIZ-Consultant East African Community.
Overall, the half-day forum promises to offer filmmakers a chance to discuss their development within the context of a regional setting. It will go beyond just creating space for discussion but also explore how the mushrooming festivals in the region can further collaborate and ensure that they work towards the development of the peoples of this region. The forum has been earmarked as a key cultural activity at ZIFF this year since East Africa remains the least productive region in Africa in terms of film production.
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Kampala has yet another festival on its dusty and potholed landscape. The NuVo Arts Festival promises seven days of indulgence for arts-philes. From Monday July 1 to Sunday July 7, the festival will offer visual arts, poetry, music, drama and fashion. NuVo is a short form for “New Voices” and is a non-profit foundation dedicated to engaging new voices in the struggle for social justice. It aims to create social change and awareness through art, develop and promote local talent, promote and celebrate art and culture in Uganda, facilitate constructive dialogue to address current issues and impact youth decisions by creating awareness and dialogue social change. The festival will be held annually in July in Uganda’s capital, Kampala and the events will focus on a NuVo chosen social justice topic.