As a young dreamer, Bebe Cool would shadow big names in the music industry to simply be seen standing next to them during shows.
How times change! Today he is one of the most influential artistes in the industry; he boasts of hits such as Ssente, Kasepiki and Kamwako, has won both local and regional awards and declared himself Big Size. Bebe Cool will always find his way into the news, hit song or none.
When he hosted a fans' party on January 23 at Club Asylum, his timing was suspect; he had just made headlines in a Luganda newspaper for all the wrong reasons.
The gathering dubbed Gagamel Phamily Drink Up, was for his staunch fans and well-wishers. He had described it as spiritual get-together and it did prove to be one.
Not even Darius Mugisha, one of Asylum's managers, could believe his eyes; the do was a total success.
"Thanks to the number one Rasta Bebe Cool for always choosing Asylum, you truly made this place look too small," he said.
Gagamel Phamily is a group of Bebe Cool fans. They are not ordinary fans, but a movement. Their trust and belief goes beyond loving Bebe's music. They support one another in all areas and usually work towards the success of Bebe Cool's charity projects. This is also the group behind the Bebe Cool praising placards at shows. They even have identity cards; so, to Bebe, these are like actual family members.
I attended out of curiosity; I expected a wholly 'beaten' Bebe Cool to turn up or at the least, a bald Bebe (his dreadlocks were allegedly cut off during his most recent fist fight). By 7pm, fans were flocking to Asylum; you could think it was a mini concert.
"Fire brigade vehicles should be on standby; Asylum is catching fire any time courtesy of Gagamel," said a reveller.
Bebe, wearing a checked shirt finally arrived at about 10:30pm amidst cheers from his fans. This time he had no head gear; I didn't even have to push over bodies to notice that his dreadlocks were intact. The Gagamel DJ did a good job keeping the crowd interested, on top of performances by Denzo, Short cut, Edith K and other Gagamel artistes.
The night's celebration was capped by cutting of a cake baked by Bebe's number one fan, wife Zuena, courtesy of her Zuena Parties company. Bebe Cool promised a lot for the year 2013, including a video for his youth empowerment song, Obuvunanyizibwa, due out in two weeks.