The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Mampi Wows Kampala

When hundreds thronged Entebbe highway to catch a glimpse of the Zambian RnB singer's arrival, some interpreted it to be the usual Ugandans' kajanja.

Whatever the interpretation, Miriam Mukape aka Mampi, the Swililili star, proved she is a darling for Ugandans at her Valentine's day concert at Hotel Africana. By 7:30pm the hotel's People's Space had filled up, with hundreds still flocking the venue and by 9pm, many guests had no choice but to stand. KT promotions, the organisers of the concert, must have been smiling all the way to the bank.

Performances started as early as 7:30pm with a lineup of Ugandan artistes from Ray with Kasenyanku, to Gravity Omutujju with Walumbe Zaaya. They did it to perfection. Eagles Production confirmed why they are one group that has stood the test of time. Stecia Mayanja came first, bringing ladies to their feet with her Equalizer and Nafuna Fitting hits.

Clad in a tight and short blue dress that mapped out all her curves, she energetically shook her butt before the cameras, electrifying men.

"Show them, show them...," the ladies screamed.

She told the thrilled devotees amid ululations: "Nange neetya (I also fear myself)," before leaving the plinth for Ronald Mayinja. Irene and Geoffrey Lutaaya proved they are a suited couple in the music arena. It was love on stage like they had forgotten this wasn't their bedroom. As they sang Choice Yange, you could see their fans nodding their acceptance.

Messach Ssemakula, Catherine Kusasira and Maureen Nantume did their best. Believe it or not, Eagles Production is still strong. Revellers were, however, taken aback by the frequent sponsors' adverts, which would take about five to ten minutes to the disappointment of party animals. At about a quarter to 11pm, Bebe Cool backed by Gagamel crew took to the stage to do Kamwako.

This was before surrendering the stage to UB5 band that backed the Lusaka-based Mampi. Well, I am sure as she sat high in the hotel watching Ugandan artistes dance and intone their throats dry, Mampi was thinking: "I have to prove that I am better than them."

Indeed, our boys and girls had set the bar high. To prove that she is worth Ugandans' money, she had to surpass the bar. And that's what she did. The sound by Silk Events was up to perfection, and the band did well. At exactly 11pm, she descended onto the stage.

Clad in a tight skimpy dress, Mampi could hardly part her legs to dance. But this was just at the start when she sang her new Luganda composition, Otunulaki. When she divulged into her Zambian songs, she changed to Patra pants, provocatively shaking her curves that left male revellers pocketing.

For over an hour, she crazily rode Ugandans on a musical terrain as they danced to her Zambian hits. But it was not until she sang Why and Swililili, the biggest of her songs in Uganda, that almost everyone found themselves jumping high. Bobi Wine joined her to crown the night with their duet, Why.

Gauging from the excitement of people walking out of the hotel, it was a worthwhile time for especially lovers who were clad in red and black.

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