East Africa: Anne Kansiime Disappoints At East Africa's Got Talent

Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira.
18 September 2019

East Africa's Got Talent has now reached the semi-finals stage, and yet rather than a spruce in quality of the acts, there seemed to have been a downgrade.

Last week, a Kenyan commentator who attended one of the pre-recorded shows, said the aired shows do not truly reflect how messy the performances and crowds are. With last Sunday's live screening of the first semi-final, one could not help but believe him.

From the boring hostess, Anne Kansiime, to the uninspired audience, there was arguably only one performance worth a semi-final - that of angelic nine-year-old Kenyan, Janelle Tamara.

She outdid her last performance with the 1965 Nina Simone classic, Feeling Good. She sang her heart out, commanded the stage and also displayed her piano skills. No wonder voters sent her straight to the finals. She, so far, looks set to take the $50,000 prize money.

In the pre-recorded show last week, Jehovah Shalom Acapella group were by far the best act and got Uganda's second golden buzzer. But at the semi-final stage, they fell short, although they still made it to the final.

Generally, the semi-finals performances were horrible - only made worse by Kansiime. A good host usually sets the tone and vibe, but Kansiime made the live semis so boring that I wished it was one of the judges, Uganda's Gaetano Kagwa, Rwandan DJ Makeda Mahadeo, Kenyan broadcaster Jeff Koinange or Tanzanian songstress Vanessa Hau Mdee, on the other side of the stage.

She may be a great comedian but clearly not a great host. The show, a regional spin-off of Simon Cowell's Got Talent, is being hosted in Nairobi.


Before the semis, the show had been duly dubbed Uganda's Got Talent by many online, because of Uganda's impressive musical acts. We can only hope for improvements in the second semi final from seven-year-old Leynah Kagere, who received the show's first golden buzzer from Vanessa.

There is also 11-year-old Ezekiel Mutesasira and his 14-year-old sister Esther Mutesasira, who impressed with their confident vocal abilities and stage presence. Then there is the Dance Alliance Network (DAN), a dance group from Uganda, that impressed with their well-choreographed and synchronized moves the last time they performed.

But on Sunday, all eyes will be on Rwanda's Peace Hoziyana who took a pitchy shot at Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You and got red-buzzed by three out of the four judges, but controversially made it to the semi- finals after her compatriot Mahadeo gold-buzzed her, leaving Gaetano, Koinange and Kansiime in utter shock.

While Uganda and Tanzania, with their acrobatics and magic acts, had seemed impressive, Kenya which started off disappointingly now looks set to win the grand prize. The show is broadcast on NBS TV at 8pm on Sundays for Ugandan audiences.

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