RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hommies call them "cheat brokers"


Phones made in hell! It was a discovery made that comely Monday evening when Michael and a few of us bumped into his girlfriend with a very fat dude we later nicknamed Biggie Smalls.

It was one shock for Michael whose girlfriend had after our evening lecture told him she was rushing to Muyenga to attend to her sick dad. And it was such a bombshell for us boys because it was a known fact [until that day] that Yolanda couldn’t stand fat men. You see she had always boasted to mates on how lucky she was to land Michael, the lankiest but most charmingly handsome chap in our class. Michael was also in shackles of love, for Yolanda is such a gorgeous babe.

Anyway, shortly before our discovery, the named girl had talked intensely on her cell phone besides the SMS signal tones that had incensed the lecturer. It was to emerge later that the messages were from home where she was hastily needed.

Thus feeling free and buddy-buddy for the very first time, we swaggered with Michael to Wandegeya for rolexes. And then it came to pass that Yolanda –like the rest of them girls –are all players. They hook and use us for their own pleasure but retain the huge, working guys who pump them with shillings and buy them expensive phones.

You will truly taste the fires of hell the day you nab your girlfriend hand in hand with a potbellied bloke.

It was blazing hot when we took the trip to ‘Miami’, okay, down to Wandegz. Maybe you haven’t been to this hell but you probably have sowed it. Remember the tiny cellphone you bought her? Geez she’s been using it to brainwash you: “Honey, I received a phone call from aunt today; says she’s missing me and wants me to spend a weekend at her pad” kumbe she wants to be with her sugar daddy in some cozy hotel around town.

Or still, she’s been acting strange since you bought her that Samsung gadget. You can’t catch her anymore. She’s been playing hide-and-seek. When you call and detect panic in her ‘yes darling’ know that she’s probably in Bugolobi playing under the sheets with her ‘uncle.’

Yes, phones made in hell! Hommies call them “cheat brokers!” If you want to send her on rampage, buy her a phone. It was ticking to 8 p.m., when the truth dawned. Wow, it’s too fast for a date! Yolanda and her most saintly face owns that rare mobile phone that once or twice has instigated hot arguments amongst guys on how much it costs. And the damn thing she used to conspire with loverman to break Michael’s heart.

Tell you what the guy was really ‘phat’! Amorphous could be the right word. And there the slender, curvy Yolanda clang to his arm like a child seeking protection. She was laughing with glee, and fatman had this satisfied look of a sumo wrestler that knows how to tell good jokes. But baffling was how such an obese fellow could ‘rock’ with the wee girl. It was as shocking as the touching guilt on Yolanda’s face when she saw us with Michael. As she waved, “Hi guys,” her arm trembled, her movements faltered as our eyes hit Mr. Biggie with hatred. What disbelief, what betrayal!

Your little sister is getting bigger than her jeans because she got the phone! Then next thing you know she’s pregnant at 15. Eeh! What about HIV/AIDS and STDs? The girls give a little sex for a mere phone. No, if it will make you die young, it is not worth a hill of beans consumed by my country folk! It’s no time for us to pour our a little liquor for another home girl dead. Our hard-earned money doesn’t belong to Anti Retrieval Drugs.

Girls, girls, girls! I don’t know about the boys but watch out for phones made in hell. You would rather die a doorkeeper at the gates of heaven than a princess in the courts of hell!

--Daily Monitor, Thursday, November 4, 2004

James Wood belts out tunes for Jesus


This was not the usual kind of rap music. It was not about sex, crime and such lyrics common with rap geniuses. James Woods who calls himself Jamez Woodz was launching his debut album last Sunday evening at Kampala Pentecostal Church [KPC].

By 4 p.m., the pews were mainly crammed with youths who had come to support the Briton, mostly seniour six vacationists.

After a series of curtain-rising performances from Kezia Mbabazi and Louis Kyaligonza, who two weeks ago won a gospel hip-hop singing search competition organized by Alpha One Records based in Ntinda, the lanky white rapper jumped onto the stage to tantalize the audience with his music.

Dressed in buggy track pants, sneakers and a red tee-shirt, he sung Set Free which is the hit title of the 14-track album. His legions of fans couldn’t help flirting with the chorus as his musical baritone rambled out the deeply didactic lines done in an old-school rap style reminiscent of former rapper Vanilla Ice.

However, the strong speakers distorted the performance with their burst-like intermittent sounds. The animated lights though were a good idea. They would change from moonlike illumination to waning candlelight as the concert blazed on.

Wood sung a number of songs with Ugandan artistes. He sung I’m Blessed, a song in which he features Ugandan sensation Michael Ross.

As the emcee Saint CA, a gospel artiste herself said, the show was about the “Jesus of Nazareth,” which is why it was free of charge.

The CD that comes with hits like Ryde for Jesus, Return to Me, which features former Project Fame Ugandan representative Yvonne Nabeta, and sound tracks like Save Me Lord, was on Sale outside for Shs12,000.

In Not a Game, Wood features Uganda’s coca-cola pop maestro, Cindarella Sanyu while Dear God and Outlaw are two songs the young artiste performed to make one feel the power of those lyrics that praise Christ.

“My music is about setting people free,” Wood said after the show. He hinted at many people bound by habits like sex, those torn apart by poverty, sickness, death and wars, saying: “It’s not this gospel music that sets such people free; it’s the message in it.”

The music was produced by Moses Sabiiti of Vocal Justice Studios.

--Daily Monitor, Saturday August 7, 2004, page 22

Young lecturers raid the classes


Lack of senior lecturers at the Ivory Tower has opened way for junior lecturers. These are disarmingly clever ladies and gentlemen who accomplished their university education a few years ago with good grades; a first class honours or probably an upper second degree. Some are hardly 25 years of age.

In the lecture room, students feel free to engage wits with these lecturers. The lady lecturers have been stunned at the bold guys who once or twice have shyly suggested a date.

The lecture room has become a foundry of rib-cracking jokes and an arena in which the art of showmanship is staged. Good or bad, students love it.

A lecturer will ignite his topic with flashes of humorous kabozi [chit-chat] that keep students entertained. It could be about a fat mama who kept farting as she surfed the net. Or when a lecturer asks why 70 percent of the campusers never vote in guild elections, students will quickly answer, “We’re below age” sealed by a chorus of laughter.

Then a cell phone rings. An argument gets really heated when this ‘predator’ rings, “it interrupts the flow knowledge,” a lecturer will fume.

Likewise, a tough professor will be busy boiling down those philosophical concepts when gadget buzzes yet again. This really annoys. “Switch off your brief-case Erickson,” a student will shout from the back.

“Professor,” another will join in, “I think it’s a yellow that yells like a saint in hell!”

Campusers for the ultimate show-off effect use handsets with message alerts and gaming sounds. When those loud humming sounds disrupt a lecture, assistant lecturers especially women feel looked down upon. Revenge is in form of an unexpected assignment where the top student scores 50 percent and the last 10 percent.

But back to our world of fanfare, a lecturer strolls says he wants the class to write a one-page speech about leisure as enjoyed by students.

“Yes, G-strings and mothers unions,” a funny boy will say.

Even politics finds its way in somehow. Pro-third term lecturers say good things about what the movement government has done adding, “Even Gulu is more happening than Kampala.”

“Does it have a traffic jam?” a Makererean will challenge.

Some guys come to the lecture room dressed like wrestlers, other like bafume [traditional medicine men]. A lot more girls expose their huge navels.

Others wait till a lecture is halfway through before they enter accompanied by that click-clack sound emitted by their high-heeled shoes. They love it when heads turn.

--Daily Monitor, Saturday June 5, 2004, page 12

Shobanjo refuses to hire Deox


He was appointed the first project manager on account of his compelling performance in a mock business task. He stamped his approval on the name ‘Zulu’ where his compatriots seemed to favour ‘Summit’ and they began registering successive wins.

Then he retreated into the shadows. But this was only a strategy; one that worked like magic when the team began to lose and his team-mates forgot to drag him to face the fire in the boardroom.

He took the front seat once more with steady superiority; became the apprentice grandee influencing Zulu wins. He was the only East African to be among the top four and the only one overall to lead his team to success three times as project manager.

But it is said that the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing, so when task 15 came, a sneaky Nigerian woman named Blessing put up an unbelievable performance as “Miss Hypocrisy” and catalysed the firing of our homeboy, Deox Tibeingana. It began when the contestants were asked to carry out a market research for Nutricima --the makers of an energy drink Power Fist Plus. They were also to design a marketing strategy for the product and the team with the most viable strategy would win.

The race began. Deox was seen charming Ojibiye market crowds with his product and Blessing moving between shops to establish the availability of the product.

Later, Matrix kicked off their presentation with a short video about the sportsmen and street people they had interviewed and tasted the drink. With their tagline; “Revitalise, reenergise and recharge”, on top of a winning marketing strategy clincher: “You can still grab more than you are grabbing now!”, Matrix had made the mark.

In their presentation, Zulu revealed that the product was rare in many shops and markets and they suggested more salesmanship and distribution. They drew hearty laughter from Nutricima executives on revealing the fact many Nigerians thought the product was “a libido enhancer”.

They impressed the judges with their marketing slogan: “energy whenever you need it” but because they had concentrated their research on one market, they lost to Matrix whose strategy was comprehensive and easy to implement.

Isaac and Eunice were seen enjoying tender massages at a health club while Deox and Blessing fought for their lives. According to Blessing, Deox had acted like a fool and been “too slow”. To add weight to her words she broke down. It was pathetic seeing such a plump woman cry like a baby.

Shobanjo scratched his white beard and asked Deox if it was true he had been frustratingly slow. Deox said Blessing was acting, that she had approached the task not to win but to have him fired.

Hearing this, Blessing lapsed into a fresh attack calling Deox “a bloody liar”. Deox denied this and wondered why Blessing, as a project manager, had not taken over if he had been incompetent.

It was a good question which Shobanjo neglected saying he had already formed a mental picture of their character traits.
He could have been intimidated by the imperial figure of Deox, so he ejected him lethally leaving three fellow West Africans -Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng (Ghana), Eunice Omole (Nigeria/ U.S.A) and Blessing Njoki from whom he’ll pick his apprentice.

--Daily Monitor, June 14, 2008

I will be more successful than the apprentice

Ugandan lawyer Deox Tibeingana [pictured] is the only East African among the top four at The Apprentice Africa show. He was fired last Sunday but he told Dennis D. Muhumuza that he’s not worried because he’ll make more money than the ultimate Apprentice.

What was the experience like at The Apprentice Africa?
It was good, educative and tough. We called ourselves “fri-enemies” (a combination of friends and enemies) because you are friends today and enemies tomorrow. I was lucky to have been on Zulu Corp. and I used my skills to pump a lot of positivism into my team and we won most of the challenges.

Do you think you were fired fairly?
The Ceo should have been more objective in his assessment of why we lost. Blessing accused me of being slow and cried. Can you imagine? She didn’t even know what a marketing strategy was. The Ceo was duped and felt I had frustrated her; she was acting. If you look at the track record, I had 10 wins and she had only four. So I feel I was a better candidate but like the Ceo said, he had been forming his opinions and that I was not the right person, so here I am. Critics think Eunice shouldn’t have reached this far, that she has only because Shobanjo is in love with her.

In week 11, The Ceo had the obligation to fire Eunice but he didn’t when it was plain and simple that she had caused the loss of the team. And I don’t think he’s in love with her but as a human being, he could have a soft spot for her.

Did you feel disappointed not winning the ultimate prize?
To be honest with you, there was a time I felt that if I could win just to take the bragging rights, it would have been good enough but right now, the Apprentice is going to get $200,000 and a big SUV which is maybe worth about $50,000. I’m a businessman, I know how to make money. Right now, I’m writing a book and Bank PHB (one of the big sponsors of the show) are willing to sponsor the publishing bit. If I’m able so sell 100,000 copies worldwide each at Shs20,000, that’s Shs2bn whereas the winner of the show after the taxes is going to get maybe Shs200m. At the end of the day, I’ll make more money than the apprentice.

Is the book a business handbook?
It’s basically about what was happening in the house. I take you behind the scenes; things you didn’t see on TV; things they had to edit out because of time restrictions. It’s for fans of the show and it’ll guide future contestants on how to play the game, survive in the boardroom and win tasks as project managers. All this is written in an entertaining way and obviously people will pick some business tips along the way.

Who do you think will win?
Isaac from Ghana is a team player, he wants to win badly and he has played the game so well that he did not step on anyone’s toes. His biggest weakness is that he does not set targets but I still think he will win.

What would you tell Ugandans who want to participate in the show next year?
I encourage them to take the step. One American president said ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country, and The Apprentice Africa is one of the ways in which they can sell our country to the rest of the world. And it presents opportunities you’ll never buy with money.

Who is Deox outside the show and his law firm?
He’s a family man, married to a great lady who has been my best friend for 13 years. We have two boys – Lincoln and Andre. I love going to the gym because of my size – I try to keep it in check. On weekends, I play pool and football and maybe one day, a European team – probably Arsenal could want to use my feet professionally. Ha ha ha!

--Daily Monitor, June 14, 2008

The campuser is one big employer


The Makererean is the greatest employer at the university campus and the neighbouring Wandegeya. For long, many people have opted to dismiss this fact but the truth is that about 98% of the human workforce at Ivory Tower is employed off the campus.

Regretfully, instead of honouring and treating their employers with fear, honour and trembling, many never seem to recognize how important the student is to them. Don’t agree? Well, let me just show you:

The Kasoli seller: The clique includes big mommas who always carry heavy baskets full of boiled maize selling cobs and cobs to students. Their work begins at 6 p.m., and ends at 9 p.m. They usually bring around their little daughters to help. It is a woman thing; I’ve not seen a man trying his luck. Unfortunately, these women sometimes sell maize that has overstayed and is beginning to rot. One good point is that these women worship campusers and if the latter had something like a third term, I’m sure they would front such novel cause in bisanja gowns as they sing to Lucky Dube’s God Bless the Woman, paraphrased to ‘God bless the campuser!’

The photocopier attendant: Again, it’s a woman atop. Lecturers come to lecture rooms and rumble, “Pick the notes at Madina’s photocopying machine” [most women attending to such machines are Madinas.] Rumour has it that many lecturers own these photocopiers. If this were true, then students employ lecturers as well. Besides, the attendants always hike prices to get themselves njawulo. What’s more is that sometimes their machines are so old; you can hardly make out the words after their ‘thorough’ work. Have they conspired with lecturers who are ever leaving heavy volumes of books to be photocopied? Could it be high profile detoothing?

The dobby women: In these, you find the pretty, the toothless and the young women. So good at negotiating the price of washing your heavy bed cover, these women based in all halls of residence never lack work. From washing student’s clothes, carpets or even cleaning rooms, they always dig up the campuser’s ferocity when they scrub your white tee-shirt with a heavy brush. They too don’t care; are always doing shoddy work but the way they scram for the quick buck is indescribable!

The cobbler: These, like Shakespeare wrote, live by their awls but are always bending your shoe. Then there are the tailors, the canteen attendants ever juggling prices, the Rolex-maker, the bakubas or mercenaries hired by the ‘coloured’ students to do course-works on their behalf. Oh, then there are the Wandegeya sluts…without campusers, all these could descend into oblivion.

But why is the employer not repaid with fair work and respect? Well, they had better stand warned. If the campuser says enough is enough and loosens his ax, it will be time to learn something and forget nothing!

--Daily Monitor, Saturday, October 9, 2004, page 11

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tunde, great team player, poor project manager


The ultimate job interview at The Apprentice Africa has reached a critical stage where the remaining contestants know that a small mistake will have any of them liquidated like others before.

It was with utmost prudence therefore, that they approached the 14th task, last week, which was to design two sets of school uniforms for the pupils of Abbey Junior School.

Matrix Corporation went for plain, simple and elegant white and green creations. The shorts had no buttons but an elastic waist while the girls’ blouses had a zip at the front, to aid functionality and help kids dress themselves, said Eunice. “Assertive and colourful” is how Matrix project manager described the set.

And Eunice found all the adjectives to glamourise the same uniform calling it “outstanding, over the top, smart, simple and phenomenal.”

For good measure, she put her catwalk skills to good use and taught the children the strutting business as they showed off their new uniform to the impressed school executives.
On their part, the dynamic Zulu Corporation labelled theirs, “A New Me” and boldly opted for checkered green and yellow. Prior to that, they carried out a survey among pupils to learn what they fancied.

Zulu had made long-sleeved shirts, because, said homeboy Deox Tibeingana, the kids loved something different from what other pupils in the neighbourhood had, and they also wanted to look like their parents!

Both teams however forgot an important aspect – a bow-tie and hat often won on important functions at the school. At the end, the teams were judged basing on “originality, functionality, durability and marketability” of what they had created.

Matrix won with 53 points because they had developed something "functional, simple and not distractive."

Zulu lost with 42 points because their outfit was too fashionable for a school uniform. So a smiling Shobanjo congratulated the winners and rewarded them with a celebrity photo shoot and joked, “Once the show is over, you’ll continue to admire yourselves!”

When he turned his guns on the losing team, Deox talked of how Tunde is a great team player who had been instrumental in previous Zulu victories, but a very poor project manager who had ignored Blessing's ideas, and even went to the biggest textile market in Lagos but came with a poor choice.

"If I were Tunde," concluded Deox, "I'd be very honourable and take responsibility for the team's failure and resign right now from Zulu Corp. without wasting the Ceo’s time."

Blessing added to the blistering wound accusing Tunde of indulging in “reckless confidence” and disregarding her design concept even when he knew she has three-years’ experience working in a primary school.

The eleventh hour had come for the ‘city-zen of Lagos’ and although Tunde (Babatunde Ojikutu) calls himself “a real gladiator”, he looked on like a helpless mule when Shobanjo wagged his finger and fired him.

He left behind four devastatingly ambitious “untouchables” who are sure to make the final weeks an exciting watch!

--Daily Monitor, June 7, 2008

Rich drama served hot at World Culture Day


Good stories, clever dialogues, interesting characters, great costumes and charged showmanship turned the Wednesday May 12, 2008 World Culture Day celebrations at the National Theatre into an unforgettable stress-releasing experience.

The Uganda Theatre Network organised event drew indigenous and exotic cultural acts from diverse artistes that left a lasting impression on the audience among whom was the Minister of State for Primary Education, Peter Lokeris.

The tightly interwoven unity of the performing arts and the enormous display of talent revealed how the country’s arts and culture industry has evolved, how professionalism has taken root.

The performances were preceded by an intense exchange as what extent theatre/drama contributes to socio-economical development.

Without giving patrons a chance to yawn, Kitara Cultural Group brought on a graceful Kinyarwada traditional dance called Amaraba. The elegant movement, the stunning smiles and the way they stretched their arms with the poise of crested cranes as if about to fly rhymed with the passionate plea of the dance --where can we find the beautiful ones?

It was almost depressing to see them leave the stage but then Richard Kagolobya appeared with a unique monologue titled “The carnival of the animals”.

He drew hilarity with his perfect imitation of animal sounds; mooing and meowing, and his monkey acrobatics, his long sweeps about the stage and his undulating pitch soaring up and down like an animal yell from the wild were spellbinding. He was challenging human beings who have lived with animals since time immemorial but do not take time to understand their language.

The standing ovation that accompanied him off the stage is same that welcomed Daibolito – the clown. The Kampala-based Frenchman juggled balls and clubs and cracked everyone up with what he called the kitchen love story. Before he made imaginary salads for an imaginary friend, he washed his hands in an imaginary sink and wiped them dry first – using his armpit ‘bush’ – and later his underwear. His bulbous red nose and the downright cranky movements provoked exclamations of “Wow! Marvelous! Fantastic!” from young voices at the back.

Time was ripe for serious drama. Project Theatre Studio presented an excerpt from the legendary story of Gipir and Labongo. Jasper Kayaa, acting as Gipir put up such a flourishing performance – his face expression, his articulation and timely gestures distinguished him as a great actor Uganda should be proud of.

All the performances would have been 90 percent incredible had not local film maker and actor Ashraf Ssimwogerere served us an incoherent tale of how his first flame saved him from contracting the deadly HIV/Aids by denying him sex. The plot would have been absorbing but Ssimwogerere struggled with grammar and nothing in his vocal or facial expressions suggested he was telling a grim tale.

This however was quickly forgotten, for no sooner had Theatre Factory appeared, than it exposed the foibles and follies of a Catholic man who was trying to win the approval of his insanely rich Muslim father-in-law to be.

Over all, it appeared the celebrants had gathered together to endorse the Uganda National Culture policy which calls all to embrace and live the spirit of a “culturally vibrant, cohesive and progressive nation!”

The celebration will be remembered for forging harmony through rich dramatic performances.

--Daily Monitor, May 31, 2008

Isaac tore Cameroon’s Kathleen to shreds


The indomitable Cameroonian who won the respect of Zulu Corp bullies when she joined the team as Project Manager and led them to victory in business challenge No.4 suffered a knockout at The Apprentice Africa show on Sunday.

Kathleen Keumbou Ndongmo is a tough-speaking, dark, tall imposing woman in the mould of ex- Ethics and Integrity minister, Maria Matembe. Many had put their money on her and until Sunday thought she was immortal.

Hard to understand is why she didn’t fight for her life when the diminutive but poisonous Isaac tore her to shreds arguing that her interpersonal relations with people were irritating; that she got angry over trivialities and scared away customers.

The contestants were asked to organise an interactive sales event for a re-branded medicated soap called Tetmosol. They had to convince distributors to buy more at the end of which the team with more profits would win.

They met Mr. Richard Hargrave, the C.E.O of Jagal Pharma – the prime distributors of the said soap.

“The key to business is winning the respect of those that want to buy from you,” he advised. And informed them his company sells over a billion bars of Tetmosol annually.

It was time to go the field. The ‘negotiators’ set ‘shop’ at the Jagal Pharma centre and so began the dealing. It was interesting watching homeboy Deox Tibeingana haggling with the tough Nigerians, who, knowing him as a novice business negotiator, went for the kill. It worked that Deox asked his each of his members to sell 20 cartons of soap and the one with fewer sales would face the fire. They wanted the win badly enough and sold with singleness of purpose. Their credibility was however dented when a customer revoked his contract and took it to Matrix. He had been told the promotion was running for six months when it was actually two. The disgruntled man was tipped about the anomaly by the crafty Eunice. No problem though. Sometimes contracts are signed and cancelled in business.

Assessing the teams’ performance, Hargrave said he was impressed by Zulu’s confidence and persistence – “they were not afraid to push the business to close the deal” while Matrix were desperate and weaker.

“So this is about human nature; it’s about being light and much more attentive; customers felt loved,” while in the Matrix camp, they felt neglected, and some moved to Zulu when they could have gotten a better deal from Matrix.

So Zulu Corp made 21 million naira to Matrix’s 14 million. A warm Shobanjo congratulated them and thanked Deox.,“You’ve been project manager three times and you’ve won all. That’s very good.”

It was a bleak moment in the boardroom where the three losers were unsure who was leaving next. Shobanjo asked Isaac who between Eunice and Kathleen had let down the team, and the eloquent Nigerian sited the reasons in the third paragraph.

The fact that he had previously led two tasks successfully, and the other that Eunice sold 15,000 cartons of soap compared to Kathleen’s 10,000 meant the latter was sinking. So when Shobanjo asked if Eunice shared “Isaac’s opinion of Kathleen,” she sweated her answer but finally gave it in the affirmative.

It was over for Kathleen.

--Daily Monitor, May 31, 2008

Stomp Live concert: Simply unforgettable


Even the moon and the stars witnessed the remix of emotions that overwhelmed Lugogo Cricket Oval during the Saturday night ‘Stomp Live’ concert in Kampala.

Tears and shouts of joy on seeing the man they had been waiting for appear on the stage shook the area like a seismic vibrator. Kirk Franklin was wearing a sleeveless two-pocket white shirt and cocky jeans that amplified his weekend grandeur.

“I’m here Uganda and I want you to know we are gonna do this all night long,” he blew deep into the microphone with the pomp of a sumo wrestler that drew another bout of inexplicable ovation from the zealous audience.

Paparazzi raised their cameras, zoomed and pressed their shutter buttons like men on rampage to capture that mesmerising opening moment.

“Lemme hear you say ooh,” he shouted, “lemme hear you say He [the Lord] reigns” and the smile that radiated his face cemented his approval of the explosive response.

He said he was “gonna party like the holy ghost” and as the drums beat, a beautiful girl of about 12 years madly shook her head to the sounds while her long braids nestling on head to her nape danced their own dance with wild abandon.

When the American gospel crooner lifted his voice into Awesome God, nothing but overt joy was written on the faces of the throng that swayed, sung and heeded his command to make noise for God.

“It’s all about you,” that well sung Utl ‘hymn’’ intermittently danced on the enormous projector dotted with blue colours along with the portrait of the ‘Stomp Live’ microphone and the mega portrait of Kirk staring intently into the crowds.

He stirred up the ‘super delegates’ in the VIP section led by Ethics and Integrity Minister Dr James Nsaba Buturo; they waved and moved their bodies managing to produce rare if not funny dance strokes. Kirk Franklin wore an amused expression; he sipped from his bottle of Rwenzori mineral water before he resumed his flow and glow.

“There’s only one celebrity, there’s only one superstar,” he fired up the happening ground, “his name is Jesus! Give me some noise Uganda!”

Witnesses will tell you they got the most entertainment out of the show but ardent students of Kirk Franklin and his music will say they got the most blessing. He told the story of his foster sister who was in prison for 13 years for drug dealing, how he himself suffered low esteem as a teenager and struggled with acceptance.

“You are not the only one going through the storm, you’ve cried in the midnight hour, the devil been trying to take your joy, endure for the night, victory comes in the morning.” He knelt down singing ‘My Life Is In Your Hands.’ An overcome audience closed their eyes and raised their hands and voices in holy harmony humming “you don’t have to worry for there’s a friend called Jesus…”

Then they said goodbye to all the hurt and burdens, to “those that drag you down”, to the “sin in the past that the devil tries to use against you…there’s no condemnation, the devil is a liar”.

That could only be achieved by a man whose heritage speaks of being abandoned as a child, was taunted by his own peers, was obsessed with pornography and was much beset by spiritual and physical fears before he was finally set free.

He touched Ugandans whose deepest concerns and invisible fears and desires he knew so well because they were once inscribed on his heart too. So when he told the animated goers that Christ is the centre to guide them through the world, they embraced him and passionately sung along to his songs, which are a seamless paean to the virtues that come with obeying God’s laws.

It was a sight worth recording watching people pantomime playing the piano while Kirk Franklin added his vocals to the soothing ‘Imagine Me.’

Later he played the piano, leaving his incredible and gifted back up singers to sensationalize the audience with soul-lifting ballads such as ‘Why We Sing,’ ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘Hossana.’

It was time, he said, he saw how Ugandan dance. Whereupon a fat lady jumped onto the podium but her lazy ‘Bakisimba’ didn’t impress. The unnamed lad that followed excited him with ‘Ekitagururo’ dance though. It would have been all good had it not been the impromptu diving onto the stage by Michael Ross. The self-professed dance master immediately flaunted his dance skills that only hoodwink impressionable youngsters. “No no no, that’s too American,” Kirk Franklin sounded irritated as he shooed him off with his hand, “I want a Ugandan dance.” An embarrassed Ross vanished but not after bequeathing eagled-eyed scribes with interesting fodder for their papers.

Then came what many had been waiting for –’Stomp’ –the song from which the concert theme was derived. They went wild, and seizing upon the momentum, Kirk Franklin asked everyone to remove their UTL bandannas and wave them. They madly obeyed.

“I’ve been to Ghana, Kenya; I’ve been to Nigerian and South Africa…I tell you this is a little crazy,” he said breathlessly. “

There was no way to do this without Uganda telecom...we want to put Uganda Telecom to Texas,” he added comically. He was joined onto the stage by the African Childrens Choir to whom the proceeds from the concert will support.

The show had reached its climax, and the buoyant masses begged him to stay but Kirk Franklin promised to come back if they promised to support Uganda Telecom.

A part from a few heathens grumbling about the conspicuous absence of booze, arguing that even Jesus allowed a little wine at the wedding in Cana, Kirk Franklin proved he’s a giant to whom the devil has surrendered his turf to preach sermons through music.

It will be impossible to forget that Stomp Live concert.

--Daily Monitor, Monday May 26, 2008