By Hussein Kiganda
Artistes were left writhing when a list showing their booking fees was released by the National Promoters Association (NPA) on Wednesday, January 4, 2023.
The list was signed by Promoter Bajjo (Andrew Mukasa), the coordinator of the association.
According to the list, the booking fee for B2C is sh1m, Pastor Wilson Bugembe (sh2m), Eddy Yawe (sh1m), Fred Ssebata (sh1m), Haruna Mubiru (sh1m), Irene Namatovu (sh1m), Mathias Walukagga (sh700,000 – sh1.2m), Catherine Kusasira (sh800,000 – sh1m), Big Eye (sh500,000-sh800,000), Ronald Mayinja (sh2m), Vinka (sh2m), Grenade (sh2m) and Ykee Benda (sh2.5m).
Bebe Cool was given a booking fee of sh1m to sh1.5m and his contemporaries, Bobi Wine sh20m and Jose Chameleone sh4m.
Bajjo said NPA arrived at the figures unanimously and meant no harm to any artiste.
The list has since received numerous reactions from artistes, including Cindy Sanyu, the president of the Uganda Musicians Association.
“If you can’t afford an artiste, don’t hire them. You can’t force an artiste to step down to your standards. Mukendeeze akamanyiro (stop the familiarity), please.”
“If you can’t afford an artiste, don’t book them. This is a joke – artistes determine their price, not the promoter. An artiste can have an ensemble of a band, dancers, wardrobe, rehearsal space/rental, back up vocalists, and many other costs they factor in for a gig. That’s just the basic starting point to determine a fee. At my recent appearance at the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards for just a 12-minute performance, I had 25 dancers on stage who had rehearsals for two weeks. All had to be paid – for performance, rehearsals, transportation, etc. And behind it was another team managing the show extras like the sound engineer, etc. You can’t then predetermine my price. I give you my rate and if you cannot afford it, we negotiate. If we fail, we shake hands and move on.”
“Bajjo just wants to downgrade us, but we are bigger than he thinks. We put too much effort into our work and we sacrifice too much. You cannot come out one day and place a price tag on us, who are you?”
Patrick Salvador Idringi
“Hehehehe naye these so-called promoters bamanyira… How do you set my fee? Thank God I don’t deal with promoters and do my own shows coz only I understand my value… eh Big size @BebeCoolUG at sh1.5m… Kale mumanyira… it’s not even funny.”
“Bajjo was paid to tarnish our names and to make people think we are cheap. The time he hired me, he gave me sh2m and he was even begging me. How come he put my price tag at 700k yet he paid me sh2m? I do not want to give time to this because people are rotten and decayed so they need a comeback.”
“Bajjo, you need to learn to do some things in privacy. Some artistes are too big that they deserve even more than sh50m. What you are doing now is infringing on their privacy. Some people don’t want others to know how much they earn. Leave artistes alone because you did not create them. How do you place price tags on them?”