By Reagan Ssempijja
On October 13, 2013, Juliana Kanyomozi held her Up-Close And Personal With Juliana concert at Kampala Serena Hotel’s Victoria Hall, a venue that was rather scary for many local artistes to attempt staging a concert there.
Like a force to reckon with that she already was on the local music scene, Kanyomozi put up such a powerful show, luring other local artistes like Bebe Cool to stage a concert at the same venue, the following year.
Today, it is still prestigious to have a show at Serena, but perhaps not as scary.
However, unbeknownst to many of her fans, and probably her, too, it would take Kanyomozi a whole eight years before she could hold another concert.
If you have been following news around the diva in the last eight years, however, you will not be shocked by this long break.
Less than a year after her concert, for example, the artiste lost her son – Keron Kabugo – something that shaped strange times in her life for a couple of years that followed.
Musically, it would take Kanyomozi five more years since the unfortunate incident, before releasing her second album – Bits And Pieces – with hits like Twalina Omukwano, Woman, I’m Still Here, Omukwano Ogwedda and Right Here.
After the release of this album, it was safe to say that she was back. That she had bounced back from her dark past.
Prior to COVID-19, Kanyomozi had actually started making public appearances again on a few concerts, brand endorsements, and by this time, public talk had shifted from what had befallen her to when she would conceive again – something that always bothered her a lot – as she revealed recently in a TV interview.
Recovering from a tough past
During a TV interview on August 12, Kanyomozi revealed that the last eight years have been largely about her and her personal life.
She re-echoed this in an interview with New Vision, saying she decided to give herself time off to heal and bounce back for her fans.
“When times were really dark for me, I got support from my family; my sister and brother who kept me strong and hopeful,” she said in the TV interview, a few days ago.
Kanyomozi, however, decried the unpleasant pressure she received from a section of the public, especially on social media about when she would move on, and get another baby.
She, however, revealed that she resorted to blocking and unfollowing whoever was peddling negative energy towards her, and that this helped her weather the storm.
At some point, as she intimated in the TV interview, Kanyomozi responded to a few people about her conceiving again that, having another baby would not necessarily replace what she had lost.
Fortunately for her, at the advent of COVID-19, Kanyomozi gave birth to bouncing baby boy named Taj.
This news hit the country by surprise, but kept the artiste in the headlines for a while.
While it kept her busy with new roles, it undoubtedly smoothened her recovery process.
In fact, Kanyomozi hit the studio again to record another album, something she hinted on during a press conference at Club Guvnor, early this year, and in this interview.
It would not take longer before she would start preparing for her return on stage, and as was the case in 2013, Kanyomozi yet again partnered with Swangz Avenue to organise her Boundless Experience concert at the Kampala Serena Hotel, slated for August 19.
Preparing for a return concert
In a one-on-one interview with New Vision, she revealed that the last one month has been such a busy one for her, defined by preparation meetings, interviews and mostly rehearsals.
When asked why she chose to return on stage after all these years, Kanyomozi said: “The question should be, why not now? Well, I have been away taking care of other areas of my life. But I’m happy to be back. I missed my fans a lot, and could not wait any longer to entertain them once again.”
As has been the norm, artistes hold concerts usually when they have a hit song or new album to launch.
For Kanyomozi, the atmosphere is quite different, ahead of her concert.
She says: “As a musician, you reach a level where you are not entirely defined by hits songs, and I think I’m already at that level.”
Kanyomozi added that actually, most of her true fans usually look forward to her performing some of her old music from 2006; music that defined the Juliana Kanyomozi of today.
In preparation for this show, Kanyomozi says for a while now, especially the last one month, she has been giving it her all to ensure a successful performance. Because she has not been performing a lot, lately, she says rehearsals have been taking a lot of her time.
“My team and I are so busy getting ready for the concert, but most importantly, there is a lot of rehearsing with the band, to ensure that my fans get to listen to the best of Juliana Kanyomozi,” she said.
About the line-up rumoured to perform with Kanyomozi on stage, including Bobi Wine, she assured her fans, without giving any details, that: “All I can say, come prepared to have a good time. Expect anything, and the very best of Juliana. Come with your dancing shoes.”
She added that the reason her return concert was dubbed Boundless Experience was that, it is exactly how she feels about this it. She wants her fans to have an unlimited experience of her music.
“I hope to perform as many songs as I can in one evening,” Kanyomozi concluded.
This year’s concert will have Kanyomozi’s fans fork out sh150,000 and sh3m for a table of eight people.
These rates have already caused buzz in the public domain, but she is confident that her fans will be comfortable paying.