By Ahmad Muto
The UG connect concert that started in earnest in the month of July yesterday came to a screeching halt, leaving its audience confused as to why lights, camera, action suddenly turned into light, camera, vibes. Douglas Lwanga, Halima Namakula, Isaac Rucci and Juma Balunywa spent hours just vibing on the stage. A brainchild of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) to enable artistes make themselves useful during this period of a ban on concerts, they have started dusting off their shoes to hit the streets of Gulu once again, begging for a living.
According to Halima Namakula of No End Entertainment and one of the organisers, some entertainment industry stakeholders are not very innovative and therefore tried frustrating them right from the start. She argued that some artistes they had lined p were talked out of performing. One of them is David Lutalo who logged out and stopped answering their calls. The performance rate card was allegedly the issue. He also cited Balunywa of Balunywa Promotions whom he does not mix with because of the artistes’ stimulus fund that the promoter was accused of mismanaging.
Ziza Bafana refused to perform the weekend he was supposed to yet he was at the venue for an interview. He was also unhappy with the rate card. However, he later grudgingly accepted to perform after agreeing with the organisers.
The same happened with King Saha for whom gospel music icon, Isaac Rucci had to travel to Gulu to convince and save the organisers the embarrassment of turning the series of shows into one of D-list entertainers.
Singer Spice Diana who was at the inaugural show disparaged it at the venue hours after her performance and last week said she does not see herself setting foot on that stage ever again.
According to Namakula, it was alleged that Jose Chameleone received sh25m, Weasel sh15m and Pallaso sh10m when they showed up as the Mayanja brothers and now it is being used by other artistes as a yardstick when negotiating.
It should be noted that promoter Balaam was particularly accused of being one of the saboteurs after an email he allegedly wrote to the OWC coordinator General Salim Saleh plus its reply which leaked, slandering the organisers of the show.
Meanwhile, the court of public opinion has passed a verdict that the idea was conceived and prematurely executed making costs dwarf the intended benefits. The project was intended to go up August 2022 after 54 concerts.