Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It’s Saturday night and I’ve just walked into Blue Nile Restaurant. Bebe Cool, Uganda’s talented Ragga artist will be performing later tonight, and I have no notion of what to expect. At the moment, DJ Kevo from Kenya is at the turntables enticing the crowd to the dance floor.
I get a drink and chat with a few friends here and there before joining in on the dancing. Shortly, DJ Derrick of Uganda takes to the turntables and there is suddenly a swarm of people. The music is Ugandan, the crowd is predominantly Ugandan and I can’t help but be excited about being part of the group. After the DJ gets everyone wired up, Bebe Cools’ opening act, Benon (of Benon and Vamposs) gets on the stage.
His performance and liveliness gets us amped and very ready for the main act. I’m in a corner of the dance floor where I can clearly see the artist and performance on stage. At this point, I’m anxious to see Bebe Cools’ performance. I’m hoping he sings ‘Fire’ one of his recent popular songs with Necessary Noize that I really like. Finally he gets on stage, calm but with an air of confidence and dives right into his music.
The whole place erupts in a frenzy. There is dancing, singing, screaming as well star struck fans with mouths agape. I’m glad I had no expectations because the whole performance goes way beyond what I would have imagined. Song after song, Bebe Cool indulges his audience with Luganda and Swahili lyrics, as he easily sways his body to his music. He is not just an artist but a great performer, a musician who presents his art in a well understood manner.
I get my wish too when he starts singing ‘Fire’ among his other popular songs like ‘Fitina’ and ‘Mambo Mingi’. Bebe Cool has been a musical artist for the past fourteen years. He has had collaborations with other African artists like Redsan and Chameleone. He is also a winner of the Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM) and a nominee of the KORA Awards. The concert event was promoted by Jojo of Kilimanjaro Entertainment and Francis Ssenoga, a Ugandan promoter.