I previously reblogged this promo for my sister Hope Nabukenya’s maiden charity concert. If you didn’t read it, now is a good time to check it out.
Hope Nabukenya is passionate about two things; music and children. That is one of the reasons she chose to return home after her Master’s degree in Germany. She could have sought employment there instead, like many people from Africa do.
When she came back home, she hit the studio and recorded a 10 track album. She also got her charity registered and kicked off working with the underprivileged children in many schools.
The show was, therefore, a good occasion to highlight her passions and bring attention to the children’s charity that she started. I commend her for being brave and following her passions. So many people can only dream of the heights she has achieved at her young age.
Here are my observations from the show, held at Silver Springs Hotel in Bugolobi on Sunday, November 20, 2016.
The show was well attended. The hall was filled to capacity and clearly, Hope will need a bigger venue for her next concert. She underestimated her abilities and popularity, considering she had been away in Germany for a few years. She just wasn’t sure how people would respond.
The Crowd at Hope Nabukenya Live
The Crowd at Hope Nabukenya Live
It was a bit too small for the crowd. Eventually, more seats had to be brought in to accommodate the swelling crowd. I guess it was because of the low ticket sales on the days prior to the concert that such a small venue was chosen. Most people, i would say almost 95%, bought their tickets at the entrance. This can be hard while planning for a show like this. You just can’t be sure f the numbers.
There were three categories of tickets, Ordinary at 15,000/=, VIP at 50,000/= and VVIP at 100,000/=. However, in the sitting arrangement, there was a thin line between VIP and VVIP. In fact, most were intermingled due to the limited space. The only advantage both VIP groups had was they were seated at the front so they had a good view of the stage. And of course a drink on the house. 🙂
While getting into the hall, I wondered how the organizers balanced their books. Each ticket was simply signed and given back to the guest. How did they count the number of guests who attended? How did they know how many VIPs, VVIPs attended? Ticket sales are not enough. Isn’t it common practice to tear off and keep a piece of the ticket, at least for the arithmetic while balancing the books later? Anyhow, I saw a loophole that could easily have been exploited but well, maybe am not well schooled in these things.
This was a challenge throughout. The show was supposed to kick off at 4:30pm but it kicked off way past 5:30pm. Never mind that i arrived late but I only missed one or two curtain raisers.
Also, many people were forced to leave early. The next day being a Monday (read working day) could have been a factor as well as running away from the mini-fundraiser for the children’s charity.
The MCs, a lady (Sandra) and a gentleman, were very good. They easily connected with the crowd and kept the program flowing. The gentleman’s humor especially kept the crowd laughing, and engaged during breaks in performances. Some of the time keeping challenges were clearly beyond their control.
The stage was well constructed. It was easy for the artists and performers to get on and off easily. It didn’t have to be so big because of the hall but also the number of artists.Everyone in the audience had a good view, regardless of where they sat.
The lighting was good, most times it flowed with the music and performances. Again, for the budget and size of the show. It was acceptable.
Victor Uringtho was in charge of the sound so most of it was well balanced. I was seated at the front, in front of the speakers but my eardrums came out unscathed and I could have a decent conversation with my neighbor. Victor has a lot of experience as a sound engineer for most of the concerts that take place in this town.
Every instrument and voice could clearly be heard. There were a couple of times when things went haywire but were easily brought under control. For example when The Harmonics came on stage and there were fewer microphones than they needed. They were forced to improvise. Good sound overall.
The crowd was composed of 99% Seventh-day Adventists which easily explains their tastes in music and reception to genres and artists they had never listened to such as Baroness. There were times I felt the crowd should be on their feet singing and dancing along but they were all glued to their seats, as if in a typical SDA church service.
The Curtain Raisers:
I missed the first performance(s) by Danielle Puleng, @Bond, and The Blended Live Band, as I was still outside trying to find my way in, but I caught the following:
The Heralds Choir – They did some of their new songs which were well received by the crowd, the highlight being the Halleluiah Chorus. It was well executed. They also sang live music, which was a plus, considering that many choirs sing over CD music while pretending to “perform”.
The Canaan Gents – They put in a good vocal performance. Their last song especially got the crowd on their feet. They had a way of beatboxing local drum beats and it sounded very good. Great performance overall.
The Harmonics – Great and dynamic group of gentlemen who connected very well with the crowd. They had a way of interchanging the lead vocals amongst themselves without losing the crowd. Their last song Munsi Y’abanunule was a crowd favorite. Great performance.
Ssozi Moses – He gave the coldest performance of the night. The crowd only applauded him at the end out of politeness. Otherwise, he gave a half-hearted performance sang over a CD track. The MC didn’t spare him afterward.
Baroness – It was my first time to listen to her but I loved her. She told us the inspiration behind each song before she sang it. She taught the crowd the chorus of her first song before she sang it. She then sang a couple of other songs as well as the crowd favorite, One by One. I later found out she is a Watoto Church-based vocalist, singer, and songwriter. It explains why she is such a great worship leader and knew how to connect with the audience. Wonderful performance.
The Lady Herself
After the curtain raisers, it was time for lady Hope Nabukenya to step onto the stage. And she came on with a thunderous applause from the crowd. The curtain-raisers had done their fair share to get us in the mood already and we were eager to receive her.
She was very smart in her dress, done by Peponi Clothings and she got straight down to business. The band was great and accompanied her on four songs, done back to back.
It was a performance worth waiting for. The crowd loved every bit of it. They cheered and screamed after every song. The rendition of Alabaster Box was particularly wonderful.
Hope had to take a break, get refreshed and changed. But, David Pragmo N’saiga and Michael Kitanda almost stole the show!
David Pragmo N’saiga – This brother has a way with keys. My God! He is a star performer. And he knows how to connect with the crowd. A legend in the making. He was later joined by Julius Sewava for Great is thy Faithfulness. What a song! Julius has a perfect voice and blended into the performance seamlessly. The crowd loved it.
Michael Kitanda – I had always heard of this guy but had never seen him perform live. What a performance he put up! The comparisons with Isaiah Katumwa are not far-fetched after all. It just shows how good he is. He has a way with the saxophone that only he can pull off. Yet another legend in the making.
The audience loved watching these guys so much that they emptied their pockets tipping them for every song they did. No wonder the pockets were slightly dry during the mini fundraising.
The Launch and Fundraiser
After the Interlude, it was time for Hope to take the stage again. Of course, she came out all looking good and changed in her little black dress, again by Peponi Clothings.
But before she sang, the CD had to be officially launched, so the guest of honor, Mr. Jonathan Muwonge, came on stage, together with Mr. Andrew Kavuma who led the fundraising which raised 9 million Uganda shillings in pledges and almost a million shillings in cash.
This particular segment took a lot of time and many people left. Others just walked out to avoid the spotlight.
Hope then picked up the microphone and did the own charity song and composition, For the Children. She then did her final songs. Her renditions of When Jesus Say Yes and I Know Who I am were wonderful. The remaining crowd was on their feet at this time and it was a wonderful way to close the show.
But not before she thanked everyone for showing up and supporting her.
Made up of two ladies. It felt like they had not practiced with Hope at all. They didn’t blend in with her one bit and were totally off. Thank God they only did a few songs with her. She was good enough alone.
It was a very good first show. I have listened to the whole album and it’s lovely. I just wished Hope had sung more of the songs off the album.
But I am sure by the time the next one comes around in 2018 as Hope Nabukenya promised us, a lot will be improved.
A great musical evening.