To many people, that 2019 is coming to an end in exactly 8 days from today is a huge relief. It has been a trying and rainy year with an unending stream of events around the country and misfortune in equal measure. In chronological order, we now take a look at the 10 most memorable events of the year in Jinja. We’ll stick to those events that lit up Jinja.
1. Kikompola Music Awards, D’Fantasy Lounge (June 8, 2019)
For three years now, Kikompola Music Awards have remained the only Busoga-focused music awards event. They have also consistently held the gala night albeit amidst challenges both internal and external.
That they continued to promote, appreciate and unite music talent in Busoga, and for getting better with each year, you cannot fail to remember the event every year.
2. Purple Party, Kakindu Stadium (June 29, 2019)
For four years now, the Purple Party has consistently happened in Jinja. The event that is hosted by NBS Television’s Douglas Lwanga is renowned for being a colour themed party that brings together a number of Ugandan musicians on one stage. Having made huge scores in Kampala, the event moved to Jinja in 2016 and has happened at Club Velvet (2016), Bax Bar (2017), Trans Africa (2018), and at the spacious Kakindu Stadium this year.
That the organizers went for a bigger venue meant the event production had become bigger. Indeed, the production this year was much bigger and catered for even kids; they had a huge play area for kids.
Even with a very huge artiste lineup, the artiste performances were made memorable by Fresh Kid, John Blaq, Eddy Kenzo, Pallaso, Chameleone, and Fik Fameica. The audience beamed with satisfaction when the last performer, Chameleone performed his last song at 4 am.
3. Ekitudha, Bugembe Stadium (July 7, 2019)
For years now, Basoga Bainho (BABA) 87.7 FM has held this annual concert for its listeners, at the same venue, Bugembe Stadium. With the recent addition of BABA Television to the group, the concert is now a celebration of both the television and radio station audience; It is a huge affair.
For this year’s celebration, not only did BABA Media Group attract MTN, the biggest corporate sponsor in Uganda but they also got bragging rights as the only media house in the region with a celebration of that magnitude.
4. Nseko Buseko, Trans Africa Plaza (August 10, 2019)
After rocking a couple of stages and cracking ribs of revellers at different events in Jinja, Madrat & Chiko held their own concert in Jinja for the very first time. Dubbed Nseko Buseko, the show was their third edition but also the first in Jinja.
The turn-up, the event production, the experience, and the talk after the event can all be summed up as memorably good.
5. Nyege Nyege Festival, Nile Discovery Resort Beach (September 5, 2019)
Every year for the last 5 years, partiers and festival-goers from around the World descend on Nile Discovery Resort Beach in Njeru to attend Nyege Neyge Festival, a four-day affair. After a couple of attempts by authorities to shut down this festival, the festival still stands and grows in attendance numbers.
To be honest, you will be hard-pressed to find one out of ten people who understand what the festival is or is about; they just turn up and indulge in whatever the festival has to offer. If ‘over the bar’ was a person, Nyege Nyege would perfectly fit that description.
6. Madoxx the Legend, Trans Africa Plaza (October 12, 2019)
After a really long wait, legendary Ugandan reggae musician Madoxx Ssemanda Sematimba held his very first concert at home. The maiden concert dubbed ‘Madoxx The Legend’ was held on Friday, October 4th 2019, at Kampala Sheraton Hotel gardens in Kampala. A week later, Madoxx brought his concert to Jinja.
It was at this concert that we first witnessed a maximally indulged crowd in a secular setting. They sang to his songs word for word, danced, cheered on, and had a good time from the start to the end. Isn’t that memorable?
7. Reggae on the Nile, Nile Nest (November 21, 2019)
After a couple of failed attempts at curating an event worth its name, the organizers of Reggae on the Nile finally found a working formula. They partnered with some seasoned event organizers and big sponsors and had their most successful edition.
The event wasn’t short of dark moments but for coming so far, the audience looking at it as a smaller version of Nyege Nyege on experience, and gaining the trust of sponsors, who are we to dispute that it was memorable.
8. Teri Mubi Album Launch, Trans Africa Plaza (November 23, 2019)
For a long time, Afrigo Band had not performed in Jinja. The last couple of times they did perform here, they performed their old nostalgic songs. Songs like Music, Jim, and Oswadde among others.
This year, Afrigo returned to Jinja to launch an album! Yes. And this was not just an album, it was the first album on which they featured any musician. The title song Teri Mubi features Jose Chameleone; their first collaboration ever since setting up shop a couple of years back.
You can imagine the turn-up and experience that Teri Mubi Album Launch was…
9. Aya Bass Concert, Trans Africa Plaza (November 30, 2019)
After just one year in the music limelight, John Blaq held his maiden concert dubbed Aya Bass. John Blaq, a laid-back lad from Jinja, broke into the music space and caused a buzz with his catchy music delivered by a husky voice. Before long, he became a sensation and equally, an easy target for all sorts of criticism.
When his team announced the concert dates, there was a lot of scepticism from music and event pundits across the country. They all differed on the timing of the concert with many saying it was rushed and bound to flop. Come the D-day, John Blaq filled up all three venues on three different and consecutive days. Jinja is known for being slippery but the turn up was overwhelming that it cemented John Blaq’s name in the Jinja Events books for that feat. Very memorable.
10. Rolex Festival, Pit Stop Sports Lounge (December 7, 2019)
On Saturday 7th December 2019, the annual Rolex Festival came home to Jinja. The organizers of the popular food festival that has been held in Kampala, for now, four years decided to move upcountry and started with Jinja.
By all measures, the event was a huge success and brought a new oomph to the events space in Jinja. Even with the heavy long drizzle, scores of people lined up at the gate and made sure to get in during the day. Jinja partiers will always turn up late, even for a daytime event. The event production was on-point featuring varieties of the Rolex and a great lineup of musicians who included Eddy Kenzo, Feffe Bussi, Spice Diana, Sandra Sanjja, and DJ Wicky among others.
For finally coming home and getting the welcome it received, the Rolex Festival Tour makes will forever be memorable this year.
Worth a mention is…
Some events couldn’t make it to the 10 most memorable given that they’re in their infancy but showed great potential.
- Road to the Nile Corporate Gala, Pit Stop Lounge
This is a corporate team building event and was curated for the corporates. There was little time given to awareness and planning. The event is however bound to score highly if marketed in time and sold to major sponsors.
- Tusker Lite Women Vs Men Cook-off, Pit Stop Lounge
Despite having a major sponsor, the Women vs Men Cook-off bore the weight of poor marketing and awareness. To a lot of people, the message about the event was not clear at all. However, there is potential here.
- DJ NK Experience, Pit Stop Lounge
Look at this as the first DJ event in Jinja. It didn’t score so much on awareness but for the people that turned up, there was something worth celebrating about Nathan Kasango a.k.a. DJ NK