When Stellah Nantumbwe was crowned Miss Uganda Central in May, I knew there was something special about this her. She was oozing with too much confidence. After being crowned, her eyes were already looking at the Miss World crown. “My eyes are on the Miss World title,” she said, after she was crowned at Masaka’s Maria Flo hotel. Weeks later, she has been crowned Miss Uganda and her dream of contesting at Miss World is about to come true. Read Story here. Nantumbwe, loves photography, singing, volunteering and hiking. She is inspired by Tereza Mbire because of her efforts to empower women and encourage them to create their own businesses. She is a business computing graduate from Greenwich University in the UK. Miss Uganda West Anita Kyarimpa was the 1st runner-up and Sandra Amongin the 2nd runner-up.
On Saturday evening at Serena Hotel in Kampala, Uganda will receive another beauty queen who will be taking over from Phiona Bizzu. I am proud to have followed the region pageants that started three months ago. The judges will make the final decision on who will be crowned Miss Uganda 2013/14. The winner will drive away in a Brand new Mercedes Benz A-class and an allowance of UGX 1.5M every month until the end of her reign. The runner up will receive 1.M UGX every month while 500,000 UGX for the second runner –up every month. Redd’s are the official sponsors of Miss Uganda and are working hand in Kezzi Entertainment.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in no particular order, I present to you the 22 girls vying for the Miss Uganda 2013/14 crown.
A dancer performs at the inaugural HiPipo Music Awards ceremony held yesterday (Feb 9, 2013) at Theatre Labonita. It was a night full of fun, surprises and lessons for the organizers.
Below is a list of the winners:
HiPipo Music Awards 2013 Winners
|1. Artist of the Year||Bebe Cool|
|2. Best Male Artist||Mathias Walukaga|
|3. Best Female Artist||Rema|
|4. Best Breakthrough Artist||Rema|
|5. Best Artist in Diaspora||Fyonna Nsubuga|
|6. Best Artist on Social Media||Navio|
|7. Best Young/Teen Artist||Young Zee|
|8. Best On Stage Performer||Vampino|
|9. Best Audio Producer||Hannz Tactiq|
|10. Best Video Producer||Seasons – Kim/XP|
|11. Album of the Year||Book of Kirya by Maurice Kirya|
|12. Video of the Year||One and Only By Navio|
|13. Song of the Year||Bakoowu by Mathias Walukaga|
|14. Best HIP HOP Song||One and Only By Navio|
|15. Best R&B Song||Oli Wange by Rema|
|16. Best RAGGA-DANCEHALL Song||Tebakusobola by Yung Mulo|
|17. Best REGGAE Song||Missing you by Bebe Cool and Rema|
|18. Best GOSPEL Song||Body Guard by Emron and Sizzaman|
|19. Best BAND Song||Bwolonda by Chris Evans|
|20. Best KADONGO KAMU Song||Bakoowu by Mathias Walukaga|
|21. Best ZOUK Song||Valu Valu by Jose Chameleone|
|22. Best AFROPOP and SOUL Song||Zina by Viboyo Ft Vampino and Benon|
|23. Best AFROBEAT Song||Jennifer by Bobi Wine|
|24.Best HiPipo Charts Artist|
For some reason, I have always missed the Nile Gold Jazz Safari, which usually falls on days when I am upcountry or on other engagements.
But this time I was more than determined to attend the annual concert happening for the fifth year at the Kampala Serena hotel last Friday. Finding parking space at 8:30 pm when I finally made it to Serena was another story. The hotel parking was already full, with the pavements outside the hotel fence also fully occupied.
We were just lucky to find parking space near the lower gate opposite Crested towers.
Jazz has gained popularity in Uganda in that the jazz safari is now a must-attend show on the music calendar. Arriving two and a half hours late meant we had missed out on the pre-show cocktail and art exhibition. Even the complimentary drinks in the foyer were about to dry up. Luckily, the main performances had not yet started, thanks to the several prizes that were being given out to lucky guests and the sponsors.
As we searched for a seat in a fully-parked Victoria hall, the opening act of the night rolled. It was Kenyan Eddie Grey on the acoustic guitar. Nothing really spectacular captured my attention about Grey’s guitar skills as we settled down in the gallery, which was the only place you could find a seat.
However, when he was joined by our own Michael Ouma, there was some life as they compared notes on Ouma’s signature tune, Flashback.
At 9:15pm, the long-awaited jazz maestros and headliners of the concert took to the stage amidst applause. It was Gerald Albright, one of the most respected, multi-dimensional and sought-after saxophonists that magically weaves a fine tapestry of jazz and RnB, who was returning to Kampala for the third time.
And to take this year’s concert a notch higher, Albright was beefed up with legendary smooth jazz saxophonist, Marion Meadows, and renowned vocalist Regina Belle.
Clad in a black dress, Regina started off with a rendition of Whitney Houston’s Forever For The Love Of You before Albright took us to old skool with songs such as Michael Jackson’s Human Nature. Albright’s daughter, Selina Albright wowed guests with her vocal virtuosity on her idol Whitney Houston’s Saving All My Love For You. But it was Regina’s crowning performance that brought the house down – performing her own songs which people are familiar with.
A Whole New World, a song she did with Peabo Bryson and has won her four Grammy awards got her a standing ovation. Tony Momrelle, who was one of the backup vocalists, fit well in Bryson’s shoes. It was easy to see why he has backed great artistes such as Celine Dion, Janet Jackson and Gwen Stefani. Dreadlocked Meadows, in his snow white attire, also had ladies scream with his cool, chilled-out and smooth jazz served in a love session where he moved closer to the guests, choosing to blow his saxophone for the ladies.
On the bass guitar this time round was female bassist Rhonda Smith who replaced our own Tshaka Mayanja (T´Zulu Bass), while accomplished session guitarist Rick Watford was amazing on the lead guitar. No wonder, he has been the favourite guitarist for great artistes such as Beyonce, Luther Vandross, Gerald Albright and currently on tour with Cece Winans.
On keyboards was Mo Pleasure, another successful musician who was a member of Michael Jackson’s This Is It ensemble, while Qwela Band’s percussionist Rico Del Monte backed up on the percussions. What a night!
PHOTOS BY SAMSON BARANGA AND STORY BY SIMON MUSAASIZI
Over the weekend at Serena, I attended the annual Jazz Concert by Milege Afro Jazz Band dubbed ‘Repainting Uganda”. This year’s show themed “Essence of Color” was focused on women in Karamoja. The tour took Milege through Kotido, Nakapiripirit and Moroto and Cathy Namwany, the chosen female artiste, will benefit from Milege’s Artist Education Initiative. A great reason to party with poetry, music, dance, fashion and crafts.
Over the weekend, I attended the Break Fast Jam at Sharing Hall in Uganda. The event organised by Break Dance Project Uganda (BPU) attracted youths from different communities to battle in breaking, popping, Mceeing, 7 to smoke among others. BPU is using Hip Hop to make a positive change on youths in Uganda.
The search for Miss Uganda 2012-2013 is on.
This was revealed by Miss Uganda organisers Kezzi Entertainment at a function held at Kampala Serena Hotel last week. The battle for the crown will kick off with regional tours starting with Mbarara for the Western region. The Mbarara auditions will take place on 14th April at Big Fun Gardens. This will be followed by auditions in Gulu (Diana Gardens) and Jinja (Crested Crane Hotel) on 21st April and 28th April respectively. The contestants from the central region will be auditioned on 2nd May at Guvnor. The top 20 finalists be chosen from all the regional contestants on 11th May and will enter camp at Ndere Centre for preparations and training. According to Brenda Nanyonjo, the training includes personal grooming and etiquette; business and entrepreneurship; skills; public speaking and talent development among others. The finalists will come out on 25th May for what has been dubbed the ‘Talent Nite’ before the grand finale on June 1st at Kampala Serena Hotel.
Potential contestants can pick registration forms from the leading radio stations in the major towns of Uganda as well as Miss Uganda offices on plot 4, 2nd Street Industrial Area. They should be Ugandans between 18-24 years, not married, with no visible tattoos and no criminal record.