Monday April 1 2013

Qwela robs hearts

Qwela band members perform during their concert at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Thursday.

Qwela band members perform during their concert at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Thursday. PHOTOS BY EDGAR R. BATTE 


There were no stoic faces as fans who attended Qwela Band’s concert walked out Serena Victoria Hall on Holy Thursday. Each one of the guests believed they had got value for money during the three hours of the concert on the cold evening.
The stage lighting, the acoustics, the artistes from Joseph Kahirimbanyi to Ricco Del Monte on the Cuban drums, all looked great.

While planning for the do, the Afro-fusion band had promised a mega concert with extra dance and African ensemble to reveal and express what Qwela is really about which, they say, is much more than just entertainment.

They kept their word-first with Liela, a song dedicated to policy makers to work on the ailing public health care. Minutes later, “the small girl with a big voice”, Tamba unlocked the lips with her Are You Really Real song.

The petite beauty, clad in a blue kitenge half dress and black jeans shared with the revellers her dream of a corruption, pothole, dust and stench free Kampala city, which called for full attention as her magic voice with Siima Sabiti on the flute engulfed the hall.

It was now Anita Asiimwe’s turn to take centre stage. With a blend of local dance and her powerful voice she sang her Happy Song- a song against regret and looking back to the past mistakes.

“Qwela is not a selfish band,” Kahirimbanyi said before he introduced an assortment of musicians including Zauka Band, Hustle Africa to take charge as the owners of the night went for a short break.

When the band came back for the second session, it appeared the crowd was ready to get going.

With Myko Ouma on the strings and Roy Kasika on the drums, the fans were ready to resign the seats they had occupied for the better half of the concert.
They got on their feet and when the band bade them goodnight, everyone wished the show would go on.