A splendid night with Brian Aliddeki

Aliddeki during his performance at Alliance Francaise. PHOTO/ANDREW KAGGWA

What you need to know:

  • As the show ended, the stage and audience members had mingled, dancing and chanting to Mujje Tulambule like their life depended on it.

Music is known to unite people, bring together enemies in a song. In fact, in one of his famous lines, Bob Marley is known to have said , “When music hits you, you feel no pain.”

Yet, in Uganda, music is being used to divide the audience at the moment with music battles. Which made Brian Aliddeki’s concert at Alliance Francaise a special one; it was a show aptly titled Ndi Mufirika (I am African), aimed at celebrating African music and values that make Africans special.

Aliddeki is a special talent, rising onto the scene with sparks of Joel Ssebunjo, the writing of Jovan Kiyingi and the charm of Kenneth Mugabi. He is a hybrid artiste who has replaced Ssebunjo’s kora with an acoustic guitar, but blended all these with hard electronic beats.

Aliddeki is a breakout act of the televised tourism talent show, Pearl Of Africa Star Search as a contestant from western Uganda. 

The show featured contestants touring Uganda and composing songs about sites, culture and the people. Aliddeki was one of the contestants who seemed to be well versed with Ugandan features and cultures.

During his show on Friday, he intended to celebrate different sounds of the pearl, even when most of them were imitated by western instruments such as an acoustic guitar, drums and piano.

Through songs such as Empaako, he talked about greetings and the rich heritage behind the pet name, yet on songs such as Mujje Tulambule, he called on masses to visit Uganda. The ethno song produced by artiste Abaasa is an energetic call to action which, on the dancefloor does more than inviting tourists; it is a call to stand and dance.

Fortunately, for the patrons at Alliance, Aliddeki had a plan of getting them involved, thanks to a team of dancers who joined him at different intervals throughout the show. Not only were they a spice to the performance, they helped to drive the message home, especially when he had to explain where a particular dance comes from and what it represents.

His band, consisting of skilled musicians, were extremely disciplined. They played flawlessly and did not seem to need much guidance from Aliddeki. The dancers who also served as backup singers were full of energy, dancing, playing percussion, and singing loudly. They were dressed in elaborate traditional outfits.

As the show ended, the stage and audience members had mingled, dancing and chanting to Mujje Tulambule like their life depended on it. This show is the beginning of Aliddeki’s East African tour that will see him perform in countries where Alliance Francaise has presence.

It will end with his performance at East Africa’s grandest music festival, Sauti Za Busara in Zanzibar at the beginning of February.