Bayimba International Festival – Kampala, Uganda 19 -21 Sept 2014
World over, Festivals entertain and educate. There are many types of festivals – thematic festivals, multi-disciplinary festivals, festivals as political and educative instruments but this year’s edition of the Red Pepper sponsored Uganda flagship Bayimba International Festival, that is annually held in Kampala during the 3rd week of September is Uganda’s number one multi-arts festival.
The festival has developed into an important benchmark for the consumption of Uganda’s finest arts, presenting Ugandans and visitors with a series of unparalleled feasts of music, dance, theatre, film, and visual arts from renowned and upcoming local and international artists.
Audiences will fest on 80 productions, performances and presentations that will take place from Friday 19th till Sunday 21st September 2014 at the National Theatre and here is our pick from allover Africa.
Sifa Kelele (Kampala/UG)
Friday @ 7pm
Sifa-Kelele was founded in April 2011 upon the initiative of Mary Sebunya and some of her musical friends.
Their musical journey was dedicated to creating positive developmental change through the vehicle of music and supporting other young and upcoming (mostly female) musicians. Over the years, the band has grown and is now composed of Kathryn Mirembe, Eva Sebunya, Mary Sebunya, Bridget Kitimbo, Pauline Mushengezi, Winniedredah Tukamuhebwa, Jackie Mubiru, Damali Kalanzi, Elaine Driciru and Allan Sema. Sifa Kelele plays a fusion of Ugandan rhythms and genres from all over the world. Their music carries a message of inspiration, unity, hope, and love.
During the past months Sifa Kelele went on to record their music at C19 Studios. On the 2nd of September, the first EP “Naalinya” was released.
With this latest move, this female-oriented band is bound to make a difference to the Ugandan music scene. Revellers are privileged to be able to witness the results of their latest musical efforts.
Dr. Bone (South Africa)
Friday @ 9pm
Born Bandile Maphalala, Dr. Bone stems from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. At the age of 12 he moved to Durban where he started a career as a dancer with the Pantsula group AmaRiffifi that left a mark in the local dance scene in the early 2000s.
Whilst dancing, he was inspired by the ghetto reality and rags to riches raps of Hiphop and made his shift to music. It has been a long road from Bone the dancer, known to break his bones on stage to Dr. Bone the emcee, known to split the crowd like Moses did the Red Sea.
Dr. Bone is currently working on his debut album, Lindelani, which features material that he has been working on for the past few years and features some of the fastest rising rappers across the continent.
It is produced by Nkocy Gasa, some of the best in Africa, and Killbeatz and Chopstix, both producers of award winning artists. The album is diverse and reminiscent of the early years of Hiphop.
It is gritty, honest and a reflection of a young man’s aspirations to lift himself up.
Dr. Bone is one of the artists in South Africa that has differentiated himself with his kind of music. His music is for the more mature minds: provoking, philosophical masterpieces that hold lyrical depth.
It has a sense of spiritually that is rare in the Hiphop scene of the present.
Dr. Bone is played across Africa and he has been invited to perform in and out of South Africa. Dr. Bone now finds himself performing for a Ugandan crowd at the Bayimba International Festival, followed by a mini-tour in the region.
Sarabi Band (Kenya)
Saturday @ 8pm
Sarabi a Swahili word for Mirage. The word also means, imagination, vision and creation. Sarabi was formed in 2005 and is made up of 8 youngsters hailing from the East lands slums of Nairobi that started playing music at an early age of 11 years: Isabella Were (vocals), Harun Waceke (bass and vocals), Adam Mwadama (acoustics guitar and vocals), Peter Mbau (acoustics guitar and vocals), Bernard Oduor (drums and vocals), Anthony Kimangu (percussions and vocals), John Maluni (keyboards) and Nelson Mandela (lead vocalist).
Sarabi’s music is influenced by everyday’s happenings. They create a sound picture that vividly represents their society’s every day journey.
Sarabi’s music is made up of heavy traditional Kenyan rhythms, Benga and a blend of Western sounds, which made their music become nicknamed Oregorego, a local vernacular word for posho mill.
Sarabi has proven to be one of the most talented and most solid Afrofusion bands in the Kenyan music scene. BUZZ Magazine declared Sarabi as “the new face of Afrofusion in Kenya”.
In July 2013, the band released their debut album titled “Oyaore” – a new beginning.
In May 2014, Sarabi performed at the opening session of DOADAO – East African Performing Arts Market and also impressed Ugandan audiences with their music. With their coming performance they will undoubtedly grow their fan base further.
Maddox Sematimba (Kampala/UG)
Saturday @ 11-12pm
Madoxx Ssematimba was born in Kampala, Uganda. In 1991 he moved to Sweden, a journey that would change his life forever. On arrival, he picked his guitar and started performing in night-clubs to earn an extra Swedish krona to pay for his studies.
He was introduced to a variety of musicians thereafter and toured Europe with Swedish-based reggae band Nazarenes. He then released his solo album Tukolagane and grew out to a star.
He performed and rocked big crowds and received massive air play on Ugandan FM stations.
His recent album “Abato” is a 12-track album no reggae fan should miss. His unique vocals and strong message in his songs puts him in a stellar position when it comes to reggae in Uganda, Africa and the entire world.
With this album Maddox is making another great contribution to the music industry. Revelers at the Bayimba International Festival will be a witness to this.
Tunesia-born Jean-Pierre Smadja, or ‘Smadj’, has a passion for two things: music and technology. He was influenced from an early age by an eclectic mix of Oriental and Brazilian music, jazz, funk and soul.
As a guitarist, Smadj toured the jazz clubs of Paris with a variety of groups, such as French band Faudel and Fela Kuti’s drummer Tony Allen. He also built an impressive reputation as a studio sound engineer.
He then began experimenting with electronic music and embarked his very own ambition to marry jazz sounds with Arab and African instrumentation, a new sound that he dubbed “Tatoum”.
His first two albums intrigued and excited the music media and audiences across Europe and were backed up by a number of stunning live performances in European clubs and festivals, including #WOMAD.
Live and unleashed, Smadj controls all samples and electronic programming whilst playing Oud and guitar, which will undoubtedly excite the audience.
#Featuring Uganda’s finest performance artists: musicians, dancers, poets, fashion designers
Friday19th (12hrs to 16hrs/Auditorium): films on “Conflict Resolution”
Saturday 20th (12hrs to 16hrs/Auditorium): films on “Romance”
Sunday 21st (12hrs to 16hrs/Green Room); “Youth” films