It is 6:30pm but Red Pepper Uganda has just arrived at the National Theater for the DOADOA opening that has been scheduled for exactly 6pm.
After undergoing an unusual security check up I manage to make it through the multi-racial crowd outside, to the theater for the DOADOA East African Performing Arts Market opening day.
The stage has been set up with instruments, lighting, speakers and everything is ready in place but none is inside to my relief
The event kicked off at 7pm with opening remarks from the State Minister for Gender and Culture, Lukia Nakadama who was followed by Jose-Maria Querios, the director of Alliance Francaise in Kampala.
However, the best thing of the night were the performances.
Playing a local hand piano and backed up by four others with two on guitars, one on drums and the other on the xylophones, Okello Lawrence proved what a great entertainer he is. Not because of his lyrics or that he was mostly using traditional instruments but the melodies that they produced.
They were ear caressing that within just a few minutes performance, the audience was full of smiles, looking on in delight.
This was later spiced up with his skills on the xylophones. Being the only person playing an instrument, Okello played different rhythms as the audience and his band enjoyed.One of his members joined him and together they put up spectacular performance attracting handclaps, screams and standing ovations from the audience.
Sarabi band from Kenya, the other performers of the night also put up an outstanding performance that a one Moses Serugo, an editor at NTV described as a Kamasutra for ears.
This was at the opening of the third edition of DOADOA in Uganda.
The event that is to go on up to 10 May in Jinja attracted artists and producers all over the continent and world over.
Among the notables participating in this year’s DOADOA are Ugandan Reggea legend Tshaka Mayanja who is credited for having brought to Uganda prominent artists and bands like The Aswad, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Third World, Papa San, Shaba Ranks, Buju Banton, Shaggy and the most successful concert yet in Ugandan history with the UB40.
The others are David Mukalazi is a Music producer who was behind Fiona Mukasa’s first Music album titled “Lwaki Tomusinza” and many other albums that followed. He produced Betty Nakibuuka’s first hit album and the first Luga Flow track in Uganda by Bataka Underground titled “Ate oba”.
He also recorded Shanks Vividee’s first albums, singing duo Menton Cruno and Gen. Mega Dee, Mariam Ndagire’s first hit song titled “Bamugamba”. produced Mesearch Ssemakula’s first hit album which was released in 2000 and continued to produce Ronald Mayinja’s famous album with tracks like “Necklace yo”. He also produced for the legendary Emperor Orlando.
Franco Baitwa Owner of Touch fm, George “Ndetcheh” Ndiritu (Kenya), William Ramsay (Germany), Angel (Rwanda), Sigbjørn Nedland (Norway), Girum Mezmur (Ethiopia), Grace Matata (TANZANIA) among others are taking part in the event.
DODOA is the East African Performing Arts Market that provides a platform for professional networking and joint learning, brings together various stakeholders and links people, organizations, businesses, knowledge and technology with a view to create demand and develop a market for the performing arts and unlock the potential of the East African creative industry.
DOADOA is intended at causing a gradual growth in the identification, exposure of East African performing arts, entrepreneurs and industry professionals to receive exposure, regionally and internationally, and find new markets within the region and beyond.
It also provides them with platforms to showcase and promote, professionalize and creat entrepreneurs and industry professionals to meet new regional and international challenges.