KAMPALA, Uganda: UG Connect Concert, Uganda’s artiste’s relief lockdown concert is headed for a premature death over outrageous amounts of monies being charged by artistes, allegations of mismanagement and a looming investigation into its operations by its funders of Operation Wealth Creation.
The show which was initially a brain child of Mr. Kin Karisa and his team, was shrouded in organizational quagmire, after parties like Juma Balunywa, of Balunywa Promotions, Emma Promotions and No-end Entertainment of Miss Halima Namakula, were incorporated into the project, by the sponsor, thanks to the similarity of the proposals they had submitted.
The UG Connect Concert was to provide artistes a chance to perform for their fans, albeit virtually after over a year and a half of not performing with their industry closed. The show also aimed at spreading hope to Ugandans through music, dance and drama.
The show dubbed ‘UG Connect Concert’ under the auspices of Uganda National Cultural Center (UNCC), Next Media Services, NBS, Baba Tv, UBC Tv and Sanyuka Television, which was slated for every Saturday 4-7pm for the next 54 weeks, was stayed shyly before its first birthday following an investigation into mismanagement .
The signs of miscalculation and lack of coordination started cropping up when stations like the government broadcaster UBC, went short of airing the programme as stipulated. The last nail in the coffin was hit, after the artistes who were being targeted to benefit from the concert, clandestinely held meetings at rendezvous like Calendar Hotel in Makindye, in a bid to shun performing after they alleged that the organizers were bagging a whooping 200m for each concert, yet Juma Balunywa claimed they were working under a 20m budget per show.
Some artistes are said to have obscenely been asking for the entire 20m of the said concert sum for their single performances. All hell broke loose, when some of the said organizers and committee members like Isaac Rucci, Halima Namakula, Ragga Dee also allegedly performed at huge costs.
Inhumane too was the inclusion of fully employed staff of the TV and radio stations who pocketed over 80 percent of the monies meant for their non-earning colleagues, who were swimming in abject poverty at home as the clubs, bars and hubs they made a livelihood from had been closed. We have since learnt that the sponsor of the concerts will give the organizers a ray of hope only after the investigations into the same clears them.
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