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As Uganda mourns, AFRIMA sends unnoticed condolences

Irene Namatovu receives her award for Best Artiste in African Traditional

Irene Namatovu receives her award for Best Artiste in African Traditional


The drowning of dozens of partygoers, many of them music fans, in Lake Victoria on Saturday night was the big dampener on Bebe Cool, Irene Namatovu and Sandra Nankoma’s great weekend.

The singers almost ‘secretly won’ at the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), their big news getting swallowed by the sorrow back home.

As Uganda sank into a depression following the devastating news of a boat cruise gone tragically wrong on Lake Victoria, in Accra, Ghana the party was on and the regional big winner was none other than Bebe Cool, who ironically has had quite a bad musical year at home.

A few months ago, after being thrown off the stage by irate fans that turned up for a Tarrus Riley concert, Bebe announced he was suspending all gigs for his and family’s safety.

Ugandan music fans seem to be irked by his political views that favour President Museveni, with hardly veiled barbs against the opposition, including fellow artiste Bobi Wine. Clearly, the rest of Africa does not agree with bottle-throwing Ugandans, and Bebe Cool joined the likes of Nigeria’s Davido and Tiwa Savage, in lifting their countries’ flags high.

Namatovu and Nankoma also picked up impressive continental awards for Nsambira Nyuma Nga Janzi and Kaddugala, respectively. Bebe won for his song Freedom, while Davido (Best West African Male Artiste and Artiste of the Year), won for his hit song, Fia. 

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