By Suudi Lukwago
Many Ugandans by nature are the forgiving and forgetful type. After close to 25,000 Ugandans paid for the “Wiz Kid Live in Kampala” concert in December 2016, only for him not to turn up at the last minute, it appears a closed chapter.
Accusations and counter accusations were traded and blame was later heaped on StarTimes TV which was wrong. The real people to blame for Wiz Kid’s no show are Face TV, who turned around to sue the singer. How pretentious!
Wiz Kid’s management was told that he was to perform in a night club. (When he previously came to Uganda during the Guinness Made of Black campaign, he performed in one of the small halls at Golf Course Hotel). With that lie, they negotiated a huge discount of 40%.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the booking for Wiz Kid, who was the most popular in Africa at the time, was made in Rwanda (where he performed) by people who are amateur in the business. They comprised a singer, who isn’t familiar with Wiz Kid’s management and two naïve officials from Face TV.
I knew, a month before the concert that Wiz Kid wouldn’t come for the Uganda concert. Owing to the pre-event hype, a close corporate friend invited me to Cooper Chimney restaurant at the Lugogo Cricket Oval.
He wanted to come on board as a sponsor and asked me, as someone who has previously organized international shows to investigate and find out whether payment had been made for the artiste to come to Uganda. The show had been advertised well and he was keen to come on board. However, since he had lost money before in similar deals, he never wanted to take chances.
When I called my sources in Nigeria and the US, I landed on the truth. The organizers, Face TV were telling lies. When I called them, they rubbished me and my concerns. I asked them about WizKid’s play list for the concert and whether they had been in contact with the band director, and they were ignorant and showed me attitude.
Unknown to them, I was in touch with someone in Wiz Kid’s camp two weeks to the stipulated date of the concert, but they confessed they were not even rehearsing for the concert. Then it dawned that Ugandans are being taken for a ride.
I would be lying if I tell you how much money exchanged hands or what was on the documents reflected in the lawsuit reflected the real sum disbursed to Wiz Kid’s management team.
If Star Times had worked with reputable people, all we would have now would be good memories of the concert. However, their brand suffered at the hands of novices in the business. KT or Balaam Barugahara would have pulled off a better job.
Can someone explain to me what those “unavoidable circumstances”, as said by Face TV stopped the 26-year-old musician, from being “unable” to jet into Uganda from the US city of Los Angeles, which is 19 Hours away?
When I read of the arrest warrant by Face TV, I concluded they are jokers who need to be answerable for tainting the name of Star Times. It is almost six months since the incident, but what has been done to date to bring him to book? Some of this broad day light thuggery needs to be investigated by the IGP.
• My recommendations for Face TV or any promoter planning on doing a big event is that do not hire light weight people like Nutty Neithan’s promoter to do a Wiz Kid show. You gambled on him and saw the outcome.
• You should endeavour to buy event cancellation insurance in case of any eventualities
• Face TV was better off using Mowzey and Weasel as liaisons to get to Wiz Kid’s camp and negotiate the deal. They have a song together and he thinks highly of the duo. Getting a rapper to negotiate the deal in a foreign country (Rwanda) was wrong
• The decision to publicize the arrest warrant and law suit for the international artiste was a move that backfired. It went viral and my thinking is that it was a bad idea to issue an arrest warrant for an artiste who is bigger than your brand (Face TV).
This is just a sample. There is certainly more to come in part 2 next week