By Nathan Atiluk
Ugandans love a good night – and a good night is what they got when they attended the First Friday edition of Aka Dope.
The event was held at The Square in Industrial Area, a party venue that has become popular in Kampala. Everything from the stage, the lighting, the Uganda Waragi bar and the drinks was on point. Unlike the last edition of the event, this edition was a one-evening affair.
Aka Dope, an initiative started by Kemiyondo Coutinho, is a monthly event that happens every first Friday of the new month. Kemi started out the initiative to provide a platform for different genres of local artists to showcase their music, painting, poetry and acting talent.
As early as 5pm on Friday evening, partiers started trickling in, with some taking position at the Uganda Waragi bar where different cocktail serves were on offer throughout the night. The UBL spirit brand was sponsoring the event for the second time running.
Hosted by Esta Muheesi, this edition featured reggae and soul music, lots of dance and poetry performances; and the program included artists like Solome Basuuta who performed Born to Love You, Chief of the Clansmen who sang Onjagazaki and Abekika from his new album, Essie, Silent Treatment and Mika Kabugo among others.
Some of the highlight performances were the Aka Dope Band, Izaya and Friends’ performance of Eno Mic ya Ziggy Dee; and the saxophonist’s version of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. At one point, the host, Esta, led the audience into singing the popular gospel chorus Tukutendereza. These performances had the euphoric crowd screaming, clapping, singing and dancing as they sang along word for word.
The event organizer, Kemiyondo revealed that the next Aka Dope edition would be held in September this year.