The tenth edition of the Tusker Malt Lager sponsored Blankets and Wine Kampala bore all the hallmarks of a great event right from the onset.
The lineup of artistes for the event; Solome, A-pass, Lilian and Sundowners, and the main act Zahara Bulelwa was a perfect blend of afro-soul and afro-pop with a jazzy feel.
The turn up at the Uganda Museum grounds was remarkable with revelers taking up their positions at the venue as early as midday.
The hitherto hot weather eased off as thick clouds gathered over the Kampala skies.
The entire Uganda Museum and its surroundings was a flurry of activity as revelers sought to gain access to the event grounds.
The show kicked off at 2pm with House of DJs entertaining revelers with various DJs taking to the turntables.
It was a relaxed atmosphere as revelers probably reserved their calories for later on in the day.
Solome Basuuta, widely known as Solome was next up and what a performance it was. The former Bank of Uganda employee knows how to hit those high notes. She actually managed to get revelers off their seating positions when she performed her ‘Nze Ani’ single. The single is a very soulful song that expresses the undying love that God has for us.
She later on teamed up with Kimera of the Gwe wange fame and from the look of things, these two are taking over the gospel scene.
At this point, the Tusker Malt VIP tent in particular was a hive of activity as free drinks and eats kept on flowing.
Alexander Bagonza, well-known by his stage name A-Pass then took over from a brief interlude of DJ mixes.
This new-kid on the block is a marvel. Backed by Janzi Band, A-Pass kicked off his performance with ‘Am Loving’.
This was the moment the crowd had been waiting for. Seats, bed sheets, blankets were all abandoned as revelers stretched their muscles literally.
A-Pass is a performer. The audience, some of whom had probably doubted his vocal prowess were proved wrong.
Before Lilian Mbabazi and the Sundowners took to the stage, organizers held a raffle draw to pick different winners with the grand prize being a weekend for two at the prestigious Chobe Safari Lodge.
When Lilian later on took the stage, the party was only getting started.
Midway through her performance, she invited the audience to move closer to her, and move they did.
Others actually took to the stage, exhibiting various dance moves. She took her fans through her musical journey, blending her old hits like ‘Danger’, ‘Where You are’ (with guitarist Myko Ouma joining her) and ‘Vitamin’.
Weasel also joined her on stage before A-Pass joined her for their latest club banger, ‘Memories.’ At this point of course everyone in the audience thought they could sing that song better. Revelers tried to scream out the words, but clearly not all of us are cut out for singing. It is only fair that we leave that to the masters of that art.
The crowning moment, or rather the reason the Uganda Museum grounds were filled to capacity arrived when Zahara Bulelwa Mkutukana took to the stage.
At this time, everyone was on their feet dancing to all the Zulu tunes. Zahara mid-way through her performance paid her respects to Brenda Fassie as she sang two of her songs. She then performed her other songs like Rise Again, Impilo, Indlela Yam, Bhekile and Phendula.
But of course everyone was anxiously awaiting her ‘Loliwe’ hit.
Loliwe was released in 2011 and the first issue sold out within 72 hours and 19 days later, the album reached double platinum status in South Africa by surpassing the 100,000 sales mark.
Zahara’s band and two backup singers/dancers were all in sync as the performance she put up can only be described as flawless.
Speaking prior to the event, Phoebe Nakabazzi, the Tusker Malt Lager Brand Manager said that the tenth edition was a special one adding that Tusker Malt would continue to raise the bar in terms of the quality of artistes who perform at the event.
“Our journey has been an exciting one and we are proud to have watched the property grow in leaps and bounds to become the most anticipated event in Uganda’s social calendar. We aim basically to enhance the Blankets and Wine experience whilst giving our consumers the chance to enjoy the best afro music,” she said.
In the past 10 editions, several artistes like Oliver Mtukudzi, Freshly Ground, Liquideep, Just a Band, among others have performed in Kampala.
To celebrate the milestone, there was free painting for all adults and children, free ceramics classes for all children as well as an art mediation strategy.