The shape of music performances in Uganda has been steadily changing; changing for good. And along the way, a good number of performing cover bands have been hatched.
Most of these bands were popularized by the ‘Last Band Standing’ competition that has since folded and sunk into oblivion. Among the hordes, one band, know as Janzi Band, seems to stand out.
Founded by James Sewakiryanga and Abraham Ssekasi in 2009, Janzi Band is an extremely talented Afro-fusion and contemporary music band that also dips its fingers in the world music bowel.
And ever since they bounced on the scene, they have not looked back; they are young and talented, energetic and enthusiastic. They are practically changing the face of cover band music in Kampala.
Janzi largely cover and rendition popular songs but beyond that, they have a couple of their own songs that include; Ssemusajja, Njabala, Ekili, Eka, River Road, et al.
So as the debate of cover bands rages on about whether there is anything beyond covering other people’s songs, Janzi Band stands away.
They have diverse talents with percussionists such as James Sewakiryanga, Hakim Kiwanuka, Basist Allan Okia, Keyboardist Trevor Muhumuza, Drummer Valeur Kalinda, various beautiful voices, et al.
Their piercing vocals, searing beats of the drummers, and the magical fingers on the keys make them stand out too!
Their initial idea was to start up a project that could favor cultural development through music and they have not veered off that goal.
The multi-talented band has performed at different gigs around the city; from Zone 7 in Bugolobi – their apparent home, to Club Amnesia in downtown Kampala and several casual and corporate functions.
They have also performed at the annual Blankets and Wine festival. The way things are going for them
One and a half years after Uganda’s most artful hotel, the Great Lakes Museum swung doors open, the Pearl of Africa was blessed with an impressive attraction in form of a precious towering emerald statue.
The soaring statue, later christened ‘the tree of life’ is perched with action-packed gestures that reflect the day-to-day hassles that go on in a typical African setting, as people struggle to make ends meet. It is effortlessly striking from all angles; arguably dwarfing the Eiffel Tower in splendor and doubling the Ugandan independence monument in terms of height.
Yet that is only half the story! The tree of life is just one of the many masterpieces that the Great Lakes Museum, a one-stop regional tourism facility, offers. Like the tree of life tower, there are bandas and rooms constructed with great attention to detail.
Each room; dormitory, budget room or executive cottage, has an edge when it comes to scenic views of the surrounding hills. They never let you forget that you are in the pearl of Africa.
In an otherwise cold region where average temperatures are 14 degrees Celsius, each room (priced between Shs60,000 & 75,000 for full board) is served with a heated shower to cool off the day’s steam after a day-long adventure.
Each room is tailored to offer travelers the much-needed rest after a long day’s safari and fixed with an LCD TV screen and Wi-Fi connection to ensure connectedness with the rest of the world.
If camping is a better way to crown your day, they have a camping yard with an organized picnic area and a self-catering kitchen.
Other experiences to expect include guided biking in authentic Ankole villages, hill climbing challenges, and traditional storytelling, of course among others.
No.8. Sex and Marijuana: Like his subjects, he strongly subscribes to the thought that sex and marijuana can heal just about anything.
No.7. Down to earth: Unlike most Kingdoms across Sub-Saharan Africa, his kingdom is comfortable with him partaking in any activities done by their subjects. Given this background, don’t get a heart attack the day you walk into a Mutwa market and find him hawking items.
No.6. Mourning: Every time anyone in his kingdom passes on, he goes for four days without bathing as a gesture of conveying his heartfelt condolences to the deceased. At the climax of the grieving, he freshens up at the nearest river in an effort to cleanse himself of any misfortunes that could have come with the death.
No.5. His size: Going by his small body physique (he’s small enough to fit in the chair of a minor), you would think he wishes for a sky-hugging height. Surprisingly, the monarch has no regrets about being slightly over a meter tall. It has always been his dream come true seeing their children take on their physique.
No4. Of his wife rights: Though privileged enough to have as many wives as he wishes, he is an ardent believer in the one man for one woman ideology. That said, he is contented with monogamy.
No.3. Not necessarily above the law: Though treated with a great deal of reverence, he isn’t above the rules when it comes to marriage. His family had to pay bride price comprising local gin, a dog, and marijuana to the family of his dream better half.
No.2. Solitary: In an effort to eliminate any chances of contracting any foreign diseases, he relates with the neighboring tribes only if he must.
No.1. Semi-educated: Though born of a tribe that has shunned education from the word go out of detesting from the way iron sheet roofed classes make noise when it rains, he endured education up to Primary Seven thus emerging as one of the 10 most educated people from his tribe.Read More
March 27th was the day. As the new day’s sun rose in all its glory to brighten the lives of the 47 chimps habituated at Chimpanzee
Sanctuary on Ngamba Island, Afrika, a resilient adult chimpanzee was giving life to a baby male chimpanzee after undergoing an implant nine months back.
Overwhelmed by the surprise, Nagoti and Connie, some of the peers with whom she shares a room in the caged holding facility, took their emotions to the next level and lost it unknowingly. Anxious to nurse the sanctuary’s latest addition, Nagoti could not help but snatch the baby from her mother’s hands.
Fortunately or unfortunately, before she could feel her heartbeat, Connie and the newborn’s mother were already trailing her, and that is when all hell broke loose. The trio got into a melee.
For over 10 minutes, life degenerated into a heated exchange of kicks and punches as everyone struggled to feel the newborn’s pulse. In the process, they kept jerking him back and forth with more force than is necessary. Before all knew it, the vulnerable baby had sustained a deep cut in his skull and multiple fractures in his arms. He cried out in pain. Luckily, his cries did not fall on deaf ears. They awoke the caregivers residing in the immediate banda who dashed to his rescue and restored order in the holding facility.
But in order to get the newborn who urgently required medical attention, the caregivers had to direct all the chimps from their cells and out into the forest. The baby was then rushed to the sanctuary clinic. The sanctuary, run by Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), a Non-Governmental Organization, is home to 48 orphaned chimps rescued from all over Uganda.
Situated 23km offshore from Entebbe, in Lake Victoria Uganda, beautiful Ngamba Island is almost 100 acres in size and boasts over 50 different types of vegetation that chimps utilize: the chimps are free to roam at their will, exploring their environment and foraging for food. Island facilities offer day and overnight visitors an exceptional opportunity to closely observe and interact with these fascinating great apes in this unique setting.
Dr. Joshua Rukundo, the trust’s veterinarian/conservation programs director, said 24 hours after his admission, the baby was still fragile and lifeless with almost no sign that he would live to see the next day. But surprisingly, not only did the frail baby live to see another day but many more weeks ahead; his condition moving from worse to promising and eventually to much better.
At the time of writing this story, Survivor as he is now known had grown from 1.5kg to a whopping 2.5kg in a space of only six weeks! He eats more, sleeps more, and plays more! He is growing more and more hair as his skin toughens to become resistant to the forest environment that will soon become his home. ‘Survivor’s miraculous recovery was made possible with the help of volunteers like Allison, a wildlife enthusiast from the USA, who has been a regular visitor at the sanctuary since it was opened in 1998.’ Says Lilly Ajarova, CSWCT Executive Director.
The 47-year-old executive director’s face beams with apparent happiness as she narrates what she calls “the most fulfilling mothering experience” she has ever had.
For now, Survivor has to have limited contact with the outside world or she risks passing on infections from the visitors the young verve chimp. It means Ajarova now has to groom Survivor in a way that reflects the personality of the primates. From the way she hoots to the way she breathes, everything must be consistent with the wild untamed lifestyle of the chimpanzees.
Taking care of these chimpanzees is evidently a very demanding job requiring way over 24 hours of constant attention and observation. Luckily, Allison is not the only one charged with the Job, she is assisted by Betty Anjiku 45, a renowned caregiver who has mothered over 10 chimps on the island.
Ajarova says Survivor should be joining the main group in about eight months, given his steady progress.
Look out for the next issue of View Uganda for updates on Survivor.Read More