When I first heard of Roast and Rhyme, I wasn’t exactly sure I knew what happened at this event. Although, one thing was clear, there was ‘nyama choma’- roasted meat and music. The rest I could not tell. But like most Ugandans, we see adverts, we even sing to the jingles sometimes but choose not to experience the excitement that governs such events. However, as a true Kampalan, I decided that nothing good shall pass me by this year! If I can, I want to be able to attend all exciting activities/events in the capital such that I can fully and justifiably be able to call myself ‘Kampalan’ without any guilty conscience! I mean, Kampala is where all the excitement is and the true ‘Kampalan’ is the one who experiences all these forms of excitement. Well, that’s my thinking!
Roast and Rhyme happened last week Sunday, 5th at the Jahazi Pier, Munyonyo, a beautiful and secluded dock that is a hop, skip and jump away from the spectacular Commonwealth Resort Gardens. For nature fans, picnic lovers, those who love to hear the waves of the largest Lake Victoria roll by, the birds whistle away and still enjoy peace and quiet, this place is a ‘MUST VISIT’. We weren’t here for any of the listed though. We were here to nyam nyam to flavoursome sticks of Nyama Choma and dance way to Cool Reggae music with family & friends!
Having arrived here earlier, 2pm to be exact, we found final touches in high gear. The very excited ‘early birds’ like the Visit Kampala Team were there already. It seemed quite early, so instead of going in, we decided to take in more of Kampala’s beauty around Munyonyo. We drove to the ‘fish point’ – Mulungu landing site and while on our small expedition, decided to treat ourselves to some fish nyama choma. This site is popular for serving tasty, grilled fish and since it was a weekend, it was filled with all kinds of people! After our scrumptious meal, we drove back to Jahaz Pier.
In so short a time, the number of revellers had tripled! Some drove in minibuses, most in private cars. Beautiful women, men and children each with very distinctive fashion tastes were unveiled. Other cream artistes and very influential persons were also part of the crowd! Among the seen were Maurice Kirya, Michael Ross, Winnie Nwagi, A-Pass, Chosen Blood, DJ Slick Stuart among others. Mixing with the top is a good feeling-This was going to be a night to remember. Inside, the beautiful Jahaz pier was buzzing with a lot of activity- bouncing castles for the children, Ice cream, Popcorn & Candy stands for the younger ones to have a treat! While the beer parlours and nyama choma points were highly flooded & attacked by the older ones.
Without having to wait, performances ensued at around 3.30pm. By the time we got in, the host, Mr. Roger Mugisha was welcoming, Singer, Joel Kisakye on stage. Then a series of exciting performances from Swangz Avenue artistes followed – Hit maker Zulanda, Mighty San, the singing Poet,Mercy etc all performed . All performances got the crowd on their feet. At about 6pm, in came the legendary duo, whose music we grew up humming and dancing to, the founders of Swangz Avenue (minds behind Roast & Rhyme) – Benon & Vamposs a.k.a Vampino. This duo awakened the crowd as they performed to their old and popular songs in an electrifying performance!
A few minutes to 8pm but not the number of the revellers had gone down. In fact, the numbers just increased. And then, in came the highlight of the event- Bebe Cool a.k.a Big Size, Kabulengane. By this time, no one was seated, even the ladies who came with mats stood on them because the excitement was out of this world. The crowd excitedly sung and danced away to Bebe Cool’s popular songs. One of the differences in his performance was how he kept bringing other recognised stars to sample the crowd with some of their popular tunes. This drove the crowd wild. Some of the artistes invited included Bebe Cool’s son- Allan Hendrick, Dizzy Nuts, Vamposs among others. His power performances left no person unturned in Munyonyo. All of us who attended can testify to this.
And just when we thought, Bebe Cool was the final act of the day, in came the Black Bell After party that was curtain raised by a group of young, electric female dancers! I don’t know how best to say this but their performance was mind-blowing! You could think these humans were boneless! The way they flawlessly and uniformly swayed from side to side & switched to complex dance routines amazed the crowd! This event was spot on. Soon, dance time came and the crowd went mad. They were already on fire! And then the DJ kept enticing us with hit after hit – none of us, felt like leaving. We even had to drag one of our friends from the dance floor. Yes, the music was that good! But of course, even a good dancer always has to leave the stage. At about 11pm, everything had come to a close. One thing is for sure though, I may never ever miss any Roast and Rhyme event. As Visit Kampala, we pledge to let you, our fellow Kampalans know about the upcoming editions (done quarterly) so we can roast and rhyme together the next time! We just can’t afford to be selfish on good things!
This event was planned by Swangz Avenue with support from sponsors like Bell, Black Bell, NTV, Radio City and Jumia Ltd. Thanks for the Job well done, Guys!