By Alex Balimwikungu
“From Kitalya to South Africa,” confrontational NBS TV presenter Isaac Kawalya aka Lord Kayz, who was recently jailed in Kitalya Prison, said in a clip sent to fans back in Kampala.
He is in South Africa with a bevy of other local celebrities from Kampala. Selector Jay, Nina Roz, Lynda Ddane, Grenade, Fik Fameica, DJ Kas Baby, Gareth Onyango and a host of others descended on Mzansi last weekend.
In Kayz’s estimation, life, these past few days, has been kind to him in South Africa. He is considering whether to stay there or come back to Uganda to present his show at midnight if the Uganda Communications Commission’s (UCC) directives are anything to go by. We can hope he was only joking.
However, the issue is that for the second year running, we shall not have a semblance of the fancy white parties in Kampala. These parties that were patronised by South Africa-based nkuba kyeyos have taken a twist. It is the Ugandans descending on South Africa and not vice versa. Those that are representing us are not the spending type. Their presence there can’t be monetarily felt. Some are there to beg.
When you flip the coin, you will know that it is our loss. The Permanent Secretary for the finance ministry, Ramathan Ggoobi, is all too aware of this. He has urged Ugandans to get the COVID-19 vaccine so that the vibrant night life returns. He is aware of the money the economy is missing by not having nkuba kyeyos for the second year running.
For the second year running, we shall not have a semblance of the fancy white parties in Kampala. These parties that were patronised by South Africa-based nkuba kyeyos have taken a twist. It is the Ugandans descending on South Africa and not vice versa. Those that are representing us are not the spending type. Their presence there can’t be monetarily felt. Some are there to beg
Whenever the nkuba kyeyos (they hated the term and abridged it to Ba-summer) came to town, they were the talk and toast of town, thanks to their flashy cars, latest phones and designer colognes. You would smell them from afar.
At those fancy parties, the drinks flowed. It never mattered that some carried the unenviable tag of fake witchdoctors in South Africa. They dominated the social scene and were driven by the mantra of money talks, BS walks. They were anything but discreet. If they did not get the attention they deserved, they created it.
Whether or not that second-hand green lacy pant that lay in a heap at the Kampala Serena Hotel belonged to a prominent singer, we shall never know. What we know is, it thrust King Lawrence (Ivan Ssemwanga’s stooge) into overnight limelight when he postured as having ‘harvested’ her.
Then there was the diminutive Katsha “De Bank”, who, by spending his entire day in a bathrobe with Kampala Serena Hotel logos, stood tall. He was fooled by the hype and when he later held his Sushi Party (he pronounced it susu party), he cursed Ugandans.
Zari Hassan first came onto Uganda’s social scene in 2006, as an upcoming artiste from South Africa. She was just that; a fidgeting artiste. She would fly into the country to perform, but her music was listened to by friends. She rebranded.
When she came with her flashy ex-husband, Ivan Ssemwanga and their Lamborghini (with a Toyota Celica engine), they set the bar high. They were to usher others in the form of Ed Cheune, Katsha and King Lawrence. These, too, ushered offshoots like Don Bahati, Stella Nankya Star QT, and Meddie Moore, who have since fizzled into oblivion.
There was also a brief invasion of returnees from US missions in Jordan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Darfur, who made their presence felt. However, they spent time narrating war stories than unleashing real dimes!
What Uganda misses about the Ba-summer parties
Famed nightclub manager Gareth Onyango says their influence was immense. He recalls he was a manager at the defunct Club Venom where Katsha held his Sushi Party. He reveals that it would take as little as sh2m to put up a theme night. For some places like Guvnor, the price was revised upwards.
“It was during nights like this that the most expensive drinks like Moet and Chardonnay were consumed in bulk,” Gareth recalls.
At Club Guvnor, for instance, it is revealed that Zari used to pay up to sh10m booking fee for the White Party. This excluded drinks. However, if the attendance was anything to go by, she recouped her investment in entrance fees alone. She had a legion of worshippers; those women who wanted to be like her and those who wanted to be with her man.
The gossip grapevine then was rich. You had real celebrities to talk about. New fresh couples emerged, bickering was loud then and actually it was an era that thrust upon us some of the celebrities, who are in the evening of their hyperactive life.
When you compare it with what we have today, you will get the drift. Who ever imagined that gossip shows in the COVID-19 era would have the likes of Andrew Mukasa Bajjo, Jennifer Full Figure Nakanguubi, or Abbey Musinguzi (Abtex) on replay?
Thank God for UCC. I don’t usually stay up late to learn a new profanity from Full Figure’s rich repertoire of nasty insults. We need Ba-summer parties back!