Bayimba Arts Festival to present diverse music from Africa

The eighth edition of the annual Bayimba International Arts Festival kicks off on Friday 18 September at the Kampala National Theatre in Uganda. Until Sunday festival revelers will enjoy great music performances as well as other arts-related events.  

Tanzanian artist Msafiri Zawose. Photo: Quaint Photography
Tanzanian artist Msafiri Zawose. Photo: Quaint Photography

Madoxx Ssematimba, one of Uganda’s best-known reggae artists, will be the opening act. The mastermind behind songs like ‘Nakatudde’, ‘Omuyimbi’ and his biggest hit ‘Munakyaalo’, Madoxx is set to perform some of his earlier works. His appearance at Bayimba follows Sematimba's comeback in 2014 after a long hiatus from Uganda’s music scene. Also to perform on the first day of the festival are Msafiri Zawose, LevixonLala and St Nellysade.

On the second day, music fans will be treated to exhilarating recitals by Uganda's bankable female dancehall act Sheebah Karungi, while collaborations between Cameroonian folklore queen Kareyce Fosto, Ivorian balafon king Aly Keita and Ugandan griot Joel Sebunjo will provide diverse musical presentation from across Africa. On the final day, 2014 Ugandan BET Award nominees Radio & Weasel, Naava Grey and South Africa’s energetic 'Ubuntu soul afrique' crooner Paras Dlamini will bring the festival to a close in style. 

The audience is also invited to check out the second stage in the Upper Gardens of the festival venue. Scheduled performers over the three days (Friday to Sunday) include Matooke Roots Fusion, Sam Ibanda, Apollo Kagimu,Don MC, Cyno MC, MC Yalla, regional festival beneficiary Kigambo Araali (Fort Portal), Mohammed Guyo (Kenya) and beneficiaries of the Youth & Hip-Hop programme such MC Wang Jok and MC Twitch. Music lovers can also look forward to the daily DJ showcases that will start and close each day of the festival. The programme is curated by Santuri Safari, an East African project experimenting with the fusion of folklore and electronic sounds. Among the DJs they will present are DJ Rachael (UG), Esa Williams (South Africa), DJ Ken, DJ Ivo, Aunty Flo (UK) and Ras Brown.

Held annually in the third week of September, the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts is Uganda’s premier arts festival. Run by the Bayimba Foundation, a multiple-branched organization that focuses on uplifting arts and culture in Uganda through cultural exchange and creativity, the festival also offers training and workshops, among other things. The festival has developed into a benchmark for the consumption of the finest arts, presenting Ugandans and visitors with a series of music, dance, theatre, film, and visual arts from renowned and budding local and international artists. For more details visit the festival website.

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