Pearl Rhythm Festival to showcase new and timeless Ugandan sounds

Haka Mukiga described as the epitome of a Rukiga folk ragga artist and gifted with a powerful voice as well as instrumental talent is lined up to entertain fans on 24 October at the Uganda National Theatre as the Pearl Rhythm festival stages a day of live performances in Kampala.

Ugandan artist Sammy Kasule. Photo:
Ugandan artist Sammy Kasule. Photo:

Haka Mukiga is a musician, instrumentalist, vocalist, dancer, poet and choreographer in Uganda. He is greatly passionate about the African Culture from which he derives inspiration to write songs and poems. The artist who says he stands for identity, creativity, harmony and unity in African music views music as the only form of intellectual expression upon which world principles are determined.

Conceptualized in 2012, Pearl Rhythm Festival is a local Ugandan grass root music and creative community event. The festival aims to give authentic Ugandan music a stage and bring together like-minded individuals to build, discuss and expose their ideas for a growing grassroots music network in Uganda. Like in the past, the festival started earlier on by scouting and auditioning musical acts that were later tutored by established world music practitioners. They call it the Pearl Rhythm Stagecoach and, last year, the tutorial worked with acts like the Undercover Brothers, Arpeggio band, Charles Obina and Raymond Parwot, who all performed at the festival.

This year, the stagecoach is more diverse with vocalists in pop, traditional punk, folk and hip hop. These are acts such as Anne Nassanga, alias Afrie, J. Wonder, Haka Mukiga and Lynn Aineomugisha. They will be accompanied by veterans like Karim Ssava, Sammy Kasule and established acts such as Joe Kahirimbanyi, Greg Tendwa and the Bengatronics from Kenya, Michael Kitanda and Jah Liya, a reggae and hip hop group that fuses Ugandan, German and Russian music.

According to Suzan Kerunen, one of the organizers, the festival looks at celebrating the yet-to-be recognized Ugandan acts without forgetting those that inspire them. Unlike previous festivals that started in the afternoon, this year’s festival will kick off midmorning and will also include children activities such as the story-telling café.


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