Uganda’s Pearl Rhythm Festival returns to the National Theatre

Uganda’s grassroots festival, Pearl Rhythm, is set to hold the fifth edition on 29 October at the Uganda National Theatre in Kampala. The festival will present an eclectic mix of hip hop, contemporary music as well as Christian rap music.

Ugandan artist Myko Ouma. Photo:
Ugandan artist Myko Ouma. Photo:

Hip hop duo, Sylvester and Abramz, guitarist Myko Ouma as well as fast rising act Lily Kadima are expected to perform. Joining the line-up will be this year’s participants in the Stage Coach mentorship programme: Derrick Komakech, Wake, JAQ Deweyi and Bantu Clan. Also announced to perform are: Baximba Waves, Happy Kyazze, Faizal Damba Mostrixx and Triza.

Derrick Komakech is a multi-disciplinary visual, performing and experimental sound artist. His passion for traditional oral literature and the guitar has helped him develop a breed of Acholi contemporary folk music which is becoming a permanent mark in his recordings and musical theatre productions. His breakthrough was a musical theatre production that was organised and produced by Makere University's Department of Performing Arts and Film and the Royal Danish embassy in 2013. Komakech was born in Uganda’s Gulu District in 1987.

Gordons Mugoda, also known as Wake, is a Christian rapper and spoken word poet with a passion for African heritage. Wake decided to pursue music and poetry as a career in 2013. To date he has performed at various events, including the Milege World Music Festival, the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts and the LaBa! Arts Festival.

Praised for the amazing speed, accuracy and warmth of her voice, JAQ Deweyi is a singer and songwriter. Besides working as a radio presenter, the budding artist is also pursuing higher education in journalism. “Music is not a new passion. I started writing songs with my mum’s help at a tender age of 15,” she says passionately.

Bantu Clan is an indigenous hip hop group on a quest to unify cultures, express consciousness, identify indigenous sound and expose it to the world. Bantu Clan blends traditional indigenous sounds with Western influences. Since Bantu Clan’s formation in 2014 it has showcased at the World Music Day “Fete de la Musique” and the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts.

The Ugandan hip hop duo Sylvester and Abramz has performed and recorded music since the 1990s, and will seek to present music from that era. Among the duo’s most notable releases are ‘Lemerako’, ‘Kyendi Kyendi’, ‘Begendereze’ and ‘Mpereza Akazindaalo’.

Beyond music, the Pearl Rhythm Festival has also partnered with other like-minded organisations to host exhibitions. In collaboration with eWaAfrika, it will set up a special exhibition curated especially for the youth around the theme “Rebranding Uganda Starts with Me”.  


Tickets to the festival cost UGX 20000 ($5.90). For more information visit the Pearl Rhythm Website.


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