During the last edition of Blankets and Wine, there was a rumor that WizKid would be the next act to grace the festival stage.
Though the next morning, even before journalists would run their rumor mills, an early video on the StarTimes page announced that since the pay TV was celebrating six years on the Ugandan market, they had joined efforts with Face TV, a local music dedicated channel to gift music lovers with a WizKid concert.
As you may all know, the show that was meant to happen on December 3 did not happen; according to a letter from Face TV management, WizKid currently in the United States couldn’t come to Uganda because of situations beyond him and was so sorry he wasn’t going to make it.
But the official statement only came up after journalists had searched for the artiste that had been meant to jet into the country on Thursday night in vain, some had pitched camp early at the Golf Course Hotel where he had been believed he would stay and also address the press.
WizKid probably the biggest African act at the time has had a memorable year, he cemented his bond with Chris Brown which has seen him tour with the RnB artiste for much of this year, in fact this has seen him work with more artistes like French Montana, Tinie Tempah, Trey Songz, he appears on R-Kelly’s latest album and he also features on One Dance, the second single off Drake’s new album Views.
By October, One Dance became the most played song on Spotify, a streaming service with over 950 million individual streams and its placed at number three on Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Songs of 2016. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and topped more charts in UK, Sweden, Norway, Portugal and German among others, the icing on the cake was the multiple nominations the song got at the just concluded American Music Awards; he became the first Nigerian to achieve some of these and in some cases first African.
Thus when StarTimes and Face TV announced his show, you could understand the excitement from the public – bringing WizKid, according to many music lovers was way bigger than having those struggling Jamaicans that end up gracing the Ugandan stage.
A lot of theories have of course been sighted as to why Wizzy, as he refers to himself missed his Uganda concert – apparently, after a struggle between Sony Music and Universal Records for months, the Nigerian artiste in September made up his mind and signed for Sony Music because they had a better deal.
It’s thought that his next album meant to be distributed by Sony/RCA Records didn’t satisfy the bosses at Sony and thus being forced to have it redone in the US and it’s the re-recording process that delayed him making it hard for him to be in Kampala for the show – apparently, the only way the show was going to happen was if the Kampala organizers had chattered a plane to bring and take him back to the US immediately after.
The theory was also fronted by popular music talk show Talk and Talk where one of the panelists noted that WizKid had been paid $100,000 to perform in Kampala, his deal with Sony being seven dollar figure one, he may have made a decision to hurt Uganda to save the better deal.
But WizKid is not new to botched shows, in fact, just like a man that was meant to curtain raise for him, Jose Chameleone, Wizzy is too synonymous with missing shows, for instance, earlier this year, he had his show in Malawi cancelled, then missed his flights, and arrived late for a concert in Zambia, he would later not show up at a sold out concert in Zimbabwe, then UK – and all of these in just 2016.
The artiste has since taken on his social media page to apologize to the fans though he has not given a reason for his no show, in the 34 second video, the artiste notes that he’s hopeful that at the right time, they will make this happen.
Some Ugandans think that whatever happened to Face TV and StarTimes was their own making, as many took to social media, they wondered why a TV that fronts a tagline, Ugandan Music, All Day Every Day, they wondered why they opted for a Nigerian artiste for a celebration.
Efforts to reach the management of both StarTimes and Face TV managements had both proved fruitless by press time though a chat between this writer and StarTimes Uganda on Facebook, the administrator of the page confirmed that Ugandans can go with their tickets to places they bought them and they will be refunded, lucky for them, majority of Ugandans buy tickets at the last moment.
First published in The Observer