Today we usher in a new year and frankly speaking, some people may not want to speak about the year 2020 again.
Pandemics that seemed to only appear in movies like Contagion, World War Z and many others became a reality that we are still grappling with.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused a shift in each and every ‘usual’ set up and the entertainment sector was not spared either.
Here are five things/incidents we surely won’t forget from the year 2020.
In Uganda, Cindy Sanyu was probably the only artist who managed to have a sold out concert before the Standard Operating Procedures that banned mass gatherings were drafted and subsequently enforced.
Everyone else had to get creative and hold concerts virtually after that.
Club Beatz At Home, Bobi Wine’s Live shows, Blankets and Wine, Comedy store, and so many others went virtual.
Although some shows were free, others were paid for by viewers to attend the concerts from the comfort of their homes.
The advantage that came along the virtual concerts is that one could attend from anywhere there is a provision of rewatching them if one so wishes.
These became the ‘new thing’ in 2020 and it is probably something we are going to carry on to 2021.
Nigerian artists arrest
The arrest of Nigerian artists Temilade aka Tems and Stanely Omah Didia aka Omah Lay was probably the biggest scandal the entertainment industry faced in 2020.
Tems and Omah Lay performed at a Brunch organized by Kasana events on 12th December and they were arrested the following day for partaking in negligent acts likely to spread an infectious disease.
They were presented in court and remanded to Kitalya and Kigo prisons respectively.
Their arrest caused a lot of havoc on social media with Ugandans and Nigerians demanding their release.
They were later released after the Director of Public Prosecution dropped all charges against the duo.
Their arrest, however, keeps us wondering who the first Nigerian artist to perform in Uganda (if ever) will be, after that scandal.
Artists that thrived out of the pandemic
Irrespective of the pandemic, a couple of young artists were able to shoot up with amazing talent, probably because people were more attentive to music and they were given a bigger platform.
Opoka Eric aka Eezzy takes the first slot on this list because of his viral and lately “controversial” song ‘Tumbiza sound’.
Another budding artiste, Zuli Tums, even released an EP called Invictus and a couple of songs on it like Easy, One Minute and Tabu are on top of Uganda’s music charts.
Other songs and artists that caught the attention of many include; Mudra’s Muyayu, Zex Bilangilangi’s Nalinda, Dre Cali’s Ebisoka ne bisembayo and many more.
These artists have been given a platform and hopefully when the pandemic comes to an end, they will still produce music that will keep Ugandans grooving.
Artists venturing into other businesses
Normally, most artists would have bookings mid week and also over the weekends.
These bookings would sustain them to survive on these earnings, however, with the closure of bars and suspension of concerts, the artists had to become creative or sign endorsements to make more sources of income.
Sheebah establishments, King Spot bar Entebbe, Yaket water, Leone Tv are all a few examples of the businesses that sprang up during the course of the pandemic.
Other artists have singed endorsements like Eddy Kenzo as Uganda Tourism Board brand ambassador, Rema with Hema water and Jesa diaries among others.
Police raids on hangout spots
Lastly, there was a subtle shift of bars turning into restaurants to maintain a flow of income since the bar business was affected by the SOPs and Ministry of Health guidelines.
The unfortunate bit, was that customers would not come to just eat, but insisted on drinking as per the usual set up.
This prompted police to raid a couple of bars like La Venti, Nexus and Cayenne bar where hundreds were arrested and detained over flouting of the SOPs.
Police also swung into action at parties held in various spots like the Pearl of Africa hotel, not forgetting the infamous Kireka sex party.
Although 2020 is gone, the pandemic is still here and we are likely to have more of these Police versus revellers sagas.
But for now, Happy New Year!