This week has been a new experience for me in Uganda. Maurice Kirya returned from Chad on Monday where he accepted his Radio France International Discovery Prize for Best New African Artist on November 6, 2010. Maurice and his band performed in the 30,000 seat national stadium for the President of Chad and the First Lady. The large crowd enjoyed a repertoire of songs from the “Misubbaawa” album including the extremely popular “Boda Boda”. Since returning to Uganda, he has embarked on a media blitz that I have experienced with him. He has done several interviews with newspaper journalists, radio stations, and television shows. He also had an impromptu photoshoot with a very talented German photographer named Astrid Dill. This award is a prestigious accomplishment. He is on his way to becoming a global superstar.
Ugandan Musician Maurice Kirya
Maurice has asked me to manage his upcoming tour of Europe and Africa that is being organized by Radio France International and the French Cultural Ministry. I’m looking forward to the shows in Paris the most. That’s when I’ll get to have my wife join us in the “City of Lights”. Paris is a special place for me and Stephanie because I proposed to her at the top of the Eiffel Tower in 1995. This will be our first time to return to Paris since then.
Maurice and I attended World Music Night at Ndere Centre tonight. One of the things that I enjoy when I am in Uganda is bringing my Ugandan friends together. I was able to introduce Maurice to my friend Stephen Rwangyeziwho is the Director of Ndere Center and the founder of the world-class, award-winning Ndere Troupe. It turns out that Maurice and Stephen already knew each other from when they both acted in “The Last King of Scotland“. Stephen had a major role in the film as Idi Amin’s Finance Minister Jonah Wasswa. Forest Whitaker won the Academy Award for his portrayal of Idi Amin. Maurice played one of Amin’s brutal bodyguards. Toward the end of the movie, he is the one who tortures the lead character, played by James McAvoy, by hanging him with hooks through his skin from the ceiling at the airport as he tries to escape Uganda. It’s a violent and disturbing scene.
The Last King of Scotland
Now it’s time to drift off to sleep listening to the gentle hum of the fan while the mosquito net that covers my bed gently billows in its breeze.
Blessed by Africa,