At about a half past 7pm, Gaetano Kagwa the MC for the night welcomed us to the concert and called singer Kimera who started his performance with an acoustic version of the song “Proud to be Ug.” After this he went into Slow Down and Gwe Wange. Solome looking lovely as always sung Play On. Just like her lyrics suggest, her voice rested so well on the instrumental as the band played with such intensity you felt it was a war of passion. Noah Nduwayo was the next performer and true to his words he took us right back to church with his lyrics.
Gaetano got back on the stage and attempted to convince an unbelieving audience that he actually goes to church. He did well to amuse us throughout the whole show. It was however time for him to introduce Ruyonga. Our main artist of the night was ushered in by two music videos, one for Empisa featuring Annet Nandujja and Lugaflow Rapper St Nelly-sade. This music video did well to remind us of the Buganda culture which as Ruyonga revealed to us in an earlier interview, influences every Ugandan especially those who moved to the central.
The second music video was for the song RRUU and this one had great costumes, color, lighting, choreography and of course Ruyonga rapping. You couldn’t help but feel that these two music videos belonged to two completely different artistes. This just goes to show you how versatile Ruyonga is. In all honesty, when we saw these music videos, our thought was, “Finally, Ruyonga is ready to takeover the world.” This we thought because, as much as his previous music videos were okay, they could have been better.
Here is our interview with Ruyonga before the Concert. Read Here.
Ruyonga came to the stage to read Matthew Chapter 4 which talks about the age of true worshipers. The band was playing softly in the background to allow Ruyonga take the lead as he shared this scripture. It was a great way to start the show. Levixone joined him on stage to carry the hook for Time Check. The mood was still sombre. It allowed us to enjoy Ruyonga’s deep lyrics just as in Mubiri which featured Abaasa who joined Ruyonga later on for Tukutendereza, Crossfire as well. Abaasa’s vocals were at their best and he sung like a freed bird enjoying his first hours of freedom from the cage. It was lovely. If we could take a moment from these two and save it for daily enjoyment, it would be when they did Crossfire. What the band, Abaasa, Sitenda and Ruyonga did on this one is something we can’t quite explain. The hotel floors succumbed to the beating of the drum as it actually vibrated like it did on many occasions.
Ruyonga who said, “I am overwhelmed by the love that people show me,” performed Glory Fire title track with Sonny Soweez but Robinsan was not in the building to join him (he was at the Fire Army show), Hela; a song dedicated to his mother, wife and all ladies as well as God moves. He also sung songs from his previous albums and Victory Lap mixtape including Inside My Heart, Victory Music with Sandra Suubi filling in for Mo Roots who was sung at the second show, Yoga Yoga and a song for July 11th bomb victims as well as Invisible Children song for those affected by the Northern Uganda insurgency.
Sitenda sung with her guitar before Annet Nandujja and St Nelly-sade joined Ruyonga for ttheir performance of Empisa with the Buganda traditional dancers offstage but in front of the Imperial Royale Hotel hall. He then sung the Robert Katende Story song, Ekitakumenya (translated, what doesn’t break you), which features Martha Smalls in the audio. Right after that, Kahiri aka, Kahirimbanyi Joe of Qwela joined him for Ndyakukunda Kyane, Eija Nkutware and a new one on the album, Mwana Wange. At this point, the stage and house broke into Kikiga dance. It was another great moment celebrating the diversity of Uganda’s culture.
Ruyonga’s Glory Experience, as much as was intended for those who wished to sit and watch, did not quite allow us to sit. There were times when he encouraged us to listen to his lyrics and the band of course set that mood, even he sat on a chair on the stage during one of his songs, however, for the most part, his rap coupled with the band did not allow us to stay on our seats. We screamed, danced, bounced and did everything we did not expect to do. This was all before he performed some of the crowd favorite. By this time, each of us had been handed a copy of the album and we honestly could not wait for the concert to get done so that we could go listen to it.
Ruyonga introduced and appreciated his mother Mitooma Woman MP, Jovah Kamateeka, who said it was hard for her to allow Ruyonga to be a musician but had to trust God. He also celebrated his wife. Without his wife, he said, the show would have not been possible. Thereafter, Ruyonga performed Tutuuse, Ride, RRUU, Muhulire which all took excitement levels to extremes.
After the show, we could not wait to do it again at Makerere University Sports Ground. The next time you hear there is a Ruyonga show, do not miss. We were there and we shared live updates on our Twitter @UgGospelLife. Also check us out on Facebook: Ugandan Gospel Life. From our team, thanks all for coming out for both shows. Till next time. God bless you. Also go grab yourself the Glory Fire Album.