It’s gone. 2020. A year that has been very difficult for many people across the world. A year of more lows than highs. More tears than cheer. If years come from heaven, 2020 came from hell but even with all the challenges, the news cycle didn’t stop.
Here are some of the things that kept us talking and rolling eyes. Without these, perhaps, 2020 would not just be challenging but a dead year.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments including our own imposed stringent measures to try and curb the fast spread of the coronavirus. In Uganda, the lockdown was announced in late March and stretched to June.
The lockdown came with many more additional restrictions such as curfew. Only essential workers were allowed to move from one place to another. For non-essential workers, one had to be creative. For example, some people hired food trucks to go see their girlfriends or side chics.
The lockdown gave birth to several social media challenges as people tried to keep themselves entertained. There was also music composed by several artists (almost everyone who has a voice and money to waste). The intention was too sensitive. The music at first was to sensitize and by the end of the year, it was a different tune, “Tumbiza Sound”
With bars closed, television stations managed to bring the bar feeling to the screen. Every TV station tried too hard to outcompete the other with not just music selection but also costume, lighting, and set up. Although all TVs offered the same entertainment, the battle for who had the best weekend party on-screen was usually between the giants NBS and NTV.
The dance parties were, however, a thing for the first couple of weeks. As time rolled, the feeling became normal.
Musicians and other stakeholders in the entertainment fraternity have spent most of 2020 counting losses and sulking over the closure of their business points. Going into the New Year, there’s still no end to their misery.
•Bryan White Falls...For Good
Remember Bryan White? He was once the guy who dished money like he had a stake in the Bank of Uganda. By end of 2019, his fortunes were dwindling and so was his favor in the public domain. His fall started then, 2020 buried him.
He was caught up in different sexual scandals with girls who formerly worked with him accusing him of sexual abuse. He was also marred in debts and lost some of his assets like cars. His foundation was deregistered.
Bryan also “fell sick,” some people say he feigned sickness to escape his very many and unending problems.
•Ashburg Katto Dumps Bobi Wine
For dog years, blogger or social media noisemaker, Ashburg Kato was a die-hard supporter of Bobi Wine. Bobi ran through his blood and occupied his head. He was among those who referred to Bobi as “Fadha” to mean father.
That changed in 2020, Ashburg unstripped himself of the Bobi Wine fanaticism and started to sing support for Bobi’s rival Museveni.
To thank him for the switch, he was awarded five cows by the President and a laptop from Balaam Barugahare. Balaam played a role in luring Ashburg to join the yellow bus.
Balaam also lured many more people who aligned with Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform.
•Bad Black Threatens to Undress
Bad Black has changed names more than once but she has never stopped being “bad”
She put the Ministry of Health on the spot after she was allegedly not paid for appearing in an advert aimed at sensitizing the masses to respect the guidelines on the prevention of coronavirus.
Bad Black raised hell and threatened to undress at the Ministry’s offices and also expose government officials she had slept with.
Balaam calmed the situation down by giving her some 'kitu kidogo'.
•Ugandans Get Posho
Who knew there would be a time in history when Ugandans including the celebrities would beg for posho from the government to take them through hard days of lockdown. 2020 happened and this was witnessed. The government distributed food to different homesteads especially those considered vulnerable.
•Locusts Invade Uganda
The first few months of the year were dotted by the invasion of locusts which destroyed crops and brought worry onto the faces of farmers. The government invested heavily to curb the invasion but some Ugandans doubted the news, saying that the locusts could have been a scheme to ‘steal money’.
•Alex Muhangi Branded a Spy
Comedy Store boss Alex Muhangi didn’t get any good publicity in 2020. He was entangled in some scandals and implicated in the arrest of fellow comedians Bizonto and later Mighty Family’s Okaya.
Muhangi, however, maintains he didn’t have a hand in the arrest of the comedians.
•The Hook Ups
Love will always exist, whether there is a pandemic or not. While others were dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, some famous faces were searching for love, and some were found. Lydia Jasmine is one of many who found love in Fik Fameika.
Salvador Idringi married his long time lover, Daphine Frankstock while Makeup artiste/TV presenter Judithiana got proposed to.
Sheila Gashumba was on and off with her boyfriend, Marcus Lwanga (God’s Plan).
•Zari Re-unites with Diamond Platinumz
Zari Hassan is no joke. When she broke up with Diamond Platinumz years ago, she threw jabs at him and described him as irresponsible. Their breakup was brutal.
No one could have imagined that the couple could ever share a room again. Fast forward, they reunited and spent days together with the rumor mill suggesting they were back together.
Zari denied and said they had brushed their differences aside to raise their children.
•Eddy Kenzo Cries on Social Media
Eddy Kenzo is a cry baby. He always has his tears ready to drop. Just before Uganda imposed a lockdown, Kenzo flew out to perform in Ivory Coast. It incidentally became hard for him to return yet he was not prepared to spend months in a foreign land.
To advocate for his return, Kenzo took to social media and cried for the assistance of the government. In his cry video, he repeatedly screamed, “Gavumenti where are you?” It became a popular phrase.
Kenzo’s tears were in vain as he was not helped as soon as he wanted.
•Bebe Cool Roasted by Nigerians
While other musicians were not allowed to stage concerts, two artists, Omah Lay and Tems flew in and hosted a party which caused an uproar, leading to their arrest. The arrest was blamed on Bebe Cool who had earlier vowed to frustrate the show by all means.
Bebe Cool was roasted by the Nigerians on Twitter and when the two Nigerian artists were released, Tems blasted Bebe Cool for fake bedroom prowess.
•Tina Fierce chased on TV
Gossip monger ended 2020 without a job, she was thrown out of television business by the Uganda Communications Commission for allegedly maliciously attacking public figures. Although it was earlier believed she was suspended for attacking Sheila Gashumba, other reports suggest she was chased because she abused top government officials.
•Water Levels Rise
Besides the pandemic, Lake Victoria was also out to punish those who tried to encroach on its territory. And the fury of the lake affected the rich.
The affected homes included, Pastor Kayanja, Pastor Gerry Skinner, Charles Mbire, and young tycoon Ham.
The rising water levels also led to the disruption of electricity supply at the generation plants in Valuable.
•Sheilah Gashumba Stings NTV
Sheila Gashumba knows how to court controversy. She gave people something to talk about when she took to her Twitter to say she could never return to TV again over poor pay. Gashumba said she was only getting 50k as a presenter at NTV.
She said she was not particularly attacking NTV but advocating for better pay for journalists.
•Fans insulting artists for hypocrisy
When Nigerians were protesting police brutality, several local musicians joined in to criticize the Nigerian government and post the hashtag #EndPoliceBrutality.
This was not well received by the local fans who criticized musicians for caring more about issues that are far away and less about the issues of their own country.
They have since started taking action inform of posting condemnation on social media when there’s brutality by the police in Uganda.
Sound off in the comments, what are some of the stories of events that stood out for you?