It was no Thursday, but November 30 at the Lugogo Cricket Oval provided as good a throwback as Ugandan R&B lovers will get this year. The occasion was the Johnnie Walker All Music Safari, and on stage was the enchanting American R&B star, Mýa.
Those who were in their teens in the late 90s and early 2000s had made their way to the concert brimming with expectation. Their younger compatriots, perhaps not entirely sure what the fuss was all about, soon got their answer. And it came in the shape of Mýa’s absolutely stunning performance.
The American star was the main act at this year’s Johnnie Walker All Music Safari, a grand celebration that doubled as the 30th anniversary for veteran music promoter Tshaka Mayanja, the man behind the Jazz and Soul Safaris. If this was a tribute, it couldn’t have been more fitting.
Mýa wowed and dazzled. She excited and captivated. It was the beauty and purity of 2000s R&B music all over again, this time finding a welcoming audience at the Cricket Oval. The approval of the American star’s performance was a story clearly told by the radiance of the ecstatic fans’ faces.
Many had promptly slipped into sing-along mode as she belted some of her most memorable hits, including Case of the Ex, Best of Me and Ghetto Superstar. On a night when local acts like Kenneth Mugabi, Kaz Kasozi, Myko Ouma, Joseph Sax were afforded the honour of sharing a stage with Mya, there was no question who it was that had stolen show-goers’ hearts. This was a night that belonged to Mýa. The moment for a true musical icon.
“As Johnnie Walker we always look to celebrate those who are icons of progress among us. We are more than delighted to be a part of this concert celebrating exceptional icons like Tshaka and Mýa here in Uganda,” said Annette Nakiyaga, Head of Luxury Portfolio at Uganda Breweries Limited.
For close to 12 years now, Mayanja has been devoted to uniting the continent and the world through his Jazz and Soul Music Safaris, a music platform that has consistently been getting bigger and better with every year.
“It is by the grace of the Most High and my ancestors through whom I’m spiritually guided that we are here celebrating. Thank you all for always supporting music for all this years and thank you for being with us today,” said Tshaka Mayanja at the concert.
He has also supported the Rotary Clubs of Uganda with every music show with this year’s proceeds set to fund the Rotary Cancer Institute in Nsambya with more equipment and training staff at the unit