TUSKER Project Fame 4 winner Davis Ntare recently returned home sh130m richer. He also stands to benefit from a yearâ€™s recording contract with South Africaâ€™s Gallo records and studio training with musicians and producers.
Ntare was the first contestant in the Tusker Project Fame Academy to bounce back from being rejected to winning the top award. Davis failed to make the final cut into the 2009 Tusker Project Fame Academy. This year, he had to travel to Nairobi to audition because he missed the Kampala leg. Davis performed Michael Jacksonâ€™s Billie Jean for the finale. Titus Serunjogi talked to him.
So what plans with all that money?
Honestly, I do not know. I got so confused that I decided to first put all the money away in a safe place until this excitement has passed. I will plan what to do when I can think with a clear mind.
However, I am thinking along the lines of starting a band in which Rachel Namubiru (who contested alongside him) and I will sing and play instruments.
Rachel and I were, for a while, the only Ugandans left in the Tusker Project Academy. That brought us really close. We used to cling together every time we were waiting for the next eviction, we encouraged each other and we used to share our hopes and dreams.
We became more like brother and sister. Actually, my worst moment in the Academy was when Rachel was evicted. Now that I have won the overall prize, I want to share it with her.
Wonâ€™t your girlfriend get jealous?
I do not have a girlfriend. I have been single for years now. I had a European girlfriend a long time ago. I proposed to Gaga (the Rwandese contestant in Tusker project fame 4) during my stay at the Academy. I really love her, but she is yet to accept to be my girlfriend.
How could you fall that deep for a girl you knew for only a short while?
At first I felt attracted to her because she was
beautiful and wore trendy clothes. But the more I got to know her, the more I appreciated the fact that she also had a motherly attitude. I have never seen a girl who is as kind, calm and encouraging as she is.
She used to counsel me over a whole lot of issues without being patronizing. She is the kind of woman who will make you feel that you can do anything. Several times she would tell me that she believed no one else but me deserved to win the overall prize. I too began to have faith that I would win.
Did you pull off a Gaetano-Abby stunt?
No. We never went that far. She is a very principled Christian. I could not risk doing anything irrational lest she rejected my advances. Even now, after I have told her that I love and want to marry her, I cannot take anything for granted.
I understand that she first wants to analyse the whole thing and make sure that I am serious and not proposing because of the excitement of the moment.
When did you first feel the chemistry?
Well, I first saw her on the night of the auditions for the Top 25. She was wearing this green top and black pants, with her hair falling loosely over her shoulders.
Of course, like many guys there, I was struck by her beauty. So when she later approached me to help her with intonation of English lyrics, I jumped at the chance. With time, I got to appreciate her character.
Would your family be comfortable with a
I donâ€™t know. I have not had a chance to talk to my mum and dad at length ever since I returned. I have been sleeping in a hotel ever since I returned and busy doing press conferences and other gigs for Tusker.
But when I finally get to Kabalagala, I will let them know about my love for Gaga.
You cried when you were chosen to enter the Tusker Project Academy. You cried when you were declared winner. Are you a cry-baby?
I do not cry at all and usually despise men who cry. But, like the moment I was declared winner, so many powerful memories came back.
I recalled how I used to wake up in the middle of the night to go outside and sing, then the neighbours would come and shout at me. I remembered how I used to hustle in the ghettos of Kabalagala and I remembered how I was thrown out of TPF.
I recalled how music promoters would bar me from performing at concerts, saying that I was singing s**t; how I would plead with radio presenters to play my songs and they wouldnâ€™t listen â€¦and tears just rolled down! I could not contain all the emotion!
Do you know your new status will cut you off from the Kabalagala ghettos where you grew up?
Actually that is one point where I am praying to God for wisdom. True, I have spent a large chunk of my life in the ghettos of Kabalagala. I have so many friends there and I love them deeply.
Now that I attract so much public attention, I just do not know how I am going to live in the ghetto again with all my old friends. But God will give me a way.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
â€œI am a winner only if I believeâ€ that was the chorus of one of the songs we used to sing in the TPF academy in Nairobi.