By Nigel Nassar
Confused, as used in reference to this chap, wasn’t actually my choice word. Rather, just about everyone who encountered him used the word on him like it was a synonym to his name.
And speaking of names, this wonder of a ‘singer’ (yes, he is really convinced he is a singer), is called Sir Pro Engineer He Horn Rasta Face. Yeah, mouthful of a name! And musically, he refers to himself as The 40 Beneficial Utterers Crew – forget that one person doesn’t exactly make a crew.
Anyway, that is who we had turning up Friday at the Crested Crane Hotel in Jinja, among the many hopefuls for the region’s auditions of the singing contest Coca-Cola Rated Next Sing It, Season Two.
He was more things than just the names. In fact, Judge Siima Sabiti, who at first looked freaked out by him when he made his grand entrance, eventually branded him the most interesting human being she has ever met (I am not sure if she was flattering him or not).
The chap had on him this thingamabob of an instrument only he understands. Its name; the Apegio System – a very dirty-looking, guitar-like thingy, self-made out of several metallic wires, metal rods, cloth material, a very worn-out leather bag, an improvised flute, name it.
This thingy had its two miniature versions: one a keynote, the other an octogram – all names coined by him, and he plans to manufacture more.
So when Judge Sharpe Sewali asked him to show cause to win the staked jackpot of sh50m and a recording contract with Swangz Avenue, Sir Pro Engineer He Horn Rasta Face started fingering his thingy – the Apegio System.
Bingo – None of all the three things emitted any such thing as a tune when he strummed it; all they made was some clattering sound. Like several old iron sheets had been laid out on the ground, and some chicken were playing on them. Nothing remotely related to a tune.
But Sir Pro Engineer He Horn Rasta Face insisted each sounded different from the other, and that he was rocking it.
He insisted to the judges that he is very talented, and has been playing his things for a long time, on a mission to invent his own musical instruments; he also needs to recruit new members. “Senior Four is the standard I want,” he insisted. Hilarious moment it was, one that got Judge Benon Mugumbya of Swangz Avenue trying out the thingy just to see if it could emit a tune, in vain.
But then again, each one of the judges was so mesmerized by the chap, and at some point danced along as the brother played his thingy. Now the problem came when, after enjoying the brother’s stuff, the judges said “no.”
“But you are said I am the most interesting human being you have ever met, so how come you are saying I didn’t pass my audition,” he quizzed the judges. Good question, right?
He was a hard one to send away, because he kept going on and on, even when Judge Siima adjusted to “this competition is not ready for you.”
No one in the room, including the production people, could contain their laughter. Eventually the chap was sent away with the claim that he was “bigger than the competition,” yet the competition is looking for upcoming singers.
This brother was a spectacle, an unforgettable moment of Season Two of the Coca-Cola Rated Next competition – you need to tune into Urban TV every Sunday at 7:00pm to share in his drama. He was something to write home about – no wonder almost this whole story was dedicated to him.
And in other news, Jinja’s 192 hopefuls who turned up for the auditions yielded 26 finalists.
The 26 hopefuls who will represent Jinja at the nationals this weekend at the National Theatre. PHOTO: Donald Kirya
Throughout this weekend, the 26 finalists are to face-off with 67 others selected from the different regions the search team has been to.
It is from these that will emerge the cream of 10 who will go to boot camp and get vocally trained to hopefully win the jackpot.
Meanwhile, the Jinja auditions also turned up one interesting couple; just that there were not really competing. Immy Rose and her beau Jim Lassiter from Atlanta, Georgia, were on one of their fun walks when they stumbled upon the auditions. So the duo quickly came up with a name, sauntered in and asked to sing for the judges – for fun, you know?
Jim Lassiter and his wife Immy Rose auditioned just for the fun of it. PHOTO: Donald Kirya
The Bukaya Irregulars (that’s their name because they are on holiday in Uganda and they live in Bukaya), actually gave us one hell of good singing, crooning to the old African song: Malaika, nakupenda, malaika…”
We then learned that they have been married for 31 years, have two children, and when on holiday in Uganda, they sing for the elderly people and others who need cheering up. Isn’t that cool?
Their singing, their love story, and how obviously close to each other they looked, cheered the lethargic judges up after a whole weekend listening to bunches of jokers who couldn’t sing to save a life. Plus, with 31 years of marriage under their belt, their coziness served to remind that hey, it’s possible for married couples to still be crazy, fun and so into each other.
See action from Arua
Meet Jinja’s confused Rated Next contestant