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Mr. Nice is here!

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th May 2004 03:00 AM

All is set for Tanzanian crooner Mr Nice’s performances in Uganda. The Tanzanian Takeu style crooner, (real name Lucas Mkenda, 24,) jetted into the country yesterday and will perform at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel gardens tomorrow.

All is set for Tanzanian crooner Mr Nice’s performances in Uganda. The Tanzanian Takeu style crooner, (real name Lucas Mkenda, 24,) jetted into the country yesterday and will perform at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel gardens tomorrow.

By Sebidde Kiryowa

All is set for Tanzanian crooner Mr Nice’s performances in Uganda. The Tanzanian Takeu style crooner, (real name Lucas Mkenda, 24,) jetted into the country yesterday and will perform at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel gardens tomorrow.

‘Takeu’ is coined from the three East African countries –– Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda respectively. Mr. Nice’s music incorporates elements from the three countries. His Ugandan tour is codenamed ‘Mr Nice....Fagilia Uganda Tour.’ He is here for the first time.

VIP tickets for the Sheraton show go for sh25,000, while ordinary ticket cost sh10,000. Local guest artistes will include Chameleone, Ragga Dee Eclipse Dancers, Peter Miles and Bobi Wine.

Mr. Nice’s second performance will be on Sunday, May 9, at Nakivubo Stadium for sh5,000. Sam and Sophie Gombya, Chameleone and Ragga Dee among others, will curtainraise for him.

Mr. Nice is known to most Ugandan music lovers for the songs Fagilia, Kidali Po, Kingast, Mama, Kikulacho and First Lady, all from his new album Rafiki (friend).

The singer insists he wants Ugandans to appreciate the songs: “I will not use a band. Basically, I want Ugandans to enjoy my music the way they hear it on radio or from the CDs.

But later in life I intend to start performing with my own band,” the singer told the media in an e-mail interview earlier.

James Changi, the events manager says the Tanzanian star will also hold a show at Mbale Stadium on May 15. “His Mbale performance will be the highlight of a week-long stay in Uganda, in which he will visit various homes on an anti-HIV/AIDS campaign sponsored by PSI Uganda.”

Mr Nice, who at $4,000 per show, is reportedly the highest paid entertainer in East Africa, travelled with five queen dancers who have been massively showcased in his music videos on East Africa Television.

Chameleone, who reportedly commands $2,500 per show, was, until last year, the highest paid entertainer in East Africa.

Changi says the Ugandan tour will be Mr. Nice’s last tour in East Africa before he heads for Europe and USA: “He has toured the whole of Tanzania. In Kenya, he had five successful shows last year alone.

All these shows received a minimum of 7,000 people while on average 15,000 people attended. He has also been to Rwanda and Burundi.”

The Mr. Nice tour has been organised by Something Entertainment in conjunction with Eclipse Entertainment (event managers) and Blue AAA (Mr Nice’s managers). The shows are sponsored by Nile Breweries, Capital FM, Life Guard, Multichoice (U) Ltd, Sanyu FM, Dembe FM, Beat FM, Lavie Boutique and Musicuganda.

He started his music career at the early age of six. He started out singing in school and performing with local bands. He went professional in 1999 with the release of his maiden album Kidali po. Towards the end of 2002, he released his second album Rafiki, which dominated the airwaves on Tanzanian radio.

He says he chose the name Mr. Nice because he, “wanted a name that would describe my character and social life at the same time my musical nature. After doing research with a few fans, I chose Mr. Nice to represent my nice music, performance skills and lifestyle,” he says.

The singer says it has taken hard work, patience and putting God first in everything he does for him to come this far. “That is why you don’t see me with a lot of jewellry on my neck. Instead I have a rosary.”

“My fans determine if I am a star. I don’t claim to be one. Moving around Dar - es - salaam, Nairobi and Kampala, you hear kids, adults singing my music. That encourages me and shows that people appreciate my music,” says Mr. Nice.

But the climb to fame for this star has not been a walk over. He and his younger brother lost their parents at an early age. His career has not been devoid of scandal.

The singer was recently accused of having defiled a 16-year-old girl, a charge he vehemently denies: A lot of malicious rumours keep coming up, started by jealous artists. But I am still Mr. Nice.

People said I was in jail but I have never stepped in a court room nor defiled anyone.”

Mr. Nice is here!

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