Revellers at the 14th Edition of Roast & Rhyme (Picture: Event Media)

If there was anything to go by it is that as Ugandans, we definitely love our party and with the “Tuli Outside” mantra, yesterday’s turn up at Roast and Rhyme was just enough evidence to our country being Africa’s party center.

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Important to remember is that Roast and Rhyme had last taken place at its home at Jahazi Pier, Munyonyo in 2020 at the Story tellers’ edition which featured A Pass, John Blaq, & by then fast-rising star Azawi, and later a tourism centric one in Murchisson Falls.

Revelers to the Swangz Avenue organized event began checking in to the venue as early as 10 AM, an indication that the people definitely missed enjoying their roasted meat, glam, reggae music by the lake view.

The Roger Mugisha hosted event now in its 14th Edition was first conceived in 2016 with the sole purpose of bringing together people, for a good time while jamming to the finest of talents from our country, which is why the event has never had a foreign headliner, is a family event, hence why it is held on Sundays to allow for school going children to attend and enjoy too.

It was kick-started with a cook-off tagged “Bell Manyama” and the best cooks won themselves Bell Lager-themed prizes including cookers, among others. Meanwhile, there were other fun activities like bouncing castles and swings for the little ones, darts, card, and board games; that were greatly enjoyed.

At around 4:40PM, the roasting part of it was already in motion and time for the second part; the rhyming (jamming), and the opening act of the day was Elijah Kitaka who performed his tracks; Lion Born In Africa, and some off his album.

The legendary Shaka Mayanja and his band later took center stage with performances, later paving way for some rising acts to showcase what they got; talent-wise.

Midway the event came a surprise performance from Kenneth Mugabi, who did a thing with his “Naki” song, backed by a live band.

Given the tight security both in and out of the venue gave revelers an assurance that they were safe hence jamming worry-free.

The highlight for everyone, at least for me was when Mudra was joined by Vinka for their sultry “Kimuli Kyange” (Remix) collaboration performance. The fast riser also put on a show with back-to-back massive performances of his hits “Muyayu”, and “Gwe Amanyi”.

Winnie Nwagi, yes Winnie Nwagi too made a surprise cameo appearance on the Roast and Rhyme stage to join her label mate Vinka for “Amaaso” further attracting shouts of joy from an already entertained crowd thanks to Vinka’s career spanning performance that saw her put on a show one would call as one for the books with songs “Chips Na Ketchup”, “Ebigambo”, “Omukwano Gwo”, “Thank God”, “Sure”, and many more.

Fashion, Food And Music Highlight 14th Edition of Roast And Rhyme. 1 MUGIBSON
Vinka And Mudra on stage (Picture: MBU)

The multi-talented star mid-way her performance expressed gratitude to Swangz Avenue for giving her an opportunity to perform on this stage; something Vinka says she’d looked forward to since she joined the music industry in 2016. She also teased the possibility of maybe “holding a maiden concert”.   

“Value for money” and “Worth the Hype” is what this edition of Roast and Rhyme offered if you asked me! Needless to leave out was the fact that post the event was an after party that was in proud partnership with Johnnie Walker where a colorful dome was built by Swangz Avenue and Buzz Events and the party people had themselves a blast, with deejays Selector Jay, and DJ Alisha.