Mr. Gerald Mayanja is not your average type of father; his sons are some of Uganda’s biggest superstars. Also, they’re “reptiles”. He has a Chameleon, Weasel and Lizard (now Palaso) for sons! Then he has a Kalashnikov (AK47) as well, so you now know his home is not exactly welcoming. The boys also have a cousin, apparently, called Clever J!!
I’m starting to think that Ugandan musicians, having songwriters, must be having name-smiths in charge of thinking up stage-names for them as well. And these smiths are either drama-actors who think music is katemba, or just total dim-wits. How else can we explain having stars called Coco Finger, Sizzaman Dictionary and Baboon Forest on our musical scene?!!
No offence, people, but if you’ve watched any international Awarding ceremonies, you’ll agree with me that all the names of the stars that turn up sound like names of real stars. Even the funky hip-hop rappers think up names that are red-carpet material. In Uganda, however, if we had commentators for a similar function, they would sound like Kindergarten teachers naming objects in class: “Atlas has just walked in; right after him is Radio ….”
Then some other names are just clear indications of how the stars had a hard time learning English and are proud of the little they grasped: mbu Sweet-Kid, Tool-Man, Kid-Fox, Gravity Omutujju, sijui No-Creature…banange, someone help these people!! I mean, what do you mean when you call yourself “Master-Blaster”?! Seriously…?!!
Then the brothers that took booze instead of milk at birth; Bobi Wine, Mickie Wine!! When it was just Bobi Wine, it was okay; but when all the sibs want to become wines as well, now we have a problem. The Radio’s brother is called Gift, by the way; Gift of Kaddo!! Hmm!!
I knew Ziggy Dee wouldn’t last long on the scene the moment I heard his stage-name! Young Mulo, you’re on your way down the drain too, if you don’t change and get a darn pseudonym that makes sense; one that matches your genre of music. Young Mulo sounds like the name of a Lil Wayne (Young Money) wanna-be doing underground music. You surfaced, so I’m thinking you need a more mature name that can handle the competition on the surface and not drown.
There’s a rapper I really love; a member of an upcoming crew called Abstract Music. The fellow has amazing Luga-flow; you rappers should be afraid of what’s coming. I, however, can’t get myself to link his name to awesomeness at all. I mean, a rapper called MC Katanyenjje?!!
Believe you me; these are just the names of the few that a blog can afford to list. Look at those posters in the suburbs and see how many artistes with totally annoying names do curtain-raising at concerts and shows in bars and pubs. The back-up singers and crew-members in those crews that are always stabbing one another at concerts have pathetic stage-names, I tell you. And the fellow has dreams that the whole blessed nation will be screaming his name in two years’ time!! Oh, Please!! Before you dream of making the name famous, have the name first!!
Now, some artistes have impressive talent and they needn’t change a thing about themselves….except their names. Not that they’re as ridiculous as the above, but the artistes can surely come up with something better. Some of us can hardly pronounce Viboyo Oweyo, yet the dude is not that bad, really. Chosen of the Pressure Ya Love fame needs to up it as well. I love Airport Taxi; I just wish I understood the origins of that name.
And then I know a few names that would definitely sound good at the Awards; Maurice Kirya, Ruyonga, Enygma, Juliana, Benezeri and others. Original and nice does it. Michael Ross, Navio, Naava Grey and Susan Naava (Where is she?) are also above the mark.
All I was trying to say is, people, if we’re hoping we’ll also have our music take us places, then we need to act like it will do just that. Nigeria can speak on the international platform because everyone can pronounce P-Square, M.I or D Banj and feel cool. Konshens, Mavado and Vybz Kartel don’t sound so bad, considering the Jamaicans are not exactly English-competent people (lol). But how the hell will they announce nominees for the Artiste of the year at the Channel O Awards as Tool-Man, Gravity omu-something or Dictionary?! If you seriously think we are going to embarrass ourselves by screaming our lungs out nga the names we are screaming out make us look lost, you are totally out of your minds. No offence, just saying what I, and many others, think. Thank you.