The Sound Of Silence, The Sanity of Stans




I was going to post this photo on twitter and caption it, with completely genuine glee, that I am glad Bebe Cool is performing at Kyadondo. That makes me feel so good, I feel gray! I have rainbows of electric delight laser-blasting out of my bellybutton at the thought.

I am not attending the concert of course, because BC, his own merits notwithstanding, is still not Snow Patrol, but the joy is nevertheless very real.

Because this means that he is not going to be at Kiwatule.

It has become a thing around our neighbourhoods that when BC stages a concert at Kiwatule, he gets sound systems from the planet Optimus Prime descended from and uses them to send his music booming out as far as the curvature of the earth will allow. Soon you have tweets from Naalya, Najjeera and all places between complaining about the noise. The people in Kiwatule itself are helpless. The vibrations from the speakers are too strong to let their fingers find the right keys.

I remember when I wrote about a noisy church on the New Vision website and suggested that the neighbours of the loud Kiwempe respond by the offering an example of Christs’s teaching and cast  their burdens upon the church; specifically in this case, of course,  by dumping their rubbish and garbage in the kiwempe. That was when ann irate commenter demanded to know why I single out churches for this snark and not all these concerts.

“Gasp!” I replied to the computer, “But I bellyache about Bebe Cool all the time. If his East African Carnival has become a tradition, my complaint about his East African Carnival following with week after has become part of that tradition. It is as if my rant is the shadow that follows the show. BC shouts one week, I rant the next. We are a tag team.


But it is the shoshomedia  that is the worst. That is where the furies come out frothing. I received almost 100 responses when I dared suggest that BC should have opted for another occupation, one more silent, instead of singing (I said it less politely, of course) The insults came fast and heavy.

I was particularly stung when one person  typed the single word “matako” at me.  It was very hurtful. Did he now know who I was? I am Ernest Bazanye. I can return your insult to you in 800 words. Really, if you are going to insult me you should respect my pedigree and at least get a thesaurus.

But fans go crazy when they think their idol is being attacked. They fling their bodies in the way of any perceived harm, even when it’s a simple request to turn the volume down, there they go.

It is the most insane thing about celebrity how much we invest in these people. R. Kelly, Chris Brown, MJ, we will blow our internet bundles to smithereens fighting  those who ask BC to turn down the volume but that is nothing compared to the mania that followed Chris Brown after he beat up Rihanna. Everything that could be said in defense of a girlfriend-beating asshole, no matter how stupid, was said in defense of Chris Brown and said in all the wrong spellings and in all the caps possible.

It’s as if we can’t separate the man from the job if the job is music. If your mechanic urinated on an underage girl as part of some bizzare sexual ritual you would not protest outside court because he is really good at oiling shock absorbers. But if it is a singer…

Me? I love Michael Jackson music. And I love Jay Z’s first albums. And I love that old R Kelly. But I’m not going to attempt to leap the logical chasm between the fact that Summerbunnies was a great song and the proposition that R.Kelly is therefore a saint with no blemish of iniquity on his spotless soul.  I will play Bad and Dangerous all week long in my house and interrupt it only to bump a joint or two from 12 Play but I will not be calling any of these guys out to babysit my children.

Not even 2Chains. I have nothing against 2Chainz but he looks like he doesn’t wash after using the loo.