Archive for November 28th, 2007

November 28, 2007

The View of Above from Below

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This afternoon I went to the Uganda police headquarters in Kibuli visit the Boys in Blue – or green and white and whatever the government can afford.  The police have the worst accommodation in Kampala, but at a certain time of the day in a certain light they ignore the stench of the Nakivubo Channel and the squalor of their barracks to enjoy the city skyline from the trenches.

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November 28, 2007

Tshila Goes Global

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Congratulations to Uganda’s rising world music star, Tshila, who has landed a place on a longlist of 20 finalists selected for the Next Big Thing 2007, a BBC global search to find new musical talent.

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Tshila was chosen from a total of 2,000 entries from 88 countries.  The BBC says this is more than double the number of countries that participated in the contest last year. 

Other contestants include a Tanzanian gospel singer, an Italian DJ, and a group of 13 Brazilian-influenced Singaporeans. There are also two orchestras, multi-lingual Kenyans, Belgian and Russian dance acts and a vocal group performing the traditional music of ancient Serbia.  

The five finalists chosen by the panel will be announced on December 3rd. They will then fly to London to perform in front an all-star jury who will pick the winner.  

Tshila is little known at home despite having released two albums, “Sipping from the Nile” and “Buli Shensi Nghola” to critical acclaim.  Tshila’s acoustic-driven songs have strong traditional music undertones, which she blends beautifully with her hip hop background from her stint with the Bataka Squad.

Evoking memories of Erykah Badu, a young Alicia Keys and (dare I say) even Meshell Ndegeocello, Tshila is a dish best served live.  Her best moments are when she sits on a stool alone on a stage and blocks out the rest of the world, singing in strange tongues about the joy of living and the pain of loving.

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