Maddox still has it

02:52 by Kaggwa Andrew
Three names come up when the reggae music genre in Uganda is mentioned, Maddox SSematimba, Bebe Cool and Henry Tigan.
Bebe Cool is the self-proclaimed King of reggae; Maddox is indeed the legendary King of reggae, while Henry Tigan was at one time the promised prince of the genre.
For reasons the article won’t look at, both Tigan and Maddox fell off the clif and we even forgot their sweet melodies.
Many stories have since then been written about the two but because the Bayimba International Festival recognizes authentic art regardless of the negative publicity, the two were lined up to close the prestigious celebration last month.
This was a chance the two had to reinvent themselves.
According to Faisal Kiwewa, Director Bayimba Foundation, he chose to programme Tigan after listening to one of his songs during the sixth festival in 2013. He later added Maddox after a string of bad stories were done about him.
“He said he’s been frustrated by guys that give him bad contracts, but if there’s one, he would be available,” Kiwewa said about Maddox.
Henry Tigan took to the stage first. For some reason, straight from his presence, something was amiss with Tigan.
May be his performance was choreographed and produced by a person that hated him! The way his band and backup singers made it to the stage exhibited that exceptional lack of talent.
Then they started performing, it was clear they didn’t reherse and were afraid of the crowd. His backup singers had already turned into his bodyguards looking at microphones with a certain sneer; “whose mic is this?”
Revelers too bored, left Tigan and his stage to enjoy things else where at the festival.
After an agonizing sixty minutes of Tigan, and fears that Maddox could be backstage getting higher and eventually fail to perform, he was finally announced.
Clad in a denim coat and a threaded hood, David Maddox Semanda Ssematimba (yes heclaimed they are all his names) took to the stage, armed with a guitar and backed by an all reggae Blood Brothers band, he started off by decorating the microphone with a Rastafarian scurf.
From the top Maddox’s vocals were spot on, he coordinated well with the band and didn’t waste time to do speeches like many local artistes do.
Besides a few flaws like one of his backup singers flatting on a chorus, Maddox was the Lord, Even people that had escaped to the silent Disco, Santuri DJ stage all left to come and watch the legend perform.
That’s actually when activity elsewhere halted – I guess till the next festival…
He went on a hit after hit rollercoster with Tukolagane, Nakatude, Omuyimbi and Irene among others. He’s not lost any bit of his showmanship thus, dude may be high on whatever, but he still sounds as fresh as Sunday.
You could think it was a cassette playing, just that this sound was in HD,3D and 5D combined, he kept the crowd on its feet as he made them wait for Namagembe (call it the Ugandan version of Johnny).
The moment the band started playing the song, National Theater packing lot went wild, they sang word by word of Namagembe oliwa….. at that moment, Maddox had not only registered a comeback but had made one of the most successful closures of Bayimba and as well assuming titles like Dr, President and Big Size of Ugandan Music.

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