R. Kelly ‘beeps’ Uganda



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Nov 22, 2007


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Fans cheer on R. Kelly at the Lugogo show. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO

R. Kelly must be already in the US but if he could turn back the hands of time and remember what his Ugandan fans said at the end of his show in Kampala, maybe he would return and complete his act.

A section of fans chanted “we want more” as the Pied Piper of Rn’B said his goodbyes after just 60 minutes on stage during the Zain-sponsored I Believe concert at Lugogo Cricket Oval on Friday.

Hordes of disgruntled fans left the show fuming.
“I’m really a big R. Kelly fan, but that was crap,” one fan identified as Solomon Esco Mukasa complained. “I thought this being his first visit to East Africa, he would leave a mark, but he has let us down. He should have sacrificed more time.”

Some fans had paid up to Shs250,000 to watch the show from the Platinum wing while Gold went for Shs125,000 and regular tickets were sold for Shs30,000.

Around 36,000 people had turned-up by 10.20p.m. when Kelly started performing yet there were many fans still struggling to enter by the time Kelly left stage.

Kelly had engaged the audience and set the moods high before spoiling things with an ‘early’ exit.

His entrance was dramatic as he walked onto stage in darkness only for the audience to realise he was standing on stage after lights were switched on.

The excited fans gave him a rapturous welcome and he also quickly engaged the audience with direct communication asking them if they wanted the show to continue. The answer from the crowd was obviously “yes” and he made a promise that he never fulfilled by saying that he would perform each and every song of his. Instead, he just sampled most of the songs each for about one minute - justifying why he did so many songs in just one hour.

He also left out popular songs like Storm is Over, World’s Greatest and Burn It Up among others.

He started the show with a number of his Hip-hop songs to set the tempo before turning to his slower tracks. Then he talked of his flight phobia before introducing I Believe I Can Fly. Then he got into his sexual innuendo business with songs like Sex in the Kitchen, Bump n’ Grind, Honey Love and Make It Rain - and the audience seemed to love every bit of it.

He was backed up by a fine collection of musicians and blended thudding basses with louder rock elements making beautiful sound.

The stage was bright and the sound was loud enough to send monkeys running for dear life and the man on the lights must have taught the local lights-men that actually lights can speak without the artiste saying a single word.

Kelly also sang Down Low, Fiesta, Hotel, Ignition, Slow Wind, Snake, Happy People, Step in the Name of Love, That’s That, Thoia Thoing and Thank God It’s Friday among others.
The audience danced and sang along to all Kelly’s songs and cheered whenever he ended a song.

But cheers soon became complaints when Kelly announced that the show was over.

People first thought he was pulling their legs until technicians started wrapping up the
theiir equipment and stage lights switched off.

A few people started leaving but a big number stayed behind and when they left they went complaining and blaming the organisers for not telling R. Kelly which songs the audience wanted to see him perform.

Zain Uganda’s Jamal Sultan said that actually R. Kelly’s contract was for a one-hour performance.

“You cannot blame him (Kelly) because that was the agreement that he performs for 60 minutes,” he said. “The only problem is that he came on quite early and yet Ugandans are used to shows that run until late. We’re sorry.”


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