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AEON and VIBES: Taking the Ugandan nightlife by storm

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Uganda this year upstaged a number of countries to become one of the best tourist destinations in Africa. Indeed, this came as no surprise since Ugandans were also voted as the ‘friendliest’ people in the world.

This, coupled with the country’s various scenic destinations and rich-diverse heritage, made the party scene a vibrant and ever eventful affair that caters for not only the locals but international community as well.

Nightlife in Uganda takes on various forms and a visitor is never short of options in Kampala’s after-hours. However, as a third world country, there is little to be excited about the fluctuating shilling, an antidote for what one would call a good time in various hotspots.

Oftentimes, Kampala plays host to local and international artistes who put up live performances at events/gigs such as Blankets and Wine or Nyege Nyege but one wonders what is in it for the average Ugandan.

 

This is a puzzle David Kakuba, 25 and Brian Muhumuza, 29 sought to solve while trying to analyse the entertainment industry, in which they both hold a considerable stake under Company brands: Optimus Events and Valhala Bar, respectively. This year the Vibes Warehouse event was launched on April 7 in Industrial Area and followed shortly by the electronic and high energy AEON-Smirnoff party at The Square-Industrial area on July 14, 2017.

Interestingly, unlike most creative gigs on Kampala’s contemporary social scene with it’s quick-to-bore crowd; both gigs were a success despite the traditional courtesy and marker of Ugandan youth empowerment.

The Aeon and Vibes events bring back a classical regeneration of both the arts and culture intertwined to provide the Ugandan with an atmosphere of a modern day fraternity that mainly entails the idea: ‘Party as you learn’.

From highly sought after discjockeys (DJs) to a number of high-end designers including Thandi and Elijah McQueen who showcased a number of their various works in jewelry and clothing lines.

An open art gala that showcased a number of unique, beautifully-imagined and moving pieces of art work that transported many and set a sophisticated tone that was quickly relieved by a beer or glass of vino. Poetry and music took centre stage as different artistes took to the stage to share their refined words and rhythm. Despite an Al-Fresco setting and minimal seats, the energy of guests and well-wishers was at maximum as they readily offered a heap of praises, dance moves and ululations to the infectious tunes the Deejays performed throughout the night.

Despite the electric charge and high anticipation prior to the night’s events, it was the reasonable charges and fair pricings that were set to make this event a success. A concept started by two companies: Valhala Bar and Optimus Events together with Arena Sports bar and Smirnoff, all aiming to provide Ugandans with the most conducive environment Kampala has to offer at reasonable price.

“Aeon is a house, electronic event and the whole concept rotates around energetic music with deejays like Aleczandah, but if you like upcoming rappers, spoken word and Deejays like Naselow we also cater for that in events like Vibes which we launched earlier this year. Then we also deal in fashion and clothes, we look to give Ugandan designers a platform that is cheap and at the same time effective to promote their works and then last but not least we involve art through film: infact we are going to be showing short films done locally and we’ll see how we develop from that.” Kakuba is the CEO and founder of Dash Investments, an Umbrella for Optimus Events also renowned for its good job in organizing a number of top-notch events in and around Kampala.

When contacted for feedback on the Aeon-Smirnoff party, a number of guests suggested it be made a bi-annual event since it was more affordable and entertaining than most events hosted during the year.

 

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