Maddox Sematimba performs with a live band during the festival

Reggae legend, Maddox Sematimba and songstress, Azawi headlined the acts at the Bayimba Reggae Fest which was the first time the two are performing on the same stage, unifying the best of Uganda’s past and present reggae music scene.

The festival, which was sponsored by Pilsner Lager, is a brainchild of the Bayimba Cultural Foundation and was held from 5th – 6th February 2022 at Lunkulu Island in Mukono.

Lovers of reggae music travelled to Mukono by road, after which they took a 10-minute boat ride from Kibanga Port to the island, which offered a magnificent view of Lake Victoria’s breathtaking beauty.

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This edition of the festival was a celebration of Bob Marley’s birthday and featured campfires, a hike around the island and live performances from the Nilotika Cultural Ensemble, the Blood Brothers and Jamal.

The attendees were further entertained by Azawi, who went through an impassioned set that featured tunes from her latest album – African Music.

She was followed by Maddox Ssematimba, who shook the stage with performances of classics like Munakyalo, Namagembe and the crowd favourite – Dembe.

Speaking during the event, Edgar Kihumuro, the Pilsner Lager Brand Manager, said, “Pilsner Lager is a reward for the everyday Ugandan that takes bold steps every day to achieve their greatness, and this festival is yet another opportunity for us to create a deeper connection with our customers through reggae music.”

He added that the Pilsner brand is glad to support creatives and musicians that have, until recently, been out of work since the closure of the night economy over the COVID-19 pandemic that saw bars, concerts and entertainment venues close operations for almost 2 years.