Just like the years before, 2021 has not gone shy of some controversial moments especially in the Ugandan entertainment industry.
We look at those top ten scandals of the year:
Pastor Bugingo and vs Teddy Naluswa Bugingo
This scandal has dragged on for several years but this year, the House of Prayer Ministries pastor Aloysious Bugingo was introduced to his mistress Suzan Makula’s parents in both the Kukyala (27th November) and Kwanjula (7th December) ceremonies with the wedding in the offing.
Bugingo is still legally married to the mother of his children Teddy Naluswa Bugingo who denied to sign the divorce papers he offered her. City lawyers Male Mabirizi and Robert Rutaro Muhairwe challenged Bugingo’s decision to marry another woman before being legally divorced.
Bugingo and Makula were dragged to court for engaging in an illegal marriage process before the former was summoned to appear at Kawempe Police Station to answer the slapped charges of contracting a new marriage. They were charged with three counts contrary to the Marriage Act on Wednesday 22nd December, 2021.
In a new twist, the pastor denied being introduced by Makula. He noted that he was only invited for the function and he attended as any other ordinary guest to eat and drink. The couple is expected to appear before court on 21st January, 2022 to answer the charges.
Prince Omar denies Grace Khan’s baby
Singer Grace Khan gave birth to a bouncing baby girl on Monday 6th December, 2021. The preceding months were marred by rumors of how her baby was Prince Omar’s but during her baby shower, with tears rolling down her face, Grace Khan said that the father of the baby had denied responsibility.
Upon giving birth, Grace revealed how she was no longer interested in the baby’s father being involved. It didn’t take long before Omar, in a leaked voice note, accepted knowing about the pregnancy and vowed to do whatever is possible to provide for Grace and her baby.
The truth is Grace Khan didn’t tell me first about the pregnancy. I got to know about it after it had gone viral. I then told her we should abort and I was ready to provide the money to her.
Whatever happened between us happened and I also told her I would see her through the birth process if she wished to keep the pregnancy. The truth is I was however not prepared for this child.
There is nothing between me and Grace Khan and the child will always be an outsider. However, I will do all I can to provide where necessary. But right now I don’t have the means to provide for the child properly.Prince Omar revealed in the leaked voice note
As of today, Prince Omar and Grace Khan seem to have buried their hatchet and they will now concentrate on co-parenting and their music careers.
OS Suna drags Sanyuka TV trio to Kitalya
Following investigations carried out by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Sanyuka TV presenters Waako Brian Kennedy, Kawalya Ssemulondo a.k.a Kayz, and Makko William were found guilty of having made malicious utterances and unsubstantial allegations against OS Suna.
The trio, together with blogger Isma Olaxess, was sued for falsely accusing singer OS Suna of owning a shrine and practicing witchcraft during the Morning Express program on Sanyuka TV on 27th August, 2021. They also said he is a music failure who survives on prostitution and having sexual relations with old women.
Suna filed a complaint against them to UCC on 13th September, 2021 through M/s Elgon Associated Advocates pointing out how he had been defamed by the trio’s allegations. The trio was summoned and remanded to Kitalya prisons by Buganda Road Court magistrate. They spent a week behind bars before being released on bail.
In the ruling passed by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) on 20th December, 2021, Sanyuka TV is within 5 days directed to retract the statements that were made against Os Suna and host him on the Morning Express program to offer his side of the story in response to the allegations that were made against him.
Sanyuka TV was also ordered to pay to the communication a fine of USD 260 for distributing prohibited content contrary to the Uganda Communications (Content) Regulations 2019 and a fine of USD 260 for noncompliance with the minimum broadcasting standards.
UCC scraps Gossip TV shows off “Prime Time”
In October, the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) ordered all television gossip shows to start airing between 10pm and 5am after citing that they contained adult content, sexual innuendos, and profanity with potential to disturb and harm some members of the public especially children.
UCC also stated that some of the gossip show hosts appear on TV while dressed indecently in skimpy outfits and that the language used by presenters during the shows is often demeaning and contains unsubstantiated claims against different individuals.
The directive saw NBS TV’s UnCut Kalakata, Spark TV’s Live Wire, among other shows revise their airing times and content. To-date, some of the gossip shows have never returned on air at their respective TV stations.
Jose Chameleone kneels after being gifted a Range Rover
“Mr. Toyota, my friend, I am still your family I am still NRM, I’m not anywhere…straight-up. I was prodigal for a situation, I had my issues but I am still NRM,” were Chameleone’s statements after being gifted a new Range Rover by Mr. Toyota in September. It attracted a backlash from People Power fans some of whom labelled him a traitor.
The unexpected gift took Chameleone by surprise and for a moment, he went down on bended knees to thank Mr. Toyota before being pulled back on his feet. “A whole superstar kneeling? Who does that? He must be so broke,” lamented some of his critics. While speaking in an interview, Chameleone noted that he is grateful for the gift and it is a blessing because it comes from one of his friends.
He asked people not to make it about politics because he is a person favored by God and will always receive gifts without political motives. The ripple effect also saw Chameleone gift his Land Cruiser V8 to his younger brother Weasel Manizo.
Spice Diana vs Janzi Awards
The Inaugural Janzi Awards took place at Kololo Airstrip on 12th December with an aim of rewarding the outstanding personalities in the entertainment industry. The two day event went relatively well – until Spice Diana decided she was not gonna let the white cloth stay white.
Through social media, Spice questioned why the awards happened yet the industry has been locked down for over two years. She then ordered all local awards organizers not to nominate her in their awards again. She was backed by other artistes including Eddy Kenzo who questioned why the awards were rushed. It took just two weeks for the awards to be announced, nominations, and the awarding ceremony to be completed.
Spice believes that most local awards are organised for business reasons and rather not to reward the hard work of artistes. Critics, however, perceived her rant as a revelation of her ill-feelings towards Azawi and Sheebah who won accolades at the Janzi awards. She rubbished that school of thought saying Azawi deserved to win but advised her to avoid being used by the greedy awards organizers.
Process by Process: “Pirra” Ssematimba’s battle for a child with former maid Joan Namatovu
Mid June saw a one Joan Namatovu who identified herself as Peter Ssematimba’s former maid accuse him of wanting to take her child away from her. Namatovu told her story of how, while working as Ssematimba’s house help in 2005, was lured into having sex with the former Busiro South Member of Parliament.
“He enticed me process by process,” revealed Namatovu who acknowledged later falling in love with him and giving birth to his daughter in 2010. Ssematimba allegedly gave the child a name and rented for Namatovu a house in Zana as she continued working as a house help to raise money to fend for her baby. They allegedly continued eloping until 2019 when he cut off communication only to later return this year to drag Namatovu to court over child custody.
Namatovu ran to media seeking help with fear that she could lose custody of her child. Lawyers from Nalukola Luyimbazi Company Advocates availed themselves to help solve her matter. Court asked both parties to settle the matter outside court.
Andrew Kabuura and Flavia Tumusiime
On 12th September, 2021, social media was sent into a frenzy when Andrew Kabuura was accused of cheating on his wife Flavia Tumussime with a one Mercy Twinomujuni. Screenshots that leaked online showed Kabuura having sexy chats with Mercy, making appointments to meet within Kampala. The internet was quick to castigate Kabuura for cheating on the mother of his child.
Flavia also acknowledged having had a tough week following the leaks. She wrote, “I’m okay. Been a tough week,” but trusted God to make things better for her marriage. The couple withstood the storm and are still living happily together.
Sheebah and Jeff Kiwa No More?
Sheebah reportedly parted ways with Jeff Kiwa at the start of December. The two Team No Sleep pioneers are rumored to have had disagreements over the ownership of the Munyonyo mansion and other money related matters hence their split after over eight years of dominating the industry.
Jeff Kiwa has already recruited new artistes to manage including Sama Sojah and Rahmah Pinky. The latter already released her first song under Jeff’s management dubbed ‘Superstar’. Listening to it, she sounds like Sheebah. Is she here to steal Queen Karma’s shine though? In one way or another, she is but during an interview, Pinky asked fans not to draw comparisons between her and Sheebah because she is not aiming at replacing her.
Neither Sheebah nor Jeff is yet to make a statement in confirmation or denial of the allegations but according to reports, Sheebah has always planned for life without her longtime manager so she will be fine!
The “Gulu Money”
Most recently, chaos rocked the Janzi Awards stage as artists traded blows over the “Gulu money”. Midway through Gerald Kiweewa’s performance, another artiste identified as Omukunja Atasera grabbed the mic and started demanding the legendary Kadongo Kamu artiste to produce the money he got from Gulu.
What just happened there? 🥺😳 pic.twitter.com/M4KJwNqowg— MBU (@MBU) December 12, 2021
For the most part of 2021, Gulu was a popular destination for most creatives in the entertainment industry. Singers, producers, comedians, deejays, promoters, events organizers, and many others created associations which headed North to meet Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) boss Gen. Salim Saleh for a retreat in which they reportedly discussed how to improve the entertainment industry amid the COVID-19 hardships.
Several reports had it that whoever attended the retreat which lasted a couple of months walked away with a fat cheque a.k.a the “Gulu money”. Obviously, the reports further noted, some artistes received more money than others which caused chaos. Also, some of the heads of these formed associations misused the funds that were given for them to better their associations and they were attacked by their members who claimed they “ate the money”.
OWC denied giving money to artistes in August referring to the reports that made rounds as “false and diversionary”. If anything, the retreat created a few cliques in the industry and divergent opinions on whether that leads to unity or division going forward.