It began with a single rhythmic thump, the steady heartbeat of a lone drum. Slowly, the others joined in, adding their own beats to the growing din. Voices rose from the gathered crowd, coming together in joyful sound until what had begun as a solitary thought had become, in a moment, a unified expression of song.
It was, in short, the perfect metaphor for the collective strength of those gathered together for an arts night called EVOKE.
On Thursday, on a cold November evening revelers gathered at Monot Bar in Bugolobi for Evoke night, an entertainment night fusing live band, acapella, poetry, spoken word, DJ mixes, and Contemporary dance all custom made to make lit any party loving youth in Uganda.
The evening’s highlight was a budding poet called Achelam Ace Derrick a Medicine and Surgery student at Makerere. The poet, stage performer and writer wowed the crowd with his three hippy pieces about Kampala’s young women who go to great lengths to expose their ‘cool’ lifestyles on social media and have become the butt of the joke on social media.
Known as slay queens, this crop of women, most often living a fake lifestyle, often take unusual routes to stardom, Achelam’s three poems; LISTEN, NAY, I DO NOT COME TO MAKE LOVE and PLAY IT AGAIN celebrated these ladies who will visit the rich uncle and pose for pictures in the living or guest room with the signature pose of putting one leg at an angle.
His poems shed light on how the pictures will go on social media with hashtags such as #MyCrib, #Globetrotter and #SlayQueen, etc and the intention is to draw likes, “awww” and emoji comments. But a critical look exposes the hidden lies. So, social media users have been having a ball trolling them.
The second episode of the event hosted by radio presenter Maritza also had more powerful and entertaining acts and seeks to positively impact youth ultimately while remaining cool and relevant. Evoke night might turn up to be the next event fusing forms of art to entertain, teach, and employ youth as the rate at which students graduate doesn’t reciprocate to the rate at which they find employment.