The year was 2012 and the first edition of HiPipo Music awards (HMA) were announced for February 2013.
That event may not have been perfect, but the second edition last Saturday at Wonder World (former Didi’s World) Kansanga, put the doubters to rest.
The number of categories was increased from 24 to 45. This has made it possible for musicians in the other regions of Uganda to be recognized. The organizers also introduced a category to recognize musicians in the diaspora and a special award for the most downloaded callback tune on the MTN network.
The sponsors MTN, Pepsi, Huawei and Carlsberg seem to have pumped more money into the event. Even the new venue was more spacious and it looked like the big turnout had been anticipated. The sitting area for the musicians was full, making the red carpet event more glamorous.
Their presence also signified their confidence in the awards and entertainment website, hipipo.com. But still, Bobi Wine, Jose Chameleone and the Goodlyfe were missing.
The biggest winner of the night was Bebe Cool followed by Rema and Navio. For the second year running, Bebe Cool and Rema won best male and best female artiste of the year, respectively.
Bebe also took home six accolades for best dancehall song (Coccidiosis), best reggae song (Love Letter), best stage performer, best artiste on social media, and artiste of the year. Rema and Navio won three awards each.
However, things got weird when Bebe Cool was invited to present an award to the winner of the dancehall category (female). On realising that the winner was his former protégé and backup singer, Rema, Bebe ungracefully walked off the stage, leaving the awards’ chairman Frederick Wamala to save the situation.
But Rema, ever seeking Bebe’s approval of her success, knelt on stage to thank her former mentor and collaborator (they recorded the massive Cease & Sekkle together) and even went over to shake his hand. The incident sparked a weekend-long debate on social media.
Gerald Kiweewa performed his timeless hit Egaali Ekozeeko which always leaves the audience cracking ribs, given its sexual innuendo. There was another performance by Santana before Ziggy Dee hit the stage with Eno Mic, in a segment clearly meant to take revellers back in time.
The biggest performance of the night was Grace Nakimera’s and she further proved why she is the queen of the stage. She stormed the stage with her troupe of dancers and the way their dance moves, drum beats and energy complemented her music, left a mark on the audience.
The event ended towards 1am.