The first time Benezeri Wanjala Chibita, commonly known by his moniker Benezeri, tried performing before a crowd, was in 2010. Things did not work out well for the 17-year-old then, because he forgot the lyrics, choked and was like a deer in headlights most times.
Four years later, he has grown as a person and his rap skills have made people stop and listen. On Thursday, he held his first-ever concert at MTN arena, Lugogo. The show dubbed Champion (also the title track for his debut album) was attended by a combination of hip hop and gospel music lovers.
The lineup of performers included Enygma, Ruyonga, The Mith, Navio, Big Trill, Levixione, Coopy Bly, Santana, Patrobas, St Nelly-sade, Moze Beatboxer and Maurice Kirya, among others.
For any lover of Ugandan music, that lineup was more than enough to fill up the arena, which did not happen, although he pulled a respectable crowd. Benezeri is known for championing good causes so part of the proceeds went to 40 Days Over 40 Smiles Foundation, a charitable organization helping put smiles on the faces of the less privileged children.
The show kicked off towards 8pm with performances by Santana and Levixione Lala who seems to be getting more grounded in the gospel music arena with his reggae worship vibes.
The man of the night stepped on stage around 9:30pm with a freestyle of Zuukuka (wake up), possibly the most popular song on his album. He had Power FM’s DJ Twonjex on the turntables, Roy Kasika on drums and producer Izaya on guitar.
He then performed Heading to the Top alongside Essie, another vocally-gifted princess to look out for. St Nelly-sade, one of the unsung heroes of lugaflow, joined the stage to perform Dreams, another collabo with the man of the evening. Almost all the songs on the CD are collabos.
After doing Continue to Work, he took a break, leaving the stage for Maurice Kirya, Enygma and Ruyonga to perform a remix of Kirya’s Don’t Wanna Fight. The crowd also loved Ruyonga’s Muhuliire? before Miss Uganda, Stellah Nantumbwe and Patrobas took over to lend their talents on Benezeri’s Journey.
Nantubwe has a thing for music and she wowed the judges during the Miss Uganda talent night last year. The concert could have ended in a better way than with the energetic New School Anthem. Benezeri’s flow, desire for positive change and love for salvation will take him far. Benezeri is son to Justice Mike Chibita and celebrated journalism lecturer, Monica Chibita.