Tuesday, 12 October 2010


The Tusker Project Fame opening gala party was held Sunday evening in an event that brought together East Africa in a night of glitz, glamour and music. The top 18 contestants and faculty members were unveiled during the show as the three judges Ian Mbugua, Juliana Kanyomozi and Hermes Bariki made a comeback.
With 15 spots in the TPF Academy and only nine contestants having secured their positions, seven of the contestants had to battle it out for a spot with three of them facing possible elimination.

Steven Nyabwa from Kenya wowed the crowd with his rendition of Marcelina. His electrifying performance elicited positive comments from the judges, with Judge Ian saying that he, “…could certainly stir up a crowd.”

Also fighting for their lives, were the Ugandans, Davis Ntare and Brendah Nankinga. This was not Davis’ first time at TPF, having been sent home by the Judges at last year’s gala show. He poured his soul into his cover of Ronan Keating’s When You Say Nothing At All and was overjoyed when the judges admitted him into the Academy.

Amilena Mwenesi of Kenya, Elizabeth Gaga of Rwanda and Leah Mwambogela of Tanzania impressed the judges and were able to secure their spots in the TPF Academy together with Steven and Davis.

Brendah’s performance of Brandy’s Come a Little Closer took her further away from the judges’ expectations, with Juliana pointing out that she had seen better performances from Brendah.

The very beautiful Liz Mugwaneza of Rwanda and Cynthia of Tanzania also saw their dreams put on hold when they failed to meet the judges’ high expectations.
The other highlight of the Gala was the unveiling and performances of the Faculty that will guide the contestants for the next eight weeks. The Academy has a new principal, Helen Mtawali who gave a powerful performance of an own composition. She also had a commanding stage presence,which is something that she is sure to impart to her young charges at the Academy.

The other members of the Faculty include Voice coach Kavutha, Music Director RKay, Choreographer and fitness coach Edu. This year also sees the addition of Band leader Aaron Rimbui to this stellar cast.

Carol “Clarissa” Nabulime TPF3’s reigning Dancing Queen performed her song from her debut album, Nakupenda at the Gala show and managed to wow the crowd with her incredible waist movement.

Ng’ang’alito was also on hand to entertain the crowd, accompanied by Sarakasi dancers, with his own Kikuyu ballad
Steven Nyabwa ,Amileena Mwenesi, Juvenalis Ochieng Amonde and Prudence Kibaya will carry the Kenyan flag.
Tanzania will be aptly represented by one gentleman and two ladies. They are Aneth Kushaba, Leah Mwambogela and Peter Msechu.
Uganda will have two gentlemen and one lady in the house. Davis Hillary Ntare, Rachel Namubiru and Thomas Madooba Kirya are the lucky three.
Atete Gaëlle, Gilbert Gabiro and Elizabeth Gaga from Rwanda will also be gunning for the top prize in the Tusker Project Fame, while the über confident Paleki Obur and Kuonck Deng will be representing Southern Sudan, which has been included into the competition for the very first time this year.

Kuonck who was the first runner-up in the top 25 auditions has replaced Romani of Southern Sudan who was recalled back home for civic duty. Kuonck couldn’t hide his excitement at having been offered the opportunity to join the TPF Academy last week.
During the eight weeks to be spent at the academy, the remaining 15 contestants will be coached on how to improve their music careers including voice, instrument, dance and performing skills.
Contestants in the show will strive to prove to judges and viewers they are the best music talent from the region with the hope of walking away with prize money of five million shillings, a recording contract from South African based Gallo records and a host of other goodies.

Chizi on stage

Honey La Rochelle, Omar Jonas entertain before the gala night