It is said that when you start looking down on the music of the current generation and calling it names, then you have really grown. In our case, if you have thrown out the radio station of your youth because “they only play rap,” then maybe you should buy loads of hair dye and just be ready. Because very soon, you are going to be needing to darken your hair. Listening to Banji in the company of all those old young-wannabes is not really going to redeem you.
Our entertainment scene is very volatile, it seems. Contrary to what all these reformists want you to believe, our stars are really permitted five minutes in the spotlight, excepting those who don’t know how to play by the rule book. Of course there are those that will drop one scorcher after another for years and all we have to do is just let them be. Because they are just too hot to handle. They might even be as hot as Bebe Cool but that is another matter unrelated to this.
Because there are very many artistes making it big in a very short time, someone might say that we don’t need permanent heroes. We don’t need idols because we can always latch onto new ones anytime. But the person who says that probably did not see or hear The Obsessions.
I know it is a lifetime ago…but those dudes and chicks rocked. Who can forget their dances; those moves that every new dance group in town wanted to ape? Who can forget the chiseled bodies of the guys when they got on stage and flashed those thousand watt smiles and made even the masters of the game (S Club 7) pale in comparison?
The Obsessions were known for their pretty girls. It is said that to get into the group, you had to be as fly as Halle. Just that. Not that it is a mean feat. The dance choreographer would handle the rest i.e. teach you how to wiggle and make the guys in the audience drool.
After some time, the group upped its ante when they started acting and singing. They brought a whole new meaning to Ugandan music videos. They had the whole of Kampala nodding their heads like this…and hunting for their jajja’s afro wig. Everything they touched was instantly en vogue. They even managed to convince Kampala that dressing up like Elvis was cool. So we had the strange disease that’s eating the Americans attacking Ugandans too.
It was good while it lasted. But admitting that it ended means we have lived in the golden era and we are on the slow wane. Accepting the demise of The Obsessions means we have had our fun and that it is time for us to move over and let the fans of the newer generation of stars take center stage.
The Obsessions must never be thrown on the heap of history. They represent the young and vibrant us. Can you imagine telling your kids about this magnificent dancing group that could sing and act and getting a blank stare? That is exactly what your parents get when they tell you about Franco or Lord Kitchener or some guy called Harry Belafonte. You stare at them and they are miffed that you can’t appreciate real talent.
That is what we shall be feeling if we let The Obsessions slide into oblivion. They might not have a lot of stuff to offer us right now, seeing as all the cool guys have left to form their own spawns of the group and they have abdicated their role as the singers to the girls, whose role was originally to look pretty and dance. But the important thing is to leave them where they are sure to be seen. Letting them go means letting ourselves go.