The Day I Auditioned For Tusker Project Fame 6.

The last time I felt that jittery was when the spelling bee announcer dared me to spell “logorrhea”. I was only 13. More recently, it was four years ago when I delivered my first newscast. Save for the part where I forgot to switch off the microphone, I correctly spelled the synonym for “compulsive talkativeness” and ended the bulletin without referring to Kampala as the Kenyan capital. But both events are no comparison to the new king of my nervous moments.

For a total of over 500km and a few thousands of shillings, I booked something I surely needed. You see, when I decided I was going to audition for this year’s Tusker Project Fame, I knew I needed a livewire moment. The feeling of first time. I couldn’t afford to have that here in the city of seven hills.

So, unannounced, I slipped into the region that held me when I first came to this world. Western Uganda. Drizzly. Drenched fleeing shadows often illuminated by a vehicle speeding through the town. Darkness beyond the motel. More rain. By the time I retired for the night, the skies’ broom was not yet done. Hours later, the first sight of a Mbarara dawn. Calmness. Cloudiness. A tingly feeling of nervousness.

(Calm down Stone, this shouldn’t be hard). Then signs of the regional audition started taking shape. Forms were filled. (If it gets any colder, my voice might just hibernate…calm down, mister). A technical glitch pauses the event (read: PANGS OF PAIN). Nervousness in the hopefuls’ camp. Worried faces WORRY me. (That is Naava Grey, forget the moment, go say hullo).

Before Naava could finish telling some random guy (me) how she beat her first audition, a jumbled accent calls out, “numbers 1110 to 1121, follow me”. That last number is mine. (Forget what you have been told about beating Mr. Nervousness).


“Hullo, what’s your name?”


Me and myself must have spent the first two lines of the song looking at my shaking hand. What was it thinking? That wasn’t the moment! Not the time. No. But on it shook. Two more lines and we were now following the common singers’ rule; breathe, enunciate, eye contact…sing…two more lines. And the heart was pumping at the rate of techno music tune. (Guess next time I should learn a techno song to match the nearly audible heart beat) Two more lines…’I want you to stayyyyyy’…(that note on STAY is the worst you have ever belted out…worse than the guy who attempted to hit some insane Mariah Carey note outside…brace for the eggs in 1…2…)


I know that voice. Flavia Tumusiime. (And did she just ask me what I think she is going to say…first I have to endure a torturous moment that seems to have no hope of ending…and now I am playing GUESS IT?!?! And does the light right in my face have to be this hot?!!?!)

(At least you got what you wanted; a feel of this oven…the first live-wire moment…take those eggs and hop onto the next bus out of this town where everyone assumes the neighbor speaks Runyankole…mum always told you to learn her language…they also pulled down the statue of the cow because it wasn’t an Ankole cow…)

“…not the best of the best but I will say yes as well. Three yeses.”

(No eggs? I am humbled…flattered…on my side, it felt so…not bad…but not good…and what do they mean they didn’t sense my tension? I tensed more than I belted). 

“Thank you…”

So I walk off smiling, not because I had been given a visa to the next stage of the competition in Kampala but because I had a chance no amount of shower concerts or choir gives you. (Sigh). Nothing can ever prepare us for the first time other than the first time. Painful, but like “logorrhea” and that 5-minute newscast that seemed longer than a Hobbit movie, the priceless yet unbearable inaugural wave of tension, the thing I needed the most to kick-start yet another worthwhile venture, was handed down to me.

In total, just six people made it out of the fairly thronged audition. And I was #3. Kampala, I was there. I heard those voices. Have no assumptions sijwi ‘those people are from the village…’

(Congs Golola Moses…let the logorrhea begin…and oh Uganda Cranes, march in the same spirit against Senegal).

This attempt at storytelling has to be paused. NOW. Feels good to be back home.

Good night.

Follow @SongaStone


6 Responses to “The Day I Auditioned For Tusker Project Fame 6.”

  1. You auditioned? Power to you!!

  2. Yay!! \o/ You Auditioned?! Power to you!!

  3. Vividly explained! I wish you all the best and i pray u get to the ACADEMY!! With this written piece i think it will be interesting 2 c u in there..

  4. Asiphiwee Daniel Ugandan Says:

    You are great, i thank u for ur news

  5. […] I am only responsible for what I say not what you understand. « The Day I Auditioned For Tusker Project Fame 6. […]

  6. […] that would quickly get me back on my feet financially to aid my return to school. I even auditioned for a singing competition whose $50,000 prize seemed reachable. Later, I couldn’t appreciate […]

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