|Davis Ntare is TPF 4 Winner|
Davis Hillary Ntare is the Tusker Project Fame 4 winner for 2010. Davis staved off strong competition from Tanzania’s Peter Msechu who came in second, and Kenyans Steven Nyabwa (3rd place) and only woman left standing Amileena Mwenesi (4th place).
Davis makes history as the first contestant in the Tusker Project Fame Academy to bounce back from being rejected to winning the top award. Davis had failed to make the final cut into the 2009 Tusker Project Fame Academy 3 house. Despite that massive disappointment, the singer decided to audition again for the 2010 academy. Davis actually travelled to Nairobi to audition because he missed the Kampala leg of the 2010 auditions.
Davis now bags 5 million Kenya shillings in prize money. He also stands to benefit from a year long free studio time recording offer with South Africa’s Gallo records. As well various other perks like in studio training from expert session musicians and producers.
Only time will tell though if Davis manages to carve a musical career and further stardom outside the Tusker Project Fame Academy confines. Previous winners like 2009’s Rwandese winner Alpha Rwirangira, and 2008’s Ugandan Esther Nabaasa have not enjoyed stellar careers as was expected. Alpha’s performance at the opening of the TPF 4 ceremony showed he was a pale shadow of the Lucky Dube energetic admirer he was while Nabaasa has barely registered on the musical scene even in Uganda though there is talk of a second album in the studio that should rescue her career. TPF 1 winner Valerie Kimani has cultivated a slightly more active career since her 2007 winner.
On this night of his win, Davis was overcome with emotion when he was announced the 2010 TPF 4 winner. The singer collapsed the floor, lying spread-eagled until he had to be helped up by his former competitors as he fought back tears. The singer’s emotional reaction did not leave a dry eye in the audience as Ugandan judge Juliana Kanyomozi also had to wipe away tears. The faculty members seemed as equally stunned and moved by the singer’s reaction, who on this night, had perhaps had his poorest performance. Davis performed Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean as his encore and Judge Ian spoke for the more critical when he slammed the musician for a below par performance on the night.
However all that was quickly forgotten when Davis was declared the winner.
Davis’s win ends the year on a rather high note for Ugandan music and arts. Davis’s win closely follows on Maurice Kirya’s 2010 win of the Radio France International New Artist Discovery award. Coincidentally, Davis once performed in Maurice’s band, before deciding to try out for the 2009 TPF. This second win in the TPF competition also comes as a balm for a country and industry that was rocked by the July 11 2010 bomb blasts that claimed over 80 innocent lives in Kampala. Since then the entertainment industry has been slowly picking up and returning to its former vibrancy.