2018 has been a year of major ups and downs for most of the country’s celebrities. While some like US based singers The Ben and Meddie have gained more popularity for their music back home and regionally, others like rapper Jay Polly have found themselves under scrutiny for the wrong reasons.
The SundayMag could not list all of them but below,we compiled what we consider some of the most controversial stories in the country’s entertainment industry this 2018.
Jay Polly jailed for domestic violence
If any celebrity has had a dramatic year, it must be rapper Jay Polly. Born Joshua Tuyishime, the celebrated rapper found himself in handcuffs when it emerged that he had beaten up his live-in girlfriend Shariffa Mbabazi who as a result lost two teeth.
Not before long, on August 24, the Primary Court of Gasabo sentenced Jay Polly to five months after the rapper was found guilty of assault.
The prosecution had requested that the rapper pay a fine of Rwf 100, 000 and be sentenced to two years in jail but because of his cooperation during the investigation in which he explained that his violence was triggered by alcohol and his subsequent show of remorse, he was given a shorter jail term.
Earlier before the ruling, Jay Polly’s girlfriend Mbabazi pushed to get him released after the rapper reportedly agreed to buy her an iPhone and ‘gold teeth’ to replace the damaged ones but the court rejected her request.
Jay Polly’s domestic violence scandal ruled social media platforms with some arguing that anti-GBV community service was the befitting punishment while others insisted that regardless of his popularity, he deserved to go to jail for what he did.
The rapper, who is close to finalizing his jail times at Mageragere Prison, is expected to be released before the New Year and a party has been organized by the Mane Music Label to celebrate his return.
Socialite Shaddyboo and US-based radio personality Ally Soudy will be hosting the party.
The Plagiarism saga in Rwandan music
Despite it’s commendable rise on both the local and international scene, Rwanda’s music enthusiasts this year took the critical seat; accusing local artistes for making the country’s music begin to lose it’s appeal due to plagiarism.
The likes of Dream Boys, Social Mula, Bruce Melodie and Producer Zizou Alpacino were the most talked about for plagiarizing other artists’ songs.
Afew days after Dream Boys dropped their hit duet called ‘Romeo and Juliet’s which they did with rapper Riderman, music lovers took to social media platforms to express their disappointment after they discovered that it was not any different from the one done by Tanzanian budding singer Beka Flavour, who also criticized the duo for copying his song.
Reacting on the claims, Jean Claude Mujyanama, known by his stage name TMC, came in defense of their song saying that the media and bloggers had exaggerated the issue pointing out that the group took the decision to sample Beka’s song so as to improve theirs but admitted they made a mistake not to inform him.
Another artiste who was on the spot for plagiarism was Bruce Melodie in his hit ‘Tuza’, a collaboration with female singer Allioni. The duo found themselves under pressure to address their fans about why the song sounded exactly like s Zambian artiste T-Sean’ song ‘Will You Marry Me’ after he accused them of copying his melody.
Bruce Melodie quickly apologized to the public for the mistake which he said was unintentional and put the blame on Producer Zizou Alpacino who sold to the duo the beat.
Producer Zizou was again accused of plagiarism when he produced Social Mula’s ‘Ma Vie’. The song which many people fell in love with was later found to be partly plagiarised since a whole verse had been translated from Nigerian female singer Simi’s song ‘Smile for me’.
Social Mula defended himself saying that he had never heard of Simi’s song before he released ‘Ma Vie’ and questioned whether some people might be jealous of how his song was doing exceptionally well.
Shaddy Boo’s ‘English’ earns her regional criticism
Socialite Shadia Mbabazi commonly known as Shaddy Boo found herself trending on social media when she was invited by Tanzania’s music giant, Diamond Platnumz to co-host his ‘Biko Jibebe Challenge’ in Dar es Salaam only for her to freeze upon being asked several questions in English on the red carpet.
The ‘Queen of Instagram’, as she is referred to by most was mocked and ridiculed, with many calling her ‘blonde’ for failing to answer simple questions in English.
She repeatedly responded ‘I am just here to have fun’, and ‘nothing much,’ to every question when Diamond-owned Wasafi TV’s journalists asked her a few questions about her gig upon arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport. Things went from bad to worse when she could not comprehend the questions she was being asked and, as a result, her Instagram posts were flooded with insults, especially by fans of Diamond’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his children, Zari Hassan, who criticised her for being a ‘beauty without purpose’.
The socialite insisted that she was more fluent in French, adding that people who laughed at her struggle to speak French, the same way she struggles with English.
Charly na Nina fire their manager
Two months after a successful ‘Imbaraga’ album launch in December 2017, music duo Charly na Nina parted company with their longterm manager Alex Muyoboke, a surprise decision that shocked their music fans.
Muyoboke had been credited for the duo’s phenomenal rise on the local and regional music scene through the five years they spent together.
It remains unclear what might have caused a rift between Muyoboke and his former music divas although the duo stated that they had ‘set up their own management agency to manage their affairs, as well as promote their music’
Muyoboke has since brought singer Allioni under his management at Decent Entertainment.
Oda Paccy’s ‘Ibyatsi’ album cover sends public into frenzy
You may not necessarily be a big fan of female rapper Odda Paccy’s music but you must admire her ability to attract attention to her craft. Paccy sent social media platforms into a frenzy after she released promotional art work for her song ‘Ibyatsi’, prompting controversy and debate among the public even before the song was released.
The singer, real name Oda Uzamberumwana, used a glossy rear anatomy of a bare female body covered only in tattoos and received backlash for peddling nudity, leading the singer’s status as ‘Intore’ to be scrapped by the National Commission of Itorero Chairperson Edouard Bamporiki who accused her for undermining Rwandan culture values.
Paccy defended the song, warning fans and foes not rush to judge her even before listening to the song.
It was not the first time that Paccy is courting controversy through her music.In 2017, she still attracted criticism when she released seminude pictures online and in various local media outlets holding a fresh banana leaf that barely covered her body for the promotional art work for Order, her ingle at the time, in which she featured Urban Boys.
Anita Pendo’s back-to-back deliveries attract scrutiny
Anita Pendo, a renowned MC this year found herself the center of negative criticism when it emerged that she had had her second child barely before the first was one year old.
Pendo, who has been cohabitating with footballer Ndanda, was also accused of having a third child whom she hides from the public. The vocal radio presenter took to Instagram where she had harsh words for fellow radio presenters who are not contractual employees, who she accused of tarnishing her name to stir controversy. Pendo challenged anyone who claimed that she had a secret child to produce evidence supporting the claim.
DJ Pius, MC Ange part ways
They were the showbiz sweethearts band when the news broke that showbiz’s tallest couple had parted ways, most fans were left reeling in shock.
Singer DJ Pius and his wife who juggles between being a radio presenter and MC; Ange Umulisa who got married in 2014 parted ways under unclear circumstances but continue to co-parent their son.
DJ Pius has on several occasions given interviews but declined to comment about the issue saying that he never likes to comment about his family affairs because they are family matters.