Uganda’s entertainment industry has for the past couple of months been hit by one of the rarest talents this country, or perhaps the region has seen in ages.
Everyone who has listened to seven-year-old Patrick Senyonjo alias ‘Fresh Kid’, has been left dumfounded by the uniqueness of this Luweero born rapper.
Like his stage name suggests, Fresh kid’s rhymes evoke a fresh feeling in the minds, hearts and bodies of any rap purist.
The first time I saw or even heard of the boy was on NBS Television’s popular music show After 5, when he was being interviewed by Douglas Lwanga. My stoic self had refused to be moved by this youngster’s old-school hip-hop attire, but the noise that his presence evoked in the Production department of Next Media where I was, left me no option but drop whatever I was doing and pay attention.
Fresh Kid’s answers to every question the seasoned show host threw at him kept sweeping me off my feet. The calmness, proud, but humorous manner in which he responded was like nothing I had ever seen before. There was some novelty to this boy and from this moment I knew he was special.
A devout lover of old- school hip hop and RnB my self, I was quickly reminded of American Rapper Shad Gregory Moss better know by his stage name Bow Bow.
Around Fresh Kid’s age, Bow wow was already a global star with his unique rap flow and charming dances that endeared him to many in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Back to the ‘subject matter’, Fresh kid, is not a global star like Bow Wow ever was, but is surely fast becoming one.
You would struggle to remember how many African kids have successfully shaken the music scene of their countries so fast like this light skinned ghetto kid did Uganda in just months.
His unique free style flow has convinced even the most ruthless and unsparing members of the ‘social media commenters association’ who have shown support and admitted to how gifted the kid is.
But besides his rapping prowess, it is easy to notice from the way he conducts himself during the tens of interviews on Television and Radio, that he lacks one key thing any child should have, basic education.
Fresh Kid has always been consistent with his answer whenever asked about his education. Asked which school he goes to, and the obvious answer will be, (with his hands and fingers making those funny gestures that rappers do) “Essomero gyeriri eyo”, which translates as, “The school is there.” But where? May be no where!
From the way he hops from one media house to another giving interviews morning, afternoon and night, performs in night clubs and other shows, it doesn’t require too much logic to tell that the boy doesn’t go to school.
It is this ‘over-night’ stardom that some musicians pay millions and take ages to acquire has rubbed sections of authorities the wrong way, but instead of helping the boy get back to class (if he has ever been there) while he keeps growing his talent, the authorities are seeming to focus on the education but put his talent under cuffs.
Perhaps what they don’t realise is that they are denying Uganda if not Africa potentially one of its best entertainment exports in years to come.
While watching the popular entertainment news show on NBS Television and Sanyuka Tv on Tuesday night, I heard Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs in the Cabinet of Uganda, Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, boldly cautioning anyone against booking this kid for a music show, and advised him to go back to school.
Education for the boy is what we all want, but putting a clamp on his mushrooming career is not a solution. (Its like a mother who prays to God to give her two children but when she gives birth to twins, she tries to kill one of them)
Like any other talent, Fresh kid needs to be supported and guided but not ‘threatened’ by the same ministry that keeps pretending to support talent.
What the boy needs is a manager who can understand the importance of education and can strike a balance between his time in a classroom, in the studio and on stage.
Being a minor, perhaps he needs a spokesperson to do the talking during the over-flowing media interviews.
It is our responsibility as a country to protect, support, nurture and guide this treasure that the man above sent down to us, and get the best out of him, but not to strangle his talent at birth.
It is high time the authorities understood, and appreciated the importance of talent in the success of an individual but also in selling the nation to the rest of the world.
Fresh Kid is a ‘gold mine’, a treasure, a sprouting plant from a ground that hasn’t borne many and it needs to be watered to fruition.