On 30th September 2020, a video emerged of Ugandan rap artiste Fred Giriya aka Rocky Giant being beaten and utterly humiliated by a gang led by the former Fire Base Crew second in command, Mark Bugembe, also known as Buchaman.
The disturbing video, depicts Rocky Giant being attacked by a group of people, clearly commanded by Buchaman. It went viral and attracted widespread ire from across the country as people took to the internet, especially Facebook and Twitter to express their disgust with Buchaman’s actions.
Excerpts from the video indicate that Buchaman was apparently angered by Rocky Giant proclaiming himself as ghetto president, a title Buchaman laid claim to in the aftermath of Bobi Wine trading the ghetto for the Parliament back in 2017. In addition to this, Buchaman accused Rocky Giant, alongside a one Hassan Messenger, of speaking ill of him and disrespecting him.
In the time since the video emerged, Ugandan creatives, artists and celebrities have come out to condemn Buchaman, calling for his arrest, while at the same time expressing their solidarity with Rocky Giant offering him free studio sessions, video shoots, written songs, and material assistance, as soon as he recovers. But who is Rocky Giant?
The younger fans of Ugandan music might not quickly recognise the name, let alone the artiste. But at some point, in the mid-90s, he emerged as arguably the most recognizable rapper in the country.
He gained star status with mega hits like Nani Wuyo, Ba Ras, Paka Last and Ngoma Nene, which enjoyed heavy airplay and earned him multiple award nominations. After missing out in 2006, he won Best Hip Hop Act/Single at the 2007 PAM Awards
At his peak, he was a regular at all major concerts both in Kampala and upcountry, as fans gobbled up his aggressive, high tempo, fast-paced rhymes and cheeky wordplay. His peak was a fleeting one though, and he faded into obscurity as fans began to prefer the slower, more laid back and refined style executed by the likes of GNL Zamba.
Buchaman attacked Rocky Giant over proclaiming himself as ghetto president
Several artists have since come out to comment on Buchaman’s actions as demeaning and inhumane. They have vowed to fight for Rocky Giant’s rights and urged the Uganda Police Force to take up the matter and have presidential advisor Buchaman arrested and brought to book to account for his actions.
“Since I have been the vice ghetto president and the president has left us for another role, am now the new ghetto president,” Buchaman said a few years ago, despite being opposed by many Ghetto youths.
In the last half a decade or so, Rocky Giant has tried, unsuccessfully, to engineer a comeback. It is hoped that once he recovers, the offers he has received from Ugandan creatives can go a long way in resuscitating the career of a Luga flow star that burned so briefly and yet so brightly.
Author: Timothy Ainebyoona
Timothy is a dynamic analyst passionate about news and all things sport.