Popularity vs. Fame; What Works Better for an Artiste?

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Innocent Kawooya and Mohamed Kimbugwe
Fame is when an artiste is widely praised, admired and adored, whereas popularity is when an artiste is widely known by a lot of people, it does not necessarily mean that that person is being admired or praised in a good manner. Many entertainers have over the years managed to attain popularity, but not all of them have managed to conquer adoration.
Popularity is perceptibly relatively easier to attain, but admiration and adoration, which make up fame are a little more complex to realize. Popularity on its own has never been enough and until an artiste conquers fame, they’ll continue to struggle in one way or another.
This is where most artistes have often times got it wrong. They’ll do everything in their power to become popular but fail to work on those things that make them famous, forgetting that popularity is not sustainable and may not yield results on its own. Yet even when it comes to popularity, some of them are not the best at the game.
This article looks at a number of Ugandan artistes as examples of the famous, the popular and those who are both famous and keep popular; bearing in mind what between fame and popularity works better for an artiste.
Golola Moses for example managed to score humongous popularity, way ahead of most of our artistes. Golola took advantage of his motor mouth even ahead of his talent and this later earned him fame. He is famous for being a champion Kick boxer even when he loses a fight.

Africa's Kickboxing Champion Golola Moses
Africa’s Kickboxing Champion Golola Moses

Golola’s remarkable sense of humor gave him so much mileage, that a lot of people know famous Golola quotes than they do the opponents he has fought over the years. He aggressively attained fame, beating a lot of our entertainers to the game.
Let’s take a quick look at Grace Nakimera for example. Even beyond her singing talent, she rose to fame as the Queen of stage. Her electrifying performances mixed with traditional moves from Sosolya Undugu dancers always left many crying for an encore.
Grace Nakimera became such a performer that she would quote any price and a client would pay. She had managed to turn her performance into a trademark, she only requires to keep a little present in the eyes and ears of music lovers and business can always flow in. Nakimera is famous for classic performances.
Popularity alone was never going to earn her a highly priced status. She had to turn it into an admired trend, which would in then earn her durability for adoration and thus fame.
Desire Luzinda also had her chance at being popular. When her nude pictures leaked, she got known even more than she ever was or ever will. She rose to the occasion and followed it with a number of songs including Ekitone and Ebyaama.
Desire became a household item, started to charge more for performances and landed both local and international performance deals. She became a hot item and this popular news worked wonders for her in the short run.
It obviously was never going to be sustainable and if Desire Luzinda held a concert today, she would struggle. The effect of her nude pictures has since faded and so has her popularity. The popularity is fast fading and she must do something special to bounce back as performing brand to reckon with.
Iryn Namubiru is also a perfect example of the difference between fame and popularity. There was a time she was rising to fame and people genuinely adored her. However, that adoration got steadily dented by her scandalous life, that eventually, all she had was popularity.
From her Japan drugs scandal to the conflict with Lyto Boss for Anjagala among several other issues, Iryn will struggle to regain her popularity and get back on her road to fame. If she were to hold a concert without a successful hit song today, she sure would struggle.
On the other hand, Juliana Kanyomozi is a good example of a famous artiste. She can go five years without a hit single and she will still be adored. She can hold a concert without a hit single and the concert will still be successful.
She has over the years portrayed herself as a respectable lady and even when she had scandals, she managed them in such a way that earned her more respect. She avoids situations that dent her integrity and even when some people interpret this as being proud and aloof, it has earned her fame.
Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine are some of the artistes that are both famous and kept popular. They have managed to strike a balance between being widely known and broadly loved. Much as they will get involved in stunts aimed at attracting popularity, they still do things that attract adoration.
Bebe Cool will every once in a while engage in charity, while Bobi Wine will once in a while front a ghetto cause, all of which have earned them love over the years.
In all, popularity in itself is not enough. It instead comes down to what people know you for! If people know you for the wrong reasons, work your  way around ensuring that you earn their love and above all; once you attain popularity, then ask yourself what people can love you for.
What do people love, admire and adore you for?

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