When Kenneth Mugabi released his debut album Kibunomu, many wanted to believe he was a fresh artiste that made a descision to record music a couple of months back.
Yet in real sense, Mugabi had spent countless months writing the music, later composing and performing it – even by the time the artiste was gracing the Bayimba International Festival, Milege World Music and Pearl Rhythm among others, the songs he was performing were not documented, he was yet to get the money needed to have the music recorded.
In fact, even after he released thye album at the Qwela Junction: Crooners edition, he continued paying the producers directly from the album sales.
Funding art or art organizations has been a challenge in Uganda for a long time – it’s a situation that comes as a fact that many Ugandans, companies and the government have failed to see that art is important.
But those that struggle to work because they don’t have any form of funding are more than just musicians; some are art organizations putting together exhibitions, festivals or showcases.
In the past, all these events have managed to take place thanks to the different government in the west funding culture, today though, after a series of economic hardships, the calamities that hit different organizations that usually depended on funds didn’t spare the arts.
And that’s how the Bayimba Honors that are set for 17 December come in, according to Faisal Kiwewa, Director Bayimba Foundation, many people have not seen the need to donate of give back to the arts and thus, the awards and cultivating the culture.
The Bayimba Honors are going to be an arts philanthropy show that will appreciate individuals that have given back to art for the love of it.
“This is intended to encourage more people to give to the arts, because that’s the only way we can maintain them,” Kiwewa says.
Kiwewa notes that they are many people that have given back to the arts in form of money, space and other forms of support and they want to celebrate them and probably encourage others to join in, especially in a country where artists and art organizations struggle to make art happen.
He says that the biggest hindrance to growth of art in the country is the lack of a local financial support base .
But the honors won’t be only about those honored; they will also be entertainment world music artiste Geoffrey Oryema who will be gracing the Ugandan stage for the first time in more than 30 years.
He’s said to have been smuggled out of Uganda at the age of 24 in 1977; this was after the death of his father who had been a cabinet minister. He has though since gone on to shine on the world music scene where he has released albums like Exile, Beat the Border, Night to Night and Words among others mostly done in Acholi, Kiswahili, French and English.
Oryema will be joined by Sairus Balabyekubo alias Babaluku in a Hip Hop Orchestra featuring the Kampala Symphony Orchestra and the distinguished dancer Julius Lugaaya.