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Save Ugandan Music: Only artistes can save themselves

Tekno, Mr. Eazi, Diamond Platinumz, Morgan Heritage, Seyi Shay, Oliver Tuku, PJ Powers, Hugh Masekela, Diplo.. are some of the foreign acts that have performed in Uganda just this year, yet, even before it ends, Wizkid, Tarrus Riley, Skales, Timaya are set to have shows in Kampala..
Now I see a group of artistes seeking to Save Ugandan Music…… truth is, this whole campaign would have made sense; it would have made a lot of sense if the people seeking to save the music they mention were doing Ugandan music in the first place, but that’s not my place to question probably.

The only reason people are falling for Nigerian music or sounds from else where is the X factor they come with – a little originality……

But, before understanding what makes Nigerian music a darling, I think we shouldn’t shy away from asking if artistes ever ask themselves how this all madness started or who started it?

Truth is, Ugandan music once had the stage – Straka was the biggest girl on TV, WBS’s Late Show and Jam Agenda set the Agenda of our music; when they played Bebe Cool, we believed Bebe was the guy to watch.

In 2003, East Africa TV or Channel 5 introduced us to Lady Jaydee, TID, AY and many other Tanzanian acts – soon, they had started trekking to Uganda for gigs and of course gifted people like Navio, Lady Titi, Chameleone and Bebe with collaborations.

However in 2005, when MTV Base showed up, the entire East African region dumped Channel 5 for an international bae, what they forgot was that the bae had conditions, she had a Nigerian funder that called the shots.

Today we are stuck with an MTV channel masquerading as a Pan African TV but fronting only a solo interest – our artistes are doing good via trying to save the music but it will all go to waste if they don’t treat themselves first. 

As long as Bebe Cool’s fanbase still celebrates his video playing on MTV Base, Ugandan Music is doomed, as long as Bebe Cool, Navio, Chameleone, Juliana and others still crave to be played on majorly Nigerian controlled channels, the music is doomed, as long as artistes only find prestige in being nominated in awards where Nigerians are taking part, we are doomed, As long as these artistes trek to Nigeria and South Africa’s Gospel on The Beat or Clarence Peters ….the music is doomed and worse still, as long as we have all these artistes trying to sing like Nigerians, they are doomed.

It is true DJs, promoters, TV stations and radios have an influence on what people choose to listen to today but still a very big number of Ugandans are picking music from multinational media platforms and the internet, thus, as long as some Ugandan artiste is still asking us to watch him become international on MTV Base and Trace, we shall end up watching his one video and twenty five Davidos and Wizkids which we shall later follow on twitter and Youtube.


For starters our artistes need to do good music for the local audience; this international madness is the reason we can’t relate with them or end up liking those they try to emulate. These things of doing crappy sings for muntu wawansi and well produced English songs for simanyi international market…. 

Then this whole love they want DJs and media to give them…! Artistes should love the media before the media loves them back, If their music plays on NBS TV or NTV’s The Beat, they should vigorously tweet it the same way they do when they are played on Trace.

Anyway, it’s a whole combination of things but the Save Ugandan Music thing starts with artistes and their fans, they need to get them to love them back, the media and DJs will fall in place since they go where the numbers are. 

About Kaggwa Andrew

One comment

  1. Kenneth Keith Kirya

    This is so true to say Save Ug Music starts with Ug artistes; indeed they should work best in their originality (make something unique and promote it to those who don’t make it so that they feel a different taste) other than coping what they make and try to duplicate, something coped will never become oiginal so let Ugandan Artistes find their music identity.
    We were able to identify Congolese music because of its identity of “Rhumba”, Jamaicans also have their identity once you listen to the likes of Koshens.
    But Uganda we are just still floating, I don’t know whether we are just trying to prove our versatility but we end up doing krup.
    On the issue of promoting some big Ugandan Artistes just try to undermind Uganda’s Tv Channels because honestly how can you first send or premier your video to Trace MTV Base before any other Ugandan Tv Channel? The advise is start from home. A ladder has steps to follow, you can not climb it starting from its top but rather the first step going upwards.

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