By Bash Mutumba
Musicians in Uganda have for some good time been complaining about various unfair situations in the industry; including not being given enough airplay by media houses, getting ripped off by promoters and managers, getting cheated by UPRS, among others. A campaign dubbed Save Uganda Music was started by the artists, but it didn’t last to witness its first anniversary since top musicians like Bebe Cool shunned and blasted it.
On Wednesday 18th April, under the chairmanship of Swangz Avenue CEO Mr. Julius, a new umbrella christened Uganda Musicians Association was launched, amid lots of hope from present parties at Silver Springs Hotel, Bugolobi.
The executive committee was to bring up to speed members on the different activities currently being handled by the leadership. Mr. Kyazze commended artists for reaching in time, contrary to the usual character of people of their stature,
“This signals a new wave of change and the future of Ugandan musicians.” He said.
Capt Mike Mukula was unveiled as the patron of the association, and in his speech, Captain Mukula highlighted the need for musicians to unite and build formidable brands. He also contributed 5 million Uganda shillings in cash towards the association activities.
The executive committee also contributed another 5 million and other members including Eddy Kenzo, Haruna Mubiru, Dj Kikofila, Ykeebenda and more contributed cash to bring the total collection to about 14 Million UGX which will be used to secure office premises and furnish them. The association will continue to address issues surrounding the sole collecting society in Uganda. A new logo was also unveiled and a sample of the Association ID was shown to the members.
A surprise appearance was made by Prof. Maggie Kigozi who spoke to the members and encouraged them to foster more business collaborations. She reminded artists about their status as investors and urged them to partner with the Uganda Investment Authority in order to enjoy investor benefits. Other speakers included Navio, Mesach Semakula, Ronald Mayanja, A Pass, Ykee Benda, Isaac Rucci and Eddy Kenzo.
However, top artists Bobi Wine, Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool were absent. Bobi sent an apology which was read to the mebers; Dr. Chameleone is in the United Kingdom with his wife Daniella; and Bebe Cool was absent without apology.