Hey everyone.I’m sorry to hear that the police has banned Bobi Wine from using his music shows to sell his political message, and I just want to say something.The best way for authorities and establishments to make something popular is to make it forbidden. Censorship has a funny way of making people believe whatever opinion is being repressed. Mostly because of the following reasoning: If the thing being censored wasn’t right or didn’t make a good point, why would the government need to repress it? They’d just show it to be wrong or mistaken and that would be that. If the government decides to tolerate Bobi Wine’s ‘political’ shows, they would actually get credit for it, the NRM PR machine(Ofwono Opondos, Hudu Hussein , et al) could say “look how open we are, look how strong and stable our position is: we don’t worry about criticism from some people because we trust most people believe in us, in fact we encourage people to let us know what they think our shortcomings are so that we can solve these problems”. By trying to avoid public airtime for his songs I think the PR machine is secretly whispering “look how closed off we are, look how weak and wobbly our position is: we can’t take a joke and laugh at ourselves even a little because our position is so unstable and we’re worried that people are losing faith in our ability to do anything more than repeat the same few words until they lose all meaning”.
Apparently the broadcasting rules prohibit the playing of very popular songs that contain political content, but they were absolutely fine with Museveni’s ‘MPENKONI’ when it became a hit in some elections years ago.
Here in the UK,the easiest way to have a No.1 Hit is to have the BBC ban your song. It worked for Jasper Carrott and Frankie Goes To Hollywood(One of the most recognisable songs today).
Music has always been part of politics. For instance, Eminem has always done political rap. In the Euroversion of 2016, the Ukraine contester sang a political song, and won. A lot of people especially Russians were upset.The Russians, naturally because the song was in large part about their historical atrocities during and after WW2; denial is part of their unofficial national motto. They were every bit as brutal as the Nazi’s and continue with their brutality and social backwardness today.
The 1950s in America with racial apartheid still standing by law in the South and in practice everywhere else. And along came Chuck Berry, a black man from Missouri ,singing, playing and throwing his body around. Mashing up white people country music with black people blues music and ramming it through a screaming electric guitar. The kids all wanted to dance to it. A change was gonna come. He sang about white women and “brown eyed men”.He touched on police harassment, Jackie Robinson and a bunch more in one powerful, cool rock n roll song.His music lives on. Those musicians who just want to be remembered by just their love songs,when the country needs them most, just stuff them.
This age limit bill has obviously got everyone split down the middle.The Police on the side of the ‘Tugikwatako'(president and some NRM MPs), and against the Togikwatako. In the past three weeks I’ve seen some really disheartening venomous anger and aggression from people on nearly every side of the political divide. I can say for myself I am just a little taken aback by the aggression I’ve been seeing in normally innocuous places, like the shooting dead of a young man in Rukungiri a few days ago.It’s just sad and draining. Also just look at the awful things people are saying to each other online,and it will only get worse when Museveni introduces the Land Bill that is widely believed to be part of his land grab scheme. When I look at this picture I worry about the future, I see an indictment of the entire system and how divisive it has become. Also we got to remember tension is extremely high because majority of Ugandans are clearly fed up with Museveni.
Anyway, People are venting but hatred is never the answer. Peace should always be the main goal in the long run as cliche as that sounds. Now I’m going to go listen to Bobi Wine’s song, ‘Uganda’. I wish you people could see my moves!
Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba