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I was seated right next to Lucky Dube (RIP) at the official press conference when he uttered these words on his first visit here in 1995. “Music Associations are for failures”, he firmly said.

At the time, I was a paid up member of Musicians Club 89, and it was my Kojja, a founding member and Musician, who stood up to ask Lucky Dube what his views were on Music Associations.

Lucky went on about this in anger, literally, for about three minutes, totally discrediting Music Associations as cartels of failed Musicians.

In the video above, Mwami Alex Mukulu, an Arts veteran, shares the same view. He rather strongly states his position, and I agree with him for the most part.

I don’t believe in institutionalizing Art, nor Spirituality neither. It’s folly, and yet, Ugandan Entertainers laid and fell in this trap they made themselves, that we’re all complaining about.

In 2005 when brother Wesa Kawesa was forming the Music Forum, I told him the same thing. I told him it just won’t work. History has vindicated me.

The day the word SACCO entered the ears of Entertainment industry people here, all hell broke loose! This is when many forgot what being an Artist means, and focused on creating associations.

Two years ago, some prominent Musicians who I won’t mention, called me several times asking me to be a part of the group that was to meet the government. I refused.

One day, an ex-Minister and MP asked his secretary to summon me, literally, for a meeting. Summon me? I was vexed!

When I wasn’t budging, her boss called me personally. I still didn’t go. I must add, none of them were members of the Arts fraternity.

Here’s the thing; we have Teachers Associations, Medical, Taxi Drivers, Boda Drivers etc, associations.

All these have RULES, REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES, registered with the State! They have emblems, logos, anthems even uniforms for some.

How do you as a creative Artist, think you can fit in such State like structures? Once you form and register an Association, you’re laying a trap for yourselves.

Let’s be honest; Entertainers here PUBLICLY formed associations, all with an eye on getting State funds. Cue the infighting!

These became camps with lots of divisions, from who does what, to the extent of asking each other who was an Artist and who wasn’t!

Brothers and sisters, the chickens have come home to roost.

You decided to dance the Tango and be ‘romanced’ by the State, now here we are; the laws of the State are knocking on the door.

You cannot dress a creative Artist in a one size fits all uniform.

With an eye on SACCO money from the State, you formed Associations, some of which had several meetings with the State. It’s time to wear the uniform folks.

Nnaalumanya ne Ssaalumanya are now all bound to pay the price.

A marriage between the State and the Arts industry doesn’t exist anywhere, coz it’ll never work.

Real/Creative Artists are not conformist, by design.

For while the State will always try to keep them “onside”, Creative Artists are almost always “offside”.

All those who created associations “on behalf” of Musicians/Artists because you wanted to “okusaka” State funds, these incoming laws are your babies.

Well done. ????



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Written by TShaka Mayanja (0)

Called To Serve. Develop. Support. Promote. Produce. Lift. Live Music.☥?☥☥✊?☥.
Head Funkmaster at BlackRoots Unlimited & The Roots Warriors Of Nnalubaale

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