In 2013, Radio and Weasel were nominated for the BET Awards, and Ugandans celebrated the nomination. Some radios (read urban radios, too cool for local) were picking up their music for the very first time.
One radio however did not, a presenter on that radio said they will not play bad music simply because it got a token nomination.
That day, the two presenters of that radio played at least two songs of the songs that had been nominated alongside Radio and Weasel, one from Ghana and another one from Nigeria but not the local duo.
At the time, the music scene was divided, some local radios were selective with the kind of local music they played. For instance, even when it’s almost impossible to pick typical Ugandan Rhythm and Blues songs, some radios claimed their system only allows RnB, Soul and thus Ugandan songs had to fit the bill to get airplay. Most of the time these stations played Maurice Kirya, a bit of Naava Grey and everything from Nigeria even when it wasn’t RnB or soul.
Other FM stations may not have been direct about their selection of music but they were still very selective in nature.
It was easier for instance catching, for instance, Eddy Kenzo’s music on Dembe FM, Radio Simba or Akaboozi than on a station where they predominantly present in English.
When Eddy Kenzo’s Sitya Loss came out, well, that song was almost shunned by many ‘urban’ radio stations… It just couldn’t fit into the system.
By the way, in my experience, that system couldn’t allow Afrie and Kenneth Mugabi to fit in… Even when many of them could play Naava and Maurice already.
Anyway, fast forward, Bebe Cool releases Love You Everyday, some radios, the ‘urban’ ones played the music, but one of the two radios that preferred RnB did not play Love You Everyday.
When Eddy Kenzo got a BET nomination and later won, I remember a caller asking the presenters to play Sitya Loss, this time they were like they will not play a song because it won over a sympathy vote.
Anyway, it is 2023, and almost all Ugandan radios play one kind of music, Nigerian music… That’s whether it’s even RnB or Hip Hop… But it’s rarely any of the two.
The radio that couldn’t play both Radio and Weasel and Eddy Kenzo, that radio played Rock and Roll and all other things, they drew the line when it was a popular Ugandan song…
One of their presenters even had a nickname, Yori Yori…after the Nigerian song…
Well Touch FM closed shop if you want to know, we don’t know what the group that did Yori Yori is up to or the presenter named after it… But we know Eddy Kenzo is a Grammy nominee.
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