President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) -- pledged to support musicians by giving them funds and equipment to uplift their talents. The President, who was in the company of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, made the commitment on Saturday while officiating at the launch of the 'Museveni Awooma' music album at a colorful event held at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala. The album launch was organised by singer Munamasaka Emma Nsereko.
“I want to congratulate Munamasaka for using his music talent to promote NRM and development. I first saw Munamasaka in the Mukono area, he was singing these indigenous songs and I liked them so much. He was using the indigenous tunes but putting in new messages and this is what we used to do in the bush; this is how we used to mobilize our people; using the Bakisimba and Nankasa tunes,” he said.
“I want to congratulate Munamasaka and I couldn't miss coming. I had a visitor, the President of Sudan but I had to come to support Munamasaka. I want to thank him and the other musicians for singing well and we are going to support them by giving them funds and equipment,” President Museveni promised.
The President further revealed that he will call for a meeting with musicians so that they can agree on setting up a common user facility that will benefit all of them. “In fact, we have started to support some but what I don't know is why they cannot work together because a studio can be owned by all of you, not necessarily by one person. Like the Muzukulu here, she was saying that she wants to record her songs which are very good. That is not a problem, we should have a studio where you go and pay a little fee and they record a song for you.”
The President also asserted that he will help the artists to ensure that the copyright law materialises. “It will help you to safeguard your music and benefit from it because if you compose a song, it should be registered so that nobody can steal it,” President Museveni emphasised.
"I'm very happy with the talent of singing by our youth including Munamasaka and others; go ahead we shall support you," he reiterated.
However, the President advised the musicians not to rely only on singing if they want to create wealth.
“We shall have some singers, others will be actors/actresses but you must do other things and as I told you there are four sectors of the economy; this one of singing is in the service sector which include sub-sectors like music, drama, transport, hospitality, salons, the medical treatment, accounting and auditing, preaching. Those are all in the service sector,” he explained.
“You cannot do music or drama if you don't have what to eat. That is how we go to the sector of agriculture, livestock and fisheries. Some of the Bazukulu must be in that sector of agriculture because if we don't do that and we stay only in service then that means we shall begin to import food from outside and that will be very difficult and yet we have got a good possibility of agriculture. The third sector is industries both big and small. The fourth one is ICT. That one there you can be here in Kampala and do what we call Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) with companies in Canada on the internet and earn some good money.”
President Museveni emphasised that each adult Ugandan must make sure that he/she belongs somewhere in the four sectors of the economy.
“Munamasaka has set a very good example. He was a teacher, that is already part of the service, but he added singing on the service, so we know his address now in the wealth creation effort. The question now is where are you, where is your address?” he inquired.
On the other hand, Nsereko first thanked the President and the First Lady for honouring his invitation to launch his music album. Additionally, he commended the President for transforming Uganda and supporting talents like him. He revealed that his music is aimed at promoting the good image of the NRM government and to neutralise negative songs that divert Ugandans.
“Mzee, we thank you for your visionary leadership that has transformed Uganda, socially and economically since you came to power in 1986. As the Bazukulu, we are so happy and proud of you,” the musician said.
“Mzee, I have been a singer for some good years and I have managed to achieve this milestone because of you. In 2010, I was introduced to you by Maj. Matovu in Mukono. You gave me financial support and that is how I have been enjoying your great leadership.”
He further thanked the President for donating to him a music recording studio. “I have been using this studio to counter-attack opposition musicians who try to downplay the government's achievements through their music.”
Meanwhile, various artists performed during the music launch that was attended by thousands of revelers. The event was also attended by the Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka, Uganda National Women's Council Chairperson Hajjat Faridah Kibowa and Moses Karangwa, NRM Chairperson Kayunga, among others.