Artistes should produce music with responsibility

Friday September 25 2020
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Carol N Mukisa

By Carol N Mukisa

Busy doing my house chores on a Saturday morning, I heard my five-year-old daughter sing, ‘Abasajja mwena mufaanagana I don’t know why, ebintu byamwe byakulimbilila you are so so bad...’ (literally meaning ‘all men are the same, they will always use lies in their accomplishments and with emphasis, the singer insists that men are ‘so so’ bad!

 I halted whatever I was doing to ponder about the fact that my little daughter’s mind was already corrupted by such propaganda. 

It is absurd to note that while the singer was perhaps singing about a personal experience, it however, does not necessarily render all men to be as horrible as depicted in the song! 

Well, I immediately halted my work and subjected the little girl to counselling and guiding sessions to reverse the misleading information. 
Music has the power to culturally, morally and emotionally influence society, just like writings, and any message released through the media. 

So, the more intentional we become with the sounds, messages and moods we create and release through our music, the more powerful we will become in making deep positive impacts, and the reverse is also true. 

We cannot run away from the fact that musicians or celebrities have the power and authority to influence the world whether they are aware of it or not.
And the messages they release through their art, create a direct impact to the listeners in powerful ways. This is especially true with the youth and adolescents given their nature of malleability.

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Therefore,  it is vital to recheck and scrutinise the kind of message to be put out there through the songs we sing. 
The influence of music does not only stop at the social scene as it has a huge political influence as well. Music plays a key element in communicating and defining the political institutions of the world.  We saw the late Ugandan musician Lucky Dube’s reggae songs such as Freedom promote civilisation, activism and human rights issues in society. 

It is not news that it is mostly Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine’s music that contributed a lot to his journey to the national Parliament. 
So basically, music has always been a medium with which to challenge and appreciate the establishment, besides being a good tool for mobilisation. 

The same ground birthed songs such asTubonga naawe,  Toka kwa Barabara’ and  Tuliyambala Engule.
Recently, a feminist dragged local musician Fik Fameica to court over My Woman My Property song she believes demeans, undermines and discriminates against women and girls in Uganda. I actually concur with the plaintiff because the song indeed reduces womanhood to mere property! 

Another song that got many moralists raise their eyebrows is Munda awo’by B2C. I won’t start on this one, at least not today. So, this is a kind reminder to all artistes out there that music should not only be used to express their personal feelings. The impact of the message to be conveyed out there must also be put into consideration. 

The leadership fraternity of the music and art industry should also realise that art and music are basic human functions and so take up the responsibility of controlling whatever is to be played out there. Doing so will definitely check the release of sexually explicit kind of songs. 

Ms Carol Nyangoma Mukisa is a social analyst and CEO Warm Hearts Foundation. Carol Mukisa <cnyangoma.22@gmail.com>

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