It’s a Friday and I know most of you are having fun wherever you are, since in the evening most roads will be leading to Lugogo for the Jamaican showcase which is good to support Artists.
I want us to ask ourselves one question. Why have we failed to fully support our own Ugandan Artists? These I mean the ones at home and those abroad.
When I mention support our own Artists, one may say; ‘but we have always supported our own’ true, you have but not fully backed them up.
When an Artist wants to launch an album here or may be they want to have a concert, the first thing that they think of is the sponsorship, venue, how tickets will be sold and whether the fans will show up. We have all seen these launches and concerts and we all know what happens there.
The Artist works hard and spends sleepless nights trying to refine his or her minerals, he or she goes ahead to incur all the various production, mixing and mastering costs…. at the end of the day when they organize an event to showcase expecting support of all kinds, all they receive are lots of phone calls requesting for free tickets to come through and support.
Let us look into the venues that our local Artists here use compared to those hired for the International Artists. For International artist, those doing the promotion in most cases our own Ugandans tend to have lots of hope in them (international artist) and thus feel they fill the venue that they have in mind. With that in mind they go ahead to book huge spaces like Lugogo Cricket Oval but when it comes to our own Artists launches and concerts, the best they can afford for them include, in Kampala; Serena Hotel Kampala, Hotel African, Kyadondo and Kampala Rugby Club, Jazz Ville Bugolobi, Kampala Sheraton Hotel, Gatomato, Mish Mash, Kati Kati, theaters and other expensive spaces. These are for renown artist who are believed to have a huge fun base, a professional manager and a successful events promoters.
When it comes to other Artists who are greatly talented yet labeled by society as “underground”, they can’t afford such spaces so they either forget about launching and having concerts for their fans. They end up acting as curtain raisers for other “big” Artists’ or find small spaces where they can showcase to those that love and appreciate what they do.
With that i ask. What happened to Cricket Oval, Namboole, Nakivubo and other huge spaces?
To me I think it is us that are causing this, because we have totally failed to fully support our own indigenous Artists. We have failed to support they organized events to the extent that some have flopped and to make matters worse, some people have gone ahead to laugh at them forgetting that if you deliberately refuse to support them, you are only hindering the growth and development of the Music Industry in Uganda.
Still when these huge spaces are mentioned, one may say; ‘I have seen Artists play at Cricket Oval, Namboole or Nakivubo’, yes you did but we are now not talking about an Artist irrespective of their size being curtain raisers for some International act(s), them playing at a Festival or holding national day prayers.
We are talking about our own Artist organizing launches at Cricket Oval or Namboole and have you fight to buy tickets, fill up the entire space to show them support, love and appreciation of their music.
I am sure as the day ends today, many are going to present excuses to their bosses and others will escape from their work stations all in the names of rushing to support the two Jamaican artists that will be playing tonight, something that is hard when it comes to supporting our own Artists here.
If it’s a local Artist’s event, we take our time and show up at times when the show is about to end and others begin to complain plus others wasted time trying to beg for free tickets.
So as we have our own Artists’ concerts like Big Size for Bebe Cool, I want who ever reads this today to keep their eyes open and their ears to the ground to see if people will be fighting to enter as they are to do today at Cricket Oval, or even they will be rushing to book tickets. Or even if people will be plotting to escape from work to go and fully support. Then if some will go an extra mile and buy new designer clothes as it done for international artists.
Allow me to end here by saying; Charity begins at home but it doesn’t end there. Support all your indigenous Artists irrespective of size. Go enjoy today evening. I, myself will be there but and I repeat. Though i will also be at our local Artist events.
For the events promoters and managers, your task is to start booking such huge spaces for our Artists to showcase individually because they have the talent, support and potential. We shouldn’t judge or even undermine them.
©Slim Emcee (UG) the poet
This article belongs to Slim Emcee the Poet. He wanted his message about Ugandan Culture and Talent passed on to every one, and i offered my blog. Hope you have learnt some thing from him.
2 thoughts on “Why International Artists and not your own indigenous ones?”
I think you raise valid points however as you state charity begins at home…do existing artists within Uganda have solidarity among themselves that enables them to be supportive of each other’s talent or skills? And if they do, what rule of measurement is used to admit aspirants to “select clubs” of these artists? Have they come together to open recording studios, talent shows, performing art schools etc?
I think if you fail to invest in others that are pursuing similar goals in your field, opting to be a big fish in a small pond, this is what will result. You will perpetuate the ignorance of thinking the grass is greener on the other side, undermining your own patch in the process.
It’s a sad story to read this but let’s hope for the better