CategoryMusic

“We Are With You” – Musicians and the 2016 general elections in Uganda, by Nanna Schneidermann

In Uganda, the campaigns for the 2016 elections are on. On the 16th of October president Yoweri K. Museveni was the guest of honor at a dinner party comprising of a dozen of the country’s most popular singers, as they revealed their song Tubonga Nawe (luganda for We Are With You) supporting the president and his party The National Resistance Movement (NRM) for another term. Amidst intense press coverage, the president also donated 400 million shillings to a fund to promote the development of the music industry.

The song has sparked passionate discussions about the proper relationship between politics and popular music among media elite, the aspiring urban cool, as well as on the streets of Kampala. Are popular musicians obligated to praise the political elite? Or do they have a special responsibility to protest injustice because of their popularity? Continue reading

Introducing Malitia Malimob: Rap music and the less glamorous stories of African migration to the United States (Guest post by Boima Tucker)

The new “Africa Rising” narrative propagated largely by a globally-connected middle and upper class diaspora, often obscures the grittier stories of the African immigrant experience. This is partly due to an instinct among African immigrants to want to counter the history of one-dimensional and negative portrayals of both Africa and immigrants in the mainstream Western media. While it’s understandable that they’d want to shy away from being associated with crime, fraud, war, lack of employment, social welfare, or some other scourge that the West associates with immigrants and Africa, the struggle that most Africans immigrants go through is real, and sometimes the less glamorous stories of global migration are the ones that most need to be told: Continue reading

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