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Ugandans: Musicians Are Not Paid To Fight Your Battles, That’s Your Role As Citizens



By Ian Ortega

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In the past days, I have lost my cool about Ugandans and their self-entitlement. Entitlement that someone is coming to save them, entitlement that it is someone’s role to deliver them to the promised land.

This entitlement is seen when the first media they run to in case of any injustice is the Western media. Whether this is a sign of weakness, one can’t tell.

Yet I am of the view that if Ugandans cannot fight for themselves, then they deserve to stay in that state.

It is not the responsibility of any external actors to solve the issues in Uganda. It is not the duty of Ugandan musicians and entertainers to fight our battles in Uganda, if there’s anything wrong with Uganda it must be solved by Ugandans.

If one feels oppressed, it is up to them to fight against the oppression.

Nowhere in History did we read about men like Hannibal asking for help from other nations in order to defeat the Romans. Nowhere did we read about President Kagame crying out to Rwandan musicians to help end the genocide. Nowhere did we hear about President Museveni complaining about musicians that frequented Obote or Idi Amin’s musical celebrations. They understood that it’s up to the oppressed to take care of their problems.

We pay our musicians to sing, we don’t pay them to take up our political struggles. If we can’t afford them, let them go to the side that can afford them.

Musicians pose for a group photo with the President at Tubonga Nawe dinner

Musicians pose for a group photo with the President at Tubonga Nawe dinner

Let’s stop piling our failures in improving Uganda on our musicians. If we feel there’s a gap that’s been left by our musicians, it is up to us to fill that gap.

Yet the entitlement of an average Ugandan and their armchair criticisms has seen them think that they deserve to stay in their comfort zones while someone else bears the cost of taking them to the promised land.

If the musicians think everything is okay, why do we expect them to fight for those of you who think things are not okay.

Let’s cut the musicians some slack. They have a right to go to any side that their hearts lead them to, whether by choice or for monetary gains.

If we think it’s the role of Musicians to save us, then we don’t deserve to be saved. Freedom whose price we are not willing to pay for is undeserving of those who ask for it.

If we can’t take individual responsibility for changing Uganda for the better, we have no right to throw a comment about the individual decisions of musicians exercising their democratic rights.

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