Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lessons from Ugandan pop

No matter what the powers up there say, history is and will always be important. It is because of history that great people are remembered. In many cases, they are great because they studied history and learnt from the exploits of icons long gone. History is what will get us as much love and money as great icons like Chameleon and Titi.

Of course they are great icons. They are known all over the world and yet you…who knows you? These are international stars. Mark the word international. They get invited to perform at concerts in the UK and Rwanda. That is big. When they tell you they are driving Shs. 400m cars, can you dispute that?

That is why we have to listen with rapt attention when our stars get on stage or on our TV and start giving us our lesson on the Late Show. What with all the wisdom freely dispensed in the lyrics we hear! One day, you are being told to get off your lazy behind and build your own house by the distinguished academic, Ragga Dee and the next, you are being told to go one further in your chemistry by one lady screaming to prove to the world that a human being can actually fit in a bottle. I think it is physics, though.

Money is and will always be a darling. One singer is not about to break the Omerta by telling us where he gets his money but he will gladly laugh at our attempts to guess. He will castigate his detractors as bataasoma and tell it on the mountain. But at least there is a lesson after all. After he has spent his frustrations on the haters, he will croon again about the merits of hard work. Of course he sings it in Luganda but to paraphrase, “I am making a lot of money. If you want to talk about it, come out here in the open where I can see you. I’ma break your head and after that, I’ma put it in the fridge and it’ll get so frozen, the dog wont want to eat it.” Paraphrasing.

Then of course there are always those teachers whose purpose will forever be lost on you. You remember them, the guys who would come at the weirdest times in the day and give a test. They never really try to explain themselves and they don’t care if you take their advice or not. These are the guys who come to class and say unintelligible things like bam badam badam beee…burn dem down. You just bit your tongue? I feel your pain. Trust me, there are educators who say stuff like that.

I guess they also don’t know what they mean but since they are the teachers, they have the right to take us to Rome and back. They usually crown their performances at the front of the class with fisticuffs and wild swear words all perfectly choreographed to look like a fight. They might even come away screaming that they’ve been stabbed but on closer inspection, you might find that it is a faint scratch that even the camera cannot see.

Usually, after a hectic day of physics or chemistry in the hot sun, we are given a break of sorts. The teachers who come in at this time are happy go lucky and we love them for their antics. They usually tell us to recite nursery rhymes like sipolingi and ekimbeewo. They are serious professionals, by the way so don’t let the clown outfits and little girl hair dos fool you.

When I grow up, I am going to be Eddie Mpagi. I want to ride on a bike with a fly chick. That way, I can get all the guys whose music I produce and tell them to shake their bodies like they are dancing. Plus of course, I want to sing about bikes without the public coming up with its own double entendres. If that fails, I want to be Kid Fox; singing about love is a good feeling.


Blogger Degstar said...

dude, you forgot to menshaan the trainee teachers who believe our classmates wanna sleep with them coz they're in a teacher's union that cant spell its own name properly. or the sort of teachers who only know how to teach one topic. and the ones who should chill teaching and go back to being teaching assistants. and the ones who think animated explanantions are a substitute for actual teaching content. and the one who forgot her humble roots in the Grade 3 PTC and now feels she's a University don. ate the one who dont be getting credit for his mad talent with the theorems.

man, i could go on an on if somebody dont choose for me to chill out

3:33 AM  
Blogger savage said...

Up to now, I am still surprised how Bobi Wine is that famous and loaded.

At the begining of 2001,a friend,Mark Charles Mawnje was Entertainment Minister for Livingstone hall and he asked me to help him organize the AFROSTONE SHOW '01.
Some scruffy looking dude comes up and tries to "wow" us with his works and we were'nt terribly impressed.That dude was the future Bobi Wine.
His original work, depressed us,but since we desperately wanted acts to fill the bill,we let him slide through the cracks with a mime.
At the time when even your grand moms could perfectly sing along to "It wasn't me" By Shaggy,here was Bobi Wine faltering with the wrong lyrics.
I swear to God I have the Video of that.

Perhaps, if I had also kept keeping on with that whole performer thingy, I would probly be making funny money too and living it up.

8:19 AM  
Blogger jkb said...

Prove it Savage, Prove it. That video should own a spot on your blog men...clip it. By the way, when Ugandan, Burundian and Rwandese communities throw boat cruise parties, we go Chameleone, wakina Bobby Wine, Ragga Dee, Bebe Cool, Ngoni et al. That stuff rocks despite shortcomings in relics.

8:35 AM  
Blogger ish said...

i think our school of pop is great! i've actually learned a lot, like that one teacher taught me that those of jealousy are many, but mother i am there! invaluable life lesson!

12:10 PM  
Blogger savage said...

jkb, the hassle of uploading that video on my blog is too much.Remember for me to do anything, the benefits must far outweigh the effort. This is not the case here.

The video is still in VHS PAL format, I don't even own a VCR anymore. So there is converting,ripping, encoding.
That's too much work. Besides I don't get overtime for that.

8:53 AM  
Blogger CountryBoyi said...

wen i joined blogsphere, it was 2 learn e art & craft of writin. u see, not many people can express themselves as creatively as lovely amphibian, if we r 2 go by this post. u think blockheads [4 e heck of it] are hasslin 2 comment coz they want 2? no, tommy! they hv bin hooked by e creativity, relevancy, simplicity & of course e flow of 'lessons from Ugandan pop!' bigups 2 e author!

3:31 AM  
Blogger Degstar said...

u shoulda stayed on stage man, ur game was tight! u used to rock Mwiri Dining Hall like Lenny Kravitz on Red Bull during those Mpala shows.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

lovely post LA.
Savage, people do get there act together, which is what Bobi Wine did. He stopped imitating and started doing his own thang.

1:10 AM  
Blogger savage said...

@ Degstar-I guess eventually some day I will hit the studio-Only if I can get Benon to help me on that with his smooth vocal touch.That boy is the best.

Otherwise for now, it's much more satisfying for me to make fun of Ugandan musicians.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Lovely Amphibian said...

@ Deg, i always wondered why those guys in Manchester kept on sending thier trainee teachers, kids with no clue whatesover what they were to find in Ug. they kept on goofing and making news all over school. remeind me of our superstars.

@Savage, man, i completely agree with Degstar. You rocked. you were a legend before your time and you never stuck around to enjoy your time. get back on stage already.

@ Inktus. for a moment, i didnt understand your comment. i now do. ha ha ha. and i mean that. can u imagine? that is a very popular song? anyway, Ragga Dee has been singing inane lyrics for decades and e's gotten away with it.

@ deninnism. thanx dude. that is really cool of you.

5:33 AM  
Blogger baz said...


4:37 AM  
Blogger baz said...

Sorry. I meant to say: Savage is a certified hata now. Bobi Wine rulez, bada.

However, I would like to know who LA thinks sucks. I mean come out and say it like Tupac.

4:43 AM  
Blogger savage said...

They say the first impression is the lasting impression.I wasn't too impressed with Bobi wine first time I saw him.Probably he is the real deal now, but I just can't get past my first experience with him.

What's that stuff dude belches out at the beginning of his songs?

Hey my peoples, I like people like Mega Dee,Ngoni,Sweet Kid, Titan and Benon n Vamposs.

I will just let that bada bandwagon pass me by.

Hateration keeps me going and going.Get some in your system!

1:26 PM  

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