Two years ago musicians in Uganda decided to form an organization that would oversee their activities and give them a uniform voice after they had fallen out with UPRS, a body that had been in place for some years running their issues.
Musicians gave reasons such as failure of UPRS failing to bail them out in case of emergencies, giving them a dividend of their hard earned cash yet it collects annual taxes from them and incompetence of the top leadership.
These held a meeting at National theatre where they formed body named as Uganda Musicians Association (UMA) to be the common umbrella that runs their business and veteran singer Sophie Gombya was appointed the association’s first president deputised by Ykee Benda.
However, Sophie later stepped down in her quest to join active politics and the vacant seat of president was occupied by Ykee Benda and the Farma singer was deputised by female dancehall singer Cindy Sanyu.
However, the Superman singer and Mpaka records CEO Benda stepped down barely a few months into the role. Benda who had to complete Sophie’s tenure and then evaluate if he would stand for his first official tenure cited a number of reasons such as disrespect among fellow artists and betrayal from the former president Sophie Gombya.
Benda who says was undermined by the former president and fellow artistes resigned from the post via Twitter. Sophie on the other turn while appearing on a local TV station denied the allegations by Ykee Benda and said that the only problem is artistes still refer to her as president yet she isn’t anymore, a thing that baffles and irritates the Munna Kampala singer.
Despite all this mess, other artists have not shied away by showing their desire to get hold of the chair that the former two presidents have dumped in just one term since elections are not far from now.
These include veteran local rapper G.N.L Zamba who says that he feels he’s got the experience to propel the music industry forward once he gets hold of this post.
The Baboon Forest CEO who spent the last five years in Hollywood pursuing an acting career while appearing on popular radio talk show ‘Talk n talk’ said that he wants to help musicians earn from their talent and avoid living on hand outs from the government and other well wishers.
The Sesetula rapper added that most musicians in Uganda are still stuck in the eras gone whereby musicians could only earn from performance and are now being affected in times such as these where public gatherings are banned.
He further added that it’s possible for musicians to earn online and this is what he’s going to emphasize once voted into power.
Another high profile musician who has shown interest in the position is the self styled ‘King herself’, Cindy Ssanyu. The boom party singer who has been vice president to Ykee benda and now the acting president has vowed to drive the organization forward once elected into office.
Cindy who had earlier indicated that she had no interest in heading a ceremonial organization with no official powers has rescinded her decision. She said that after consulting with a team of board members, she was advised to pick nomination forms and vie for the vacant seat.
Cindy says that unlike her predecessors who have quit, she won’t quit since she doesn’t know how to quit things since she’s been around the music industry for almost 16 years.
More musicians are still coming out slowly to show their interest in the coveted seat and we shall keep you updated.