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Mugula's music inspires rich and poor alikePublish Date: Dec 16, 2013
Mugula's music inspires rich and poor alike
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Vision Group, in association with Twaweza Initiative and Buzz Events,is seeking to recognise artistes whose compositions advance society. Today, Bright Balinaine brings you how Dan Mugula's music influences society.

Our differences in social status always pull us towards a particular group of people with whom we share similar views about the world and can,therefore, understand us better.

Dan Mugula’s song Abagaga Bantumye presents issues that both the rich and the poor people face in association with each other, especially in communities where either of the two classes is the minority.

Mugula one of the popular and long-serving kadongo kamu artistes, applauds himself for being the fi rst Ugandan musician to record a song that expresses how the rich and the poor people feel towards each other as a tool to build a good relationship between the two classes.

Mugula ventured into music fi ve years before he released his fi rst album titled Enkomelelo in 1968 that put him on the music scene, and he has not looked back since then.

However, his 2010 hit Abagaga Bantumye, casually translated to mean ‘message from the rich people’, is the greatest current release that is loved by every class of people.

It sends a powerful message to all of us to live in harmony with each other, avoid jealousy and work together as a team.
In the song, Mugula says, “the poor should not lose hope”, but instead look at poverty as an opportunity for them to work harder.

He further adds that, “no one was born rich or poor” and that “all rich people worked hard except a few of them who inherit the riches,” yet they also have to maintain it.

While some people think that, Mugula was used as an emissary to deliver the message, according to him, the meaning is derived from his personal observations on society.

Mugula explains how confl icts and separations come about in the society due to differences in social classes.

For example, in the song, Mugula highlights a poor man who borrowed the rich man’s vehicle, and also asked the rich man to fuel it for him, the request he rejected and that caused hatred.

The song also talks about laziness and cites the biblical example in Mathew 25:28, which states that, those who are lazy and hate work, even the little they have will be taken away from them.

It is by God’s will that I and you are what we are, but not by mistake, he adds.

Who is Mugula?
Mugula was born in July 1946 to the late Eresania Kaggwa and Yunia Nabatanzi with four siblings, Mugula being the fourth child. Due to financial constraints, Mugula did not go far with education, but only went as far as Primary Seven.

After he dropped out of school, Mugula moved to Kampala to look for any source of income. However , a career in music was
top on his priority list since he believed he was talented enough.

Alhough he did not have any external support, Mugula was so determined and hopeful to take his music career a step ahead.

Just like most musicians, Mugula started  his music career by singing in bars and restaurants. Through this, he earned enough to record his music albums, which he only did from Nairobi, Kenya because they were no recording studios in Uganda until in the late 1980s.

Other songs and inspiration
Though uncertain about the number of music albums he has produced, most of his songs have inspirational messages.

His song titled Enkomelelo, one of the oldest advises the followers to love and believe in God because he is the only one with ultimate authority about one’s life and no human being has authority on one’s life.

It also prepares believers for judgment day. His song Nvako Ndimufumbo that talks about marriage and adultery is another
knockout that builds faith, trust and love among married couples ,where he explains how important love is in marriage.

Omulimo Ogumu, according to Mugula, has various lessons for everyone to learn. At 67, and with countless albums under his
name, Mugula seems to be more vigorous and hopes to change his genre of music to suit the current trend so as to beat the stiff competition.

Marriage and family
Although he did not disclose the name of his wife and number of children he has, Mugula is a husband and a father.

However, he spends much of his time in the village with his family and only comes to Kampala once in a while for music concerts and other business.

Just like any other careers, Mugula has faced numerous challenges.

Mugula says changes in various aspects of life have made his social life and music career quite hard since he has to involve himself in the contemporary lifestyle to get the best music for his fans.

He also adds that weak laws on music pirating in the country has affected him so much.

“It is the street vendors who earn from our music because they freely reproduce and sell them without no one to censure them,” he laments.

Patrick Kyiika, 30, a boda boda cyclist I am inspired by his songs, especially Abagaga Bantumye. It encourages me to
be hardworking and also live a good life.

David Masaba, 48, an electrician  The song is good because it preaches unity among people. I and my wife play it
whenever we have misunderstandings.

Joy Ndimuboona, 28, a street vendor Abagaga Bantumye is a message that lazy and jealousy people ought to change their behaviour.

James Nyombi, 45, a taxi driver I believe Abagaga Bantumye has influenced many people, especially those who take
time to listen to the lyrics.

To Nominate

Write to features@newvision.co.ug You can also nominate via SMS type MUSIC (leave space) name of artiste (space) song and send to 8338. Alternatively, write to the Features Editor, P.O. Box 9815, Kampala or drop your nominations at any of the Vision Group bureau offices countrywide. Nominations close on January 15, 2014

To qualify for nomination, the musician should meet the following requirements;
❑ Be Ugandan
❑ The composition must be original and not pirated
❑ Have innovatively used their musical composition to convey deliberate messages advocating for positive change
❑ Have used their music to mobilise the masses to demand for accountability or for a community cause.
❑ Used their music to highlight societal ills like corruption, poor governance, poor service delivery, oppression and human rights abuses.


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New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

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