Vision Group, in association with Twaweza Initiative and Buzz Events, is seeking to recognise artistes whose compositions advance society. Today, Abdulkarim Ssengendo profiles the Akayo Singers, who are on a campaign to rid the country of society evils
In 2012, the Akayo Singers composed a song titled Omurembe, literally meaning this generation. “We composed this song due to the excess freedom among the youth today and how they misused it. We are calling for a revival and behavioural change among families and the youth,” says Anita Kyomuhendo, the group matron.
The song also exposes societal ills such as child sacrifice, corruption, immorality, homosexuality and indecent dressing and mobilises the masses to shun the vices, fear God and desist from adopting every foreign culture without understanding its roots.
The Akayo Singers’ Tusingwiire song focuses on family life. “In composing this song, we knew that if a couple or family emerges victorious, they must have jumped some hurdles. They should reflect on this triumph,” says Deborah Mwesigye, the music director.
The Akayo Singers’ song, Nikwobiri, is also about family. “This song talks about how most families are struggling with teenagers who adopt foreign cultures. Many children in Uganda no longer respect their parents or old people,” says Kyomuhendo. The Akayo Singers also had a drama series, Taryanguzi, that used to run on TV West between 2011 and 2012. It depicted the evils in society, especially corruption and showed that the vice can end. “A good thing has a good ending and sinister motives have bad endings,” says Michael Taremwa, the drama director.
Who are the Akayo Singers?
Akayo stands for Ankore Kigezi Adventist Youth Organisation. The group is engaged in outreach ministry through music, visitations, retreats, drama both live and on TV, camp meetings and evangelistic meetings.
The Akayo Singers also perform at weddings, thanksgivings, baptisms, house warmings, graduations, funerals, church and at music galas/ concerts. In August 2013, the Akayo Singers went to Nakuru, Kenya, for a oneweek gospel retreat at the invitation of the Kiamunyi Seventh Day Adventist Church.They also train other artists at a fee in song writing and group/team management.
The Akayo Singers have only shot 27 videos yet they have 90 songs. Due to lack of sponsorship, their drama series, Taryanguzi, which used to show on TV West ended.
They also lack a camera and studio equipment such as computers. The group at times have to hire cameras when shooting videos, which is expensive. They had established an office in Mbarara town in 2009, but closed it in 2012 due to lack of enough funds. The office was helping them to coordinate their work well.
The Akayo Singers in a local drama on domestic violence at Nyakitunda in Isingiro district in July 2013
INSPIRED BY THE AYAKO SINGER'S SONGS
Although there are ups and downs in our families, Tusingwiire has a strong message that one day we will get over them and will be happy forever and ever.
Tusingwiire inspires, encourages and nurtures respect in families. The song also talks of heaven, which everyone dreams about. All their other songs have messages, which I like. May God bless them
I thank the Akayo Singers for their good work. I have learnt many things from their songs. They should keep it up and God bless them
I love their inspirational songs and the way they perform them. May God bless them richly in their ministry
I learnt to be faithful to the Lord from the song Tusingwiire, while from Omurembe, I learnt to dress decently because my body is God’s temple. I encourage the Akayo Singers to have more spiritual and moral lessons in their music.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org 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