Vision Group, in association with Twaweza Initiative and Buzz Events, is seeking to recognise artistes whose compositions advance society. Today, Andrew Masinde profiles Juliet Meme, whose music is spirituallyuplifting and advocates for the recognition of mothers
Listening to the lyrics of the songs by Juliet Meme, one cannot help, but surrender their lives to God. The songs are also educative and entertaining. One such song is Mama Wange, which reminds everyone about a mother’s unconditional love. Ivan John, a radio producer, says: “When I played this song for the first time, people started requesting for it. Many kept asking for the person who composed it.
This showed the song had a tremendous impact on the people. As for me, I have learnt to respect my mother and I want to also teach my children especially the girls, to be responsible.” Inspiration for ‘Mama Wange’ Meme says her father passed away away when she was young.
The responsibility of raising them fell on her mother’s shoulders. They were six children. “She would tell us not to pity ourselves although we were orphans, but to always put our trust in God,” Meme says. Despite being poor, Meme’s mother struggled to ensure all the children led a good life. “Our mother would do jobs that other people underlooked. She never gave us up for adoption.
She made sure we had all we needed and today she is our heroine,” Meme says. Her mother also taught Meme and her siblings to be hardworking, never to despise jobs and always respect people. Mama Wange highlights mothers, who, despite being poverty-stricken, bring up their children well. It also depicts the plight of mothers during pregnancy. Meme advises everyone whose mother protected them against any harm to always respect them
.The song also focuses on how mothers are willing to give up a good life for the sake of their children. Meme calls for the recognition of mothers. “When I perform Mama Wange at events, everyone dances to it. Mothers also approach and thank me for it because it shows the contribution they have made in the lives of their children,” Meme adds.
Who is Meme?
The fourth born of six children, Meme, 24, grew up in Nansana, Wakiso district. Meme attended Good Hope Primary School Namungoona, Standard High School Kapeeka, Namungoona Parents School and Lunar International College Kamuli. After Senior Six, Meme was admitted to Makerere University on government sponsorship. She is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in leisure and hospitality management. “When you trust God, He can give you wisdom, despite the situation at home.
I used to be brilliant in class, which won me scholarships, in all the schools I went to,” she says.
Meme says her interest in music started in Sunday school, where she would lead songs. She remembers people would shower her with gifts.
Meme used to attract so much attention on speech days and at churches that she was prompted to realise her talent. “People would praise my voice a lot, so when I grew up, I prayed to God to teach me how to compose songs. I soon started composing songs.
During my Senior Six vacation in 2009, I recorded my first song, Njagala Obeere Mukwano Gwange.” In the song, Meme was asking God to be her friend to learn from Him all that she did not know. The song got positive reviews. “This proved to me that I could make a good musician.
Getting accepted as a musician is hard, but I managed to win the public’s support. This motivated me to continue with music. I have two albums and many audio songs that I am soon recording,” Meme says.
In Tokowa Kuyamba Bantu, Meme calls on people to continue helping others because it is through helping that one gets blessings.
Meme adds that you never know the person you have helped will be of help to you or your children when you are gone. Her song, Tolinga Bano Bano, examines people’s character. Unlike God, people do not always mean what they say, she says. In the song, Berengawo, Meme asks God to be there in tough times, good times and all conditions that man thinks are impossible.
Mwagala Nnyo is meant for introduction ceremonies. Meme talks about the man she has found, saying she did enough research on him with God’s guidance and asks her parents to accept him.
Nyikira Osabe (pray unceasingly) highlights the power of prayer. In Yono, she appreciates her mother for raising her. Olubuto Kyoto asks the masses to surrender to God, who has the power to satisfy human beings
INSPIRED BY MEME'S SONGS
Paul Senoga, a radio presenter
Whenever I play her music, I get many calls from people thanking her for her work that changes one spiritually and morally. Mama Wange advocates mothers’ rights
Rajab Kakoza, a computer technician
Meme’s music has changed many things in the country. A lot of immoral songs are played today. However, Meme’s are different. Her songs are educative. When you listen to them, you cannot continue engaging in immoral behaviour
Faith Namubiru, a student
Meme’s song, Mama Wange, inspires me. It taught me how to love my mother. I know that one day if I am not a good mother, no one, especially my children, will respect me.
Ivan John, a radio producer
The country is suffering because people have turned away from God. Meme’s songs are what Uganda needs if the country is to change for the better.
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