For a long time, Juliana Kanyomozi has been the darling of many Ugandans. They have stood with her through the tough times and tribulations she has gone through especially in her private life and also after losing her only son Keron Raphael Kabugo. Her beautiful angelic looks, coupled with the motherly image she has carried through the years endeared many fans across the divide close to her.
She has been an inspiration to many young ladies and an envy of her peers because of the admiration she had won among a cross section of the public for her sober clean outlook. Even those who are not interested in music or following events that transpire in the industry have certain special respect reserved for her which in itself is a rarity not associated with other (female) artistes.
So what exactly went wrong this time round after events in Munyonyo transpired? For those not in the know where do you live? Any way, Juliana and some top artistes including Bebe Cool, Jose Chameleone, Judth Babbirye Radio and weasel among others worked on a project called (song) ‘Tubonga Naawe’ for the ruling NRM and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni which involves campaigning for him. However, things took a nasty turn when the artistes hosted the president to a sumptuous dinner to launch the song at Speke Resort Munyonyo. The colourful ceremony was received with mixed feelings and for Julian’s case outrage after she tried to defend the move.
Museveni talks to the different artistes
FANS FELT BETRAYED
There is usually a special invisible bond between an Icon (celebrity or public figure) and his or her fans and followers that keep them together and this bond is so important and delicate that the stakeholders involved have to play their game right or else, it breaks and usually the loser is the celebrity as the fan has the freedom to move on. This involves decisions the celebrity makes because most of the decisions are no longer his/hers alone. ‘I’ becomes ‘we’
“In this relationship, the fan always feels cheated on when the icon makes a controversial decision say for instance gets married abroad and chooses to stay” A Dr. Anthony a Psychologist explains
For Juliana’s case, it was more painful for the fans as they felt betrayed and ‘cheated on’ especially after she responded with a long Facebook post defending her actions (working with NRM government and President Yoweri Museveni) as well as her constitutional rights of association and human rights to ‘choose what pleases’ her or feels is right for her which in this case made the fans feel left out. The question therefore would be whether our society is patient and tolerant enough to accept other people’s opinions and choices however dear they are? These are some of the views;
Asuman Balaba Kino kikyali kituza, dont take people for granted. a fellow woman is undressed, you just hide your head in the sand. families are dying of hunger in karamoja, your busy druming for sole candidate and pakalast rule. Your fellow artist Mamuli Katumba need 42millions for kidney transplant and he cant raise it, your busy dining with a ruler who has messedup the medical sector, surviving on corruption extra. First blame yourself for the inappropriete decision you took. Its fans who raised you where your, and without them, totally your nothing. customer care is more important in the business you trade in. A better Uganda is in the decisions you take today. Act responsibly the rest will be sorted out.
Jacobs O. Hakim Seaman If you ever have to defend your decision in life, it means you erred and this is one of them. I am no longer a Juliana fan. Will forever remember you as one of those who promoted suffering in Uganda.
Steven Karanja B Then why are you bothered with what we think of you? If you believe in that please don’t explain otherwise your proving your hypocrisy.
Nankya Erios It doesn’t matter whether you’ve phrased the post in a twisty way. The thing is most of us are disappointed in you singers. We are intelligent women as well and we’ve experienced broad daylight bribery between you and M7. Stop manipulating us coz we all know what’s happening but musanze tulaba. We won’t accept to be wooed. Change is needed!. Everything has been destroyed. Go and have a look at Mulago hospital, schools, infrastructure etc. People can’t afford the basic needs nor an everyday decent meal and yr parading with him!. What has he done for the last past 30 yrs for the nation apart from selling everything?!!!. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!.
Francis Ateenyi wrote “Dear Juliana Kanyomozi* (Africa’s No. 2) I did everything to stay out of this but in the end I was overcome. Juliana means so much to some of us. The reality is there is genuine disappointment and anger out there. And I think you should take outrage as a compliment. Ask yourself, why are people not bothered about Weasel, King Saha or even Irene and those other rascals in the video but particularly Juliana and Chameleone? For years you have represented sanity, excellence, objectivity and beauty which it must be said are very scarce in this country. I repeat Sanity, Excellence, Objectivity and Beauty. As a result, you have a fan base across political, religious, cultural, tribal etc divides. From the days of say it to twalina omukwano (and oh tubonge nawe) we have collected every hit of yours because you represent SANITY, EXCELLENCE, OBJECTIVITY and BEAUTY.”
WHAT THE ARTISTES SAID
Julian Kanyomozi who felt unfairly treated said she has the right to work and support any political party and is also ‘human’ just like any other person. Her comment invited a barrage of abuses and harsh responses “Ndi munnauganda nga abalala bonna. It means we all have the same fundamental rights regardless of our positions in society, or political beliefs, or even life experiences. But there’s one thing that brings us together, and thats humanity, obuntu. We are all from the human race. There’s no need to use abusive, disrespectful, judgemental and insensitive language towards each other simply because of our different beliefs.” She said.
The likes of Bebe Cool and Jose Chameleone have since also responded to the outbursts but somehow have not received so much backlash from the public. According to an observer, these artistes are perceived by public as the ‘dirty side’ of the music industry because of the controversies they are involved in on regular basis. And for the case of Bebe Cool, he has always sided with the president anyway and his NRM affiliation is not news.
He claims they had organised the dinner to launch the song and ‘thank the president for the good things he has done’ and that the program was tight hence reason for not discussing artistes concerns.
“In this case we invited him to grace this function so that we could show appreciation, launch a song for him and show him that we are ready to support him during the coming campaigns.” He wrote
From the comments on social media, many concluded he was in it for the money and his message on Facebook seems to confirm as he tells haters to mind their own business
“Do what you want, I am on my way to do what’s me. If you wanted to tell me what’s right one of you should have shown me the way then. Let’s oust ignorance and learn to Critisize positively. You want us to sing on your Graduations, Birthday days, Weddings etc and defy the fact that PRESIDENT MUSEVENI is entitled to the same??? Wake up people. We are respectful to Elders and are entitled to dine with a Father.”
Who did not attend the dinner and declined the invitations, says the artistes should have used the opportunity to discuss ‘pressing issues’ affecting the industry.
“Did the President talk about the copyright law and its enforcement? Did he mention why it is not enforced? Is he aware that we’ve been asking for this enforcement for so many years?”
He agrees entirely with Kirya’s argument although he also thinks there’s’ no problem if an artistes wants to make some money through political channels though the timing of the dinner to him was ‘questionable’.
The Ghetto President stirred controversy when a photo of him posing with FDC Flag bearer Rt.Col.Dr Kizza Besigye was posted by the party on Facebook. He later however, came out and cleared the air claiming he was neither approached for any deal by NRM, nor invited for the dinner with President Museveni and is not interested in politics anyway.
He did not attend the dinner and was not involved in the Tubonga Nawe project due to unclear reasons but had some few words for his colleague whom he blamed for not raising real issues affecting the country in the song.
“Nze sirina tabu na Mr president naye for that case I can’t record a song and video that is gona stay forever. Nga ndaga esanyu at least muganda Taata waliwo ebitateredde ku ground. Nga bwemwebaza neby’atukoledde kuba webiri bingi nyo”
Veteran singer Moses Matovu of Afrigo band was also not amused by events that transpired at Speke Resort Munyonyo and referred to it as a waste of a good opportunity to present the issue of copyright and capacity building that can last for the future otherthan taking handouts that will soon be forgotten. There are unconfirmed reports that a section of artistes opposed to the project led by Mathias Walukagga are organising either a demonstration or another song to counter Tubonga Nawe.
In all the confusion, each side at least has picked a lesion and hopefully Ugandan can pick up some positives from the conundrum to make better decisions and improve the country for the future.