Piracy Of Ugandan Music Is Okay. A Review of East African Carnival from someone who wasn’t even there

By • Apr 10th, 2012 • Category: WTH

We are regularly told, in tones both pleading and scolding, to not subscribe to the services of music pirates, especially when it is the music of local artistes that they are bootlegging.  Don’t cop local music without paying for it. This is not made as a plea for charity or kindness, it is an appeal to do what is the proper thing, the decent thing, the right thing. Stop stealing, simply put.

And it’s a reasonable thing to say, except for one small niggling point, which is, well, fuck local artistes.

On Easter Monday a hardworking, honest, patriotic Ugandan got home to Najjera at six pm, looking forward to watching some TV, only to find that this proggie had been scuttled by the power of music.

Noise flooded the house. It bounded over the valley all the way from Kiwatule to Najjera, a distance, according to Google maps, of 1.88 kilometres in a straight line.

It filled his house to the brim.

And it wasn’t the distant concert-noise you are used to, where you can’t tell which song is being sung but all you hear is that katankanTAN katankanTAN beat over and over again. No, it was loud as in you could hear every Jamaican or Luganda word the MC was saying.

If he said, “Call this number if you would like us to turn down the volume: 0703700277 or 0782349002” we would have heard the Nokia ringtone clear as a bell.

Even with the volume of the TV on max it sounded as if Better Off Ted had got a new score and now the soundtrack was being provided by Gagamel. Whenever Ted would pause to think before saying something witty, you would hear Eighton or Rain or whatever it’s called interject with some dumb fake patois.

People in Naalya were tweeting about the noise. You cannot walk from Naalya to Kiwatule Recreation Centre. You have to get motorized transport. It’s that far. And yet they were not able to watch TV, sleep, talk, or think because Bebe Cool was shouting.

You can love me or hate me, but you can't ignore me! Or sleep.

People in Kiwatule itself? I shudder to think what they were going through. I hear that their windows shuddered, too. As in the glass in the window panes was actually shaking and shuddering.

Now, I am sure local people enjoyed the concert very much. There is some fine music produced in Uganda by Ugandans and we have every right to celebrate it if and when we want to.

But now, what about those who don’t want?

The artistes evidently did not care. Whether you want to listen or not, everyone within that two-kilometre radius was going to listen to the music and they were going to listen to it from afternoon all the freaking way up to freaking two am in the middle of the night as if they didn’t have jobs to attend on time the next day.

This teaches us something.

Artistes don’t care about us. They give a rat’s ass of a flying fuck about us. For them they want to sing and screw whether we want to hear them or not. If they wanted to sing for only their fans, they would have had speakers loud for everyone in Kiwatule Recreational Centre to hear, not loud enough for everyone two whole kilometres outside Kiwatule Recreational Centre to not be able to watch Better Off Ted due to their shit.

And they don’t want only those who pay to hear. Even those who don’t pay should be forced to hear their music.

Which means that piracy is okay. You don’t have to pay for Bebe Cool music. Just get it from a pirate and spread it around. Even to people who don’t like it, it doesn’t matter.



That is the lesson we have learned today.

  • By the way, two kilometres is the distance from Garden City to Kikuubo in a straight line.
  • It’s also the distance between Steak Out and that road that leads out of MUK behind Livinstone


So if you have any Bebe Cool MP3s, please send them to me. And if you want any Bebe Cool MP3s holler at me, I will be having many very soon.


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