Ugandan Artists Use Music to Inspire Change in Their Homeland
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On March 6, Netflix award-winning director Jonny Von Wallström is premiering his new documentary series The Confused African exclusively on YouTube. It is a story about identity, music and corruption in Uganda. Featuring Ugandan artist and TV personality Ken Daniels and well-known rapper Navio who uses music to speak about the country’s issues.
In 2017, Ugandan was ranked among the top 25 countries with escalating corruption by the Transparency International Uganda (TIU) report. Ken and Navio are two creative artists who care deeply about what’s happening in the country. In the series, they explore culture, talks politics, and are using music to help make a change.
Ken Daniels is a nomad who has lived his whole life in western countries such as The United States and Sweden. He is a well-known Ugandan Hip Hop/ R&B musician and music critic who has for a long time sung under the music act ‘Swahili Nation’.
It started out in 1992 when he joined Swahili Nation that was formed in the 90’s by Kenyan brothers called Muturi. A couple of years ago, he decided to move back to Uganda because he felt responsible and wanted to be a part of the change that was happening in the country.
What it is like to leave your mother country?
“It is tough to come to a new country, whether it is Sweden, Uganda or The United States. You have to learn the language and adapt to the society. For me, it was tough to move to The U.S and Sweden, but it was also tough to move back to Uganda after all those years away,” he says.
He has not been living in the country for a long time, and now he share his story of what it is like to come back.
“I think that my political view and world view have changed since I left Uganda. There is a diﬀerence between The United States and Uganda in many ways. Good and bad.”
“What I have realized is that Uganda is not what it used to be. Today, Uganda is in a very good place, the Infrastructure and the whole society is improving. In 5 years, I think it will be a big diﬀerence if you compare to now. I also feel like many more people are willing to fight for the right to speak up and change things. It was in a diﬀerent way before. Back in the days, people did not do that.”
Navio is using his music to make a change
As a side story to Ken, we also get to follow Daniel Lubwana Kigozi, known as Navio. He is a well-known Ugandan rapper who started his career when being a part of the award-winning group Klear Kut. Today, he is best known for his hits “Ngalo”, “One & Only” and “Bugumo”.
Navio are using music for his freedom of speech. He has written songs about corruption, and in the documentary he talks about his point of view on the economically situation and the fact that Uganda is suﬀering very badly. We get to follow him in Uganda, but also in a studio in Sweden where to records a new single. The whole documentary series will be available for free on YouTube, starting March 6, on www.youtube.com/creativenorthtv