By Hussein Kiganda
While comedians were the ones perceived as beggars due to the stage begging they showed some time back, some artists joined the league of beggars when the pandemic hit hard. The likes of Big Eye are seen trying to milk money out of Sevo and others cried for help in a claim that they did not have anything to eat because they were no longer working. This has left the public label the entire industry as that for beggars.
Well, ex-president of the Uganda Musicians Association (UMA), Sophie Gombya thinks that musicians are not beggars at all, but it is the Government that does not enforce the copyright law that would have enabled them to earn from their art. Appearing on a local TV, she advised government to look into the copyright law and enforce it so that musicians feed from their own work.
“Artistes are not beggars, but what government should do is to enforce the copyright law. If it does that, you will no longer see any artist crying. We do not want money from it but enforcement of the laws that empower us…,” she said.
The Spare tyre singer also hinted on the reasons she chose to step aside from her role as UMA president to politics, saying that she has hopes of being a political leader and therefore she had to give more time to politics than music and the position she held amongst musicians. She however clarified that she was not going to give up on music since this was part of her life.
“I have hope to lead women as lord women councillor in Kampala. I am just stepping aside… I cannot leave music because I am a musician…,” she said.
When we talk of beggars, many will think that only those dressed in tattered clothes, on streets are the beggars, but beggars seem to be in many classes. A few months ago, comedians would milk money out of their own audiences by begging them indirectly. Some would make humorous comments on the people in the audience till they are tipped and others would even beg directly. For musicians, they would come near a loaded fan, dance as if the world would end tomorrow till notes are handed to them. In their songs, they would sing verses that beg for either money or something else. The good example is a one Ryco De Lyrical who begged for a car from city tycoon, Don Nasser, in his song City tycoon. At the end, the tycoon was forced to hand him a brand new car.