Advertisement

Music and Human Rights in Africa: The Role of Music in the Promotion of Human Rights in Uganda

  • Ronald Kakungulu-MayambalaEmail author
Chapter
  • 1 Downloads
Part of the Arts, Research, Innovation and Society book series (ARIS)

Abstract

At the global level, the use of art in the form of music has become significant in the realisation of human rights. Music has been used to highlight human rights abuses, raise awareness and shape the human rights scholarship. This chapter deals with music and human rights in Uganda. The chapter provides a useful overview in the way music and artistic expression can be used to promote human rights in Uganda. This article begins with a general introduction in music and human rights, while the second part examines the relevance of music as a tool for human rights advocacy in Uganda. Overall, this chapter critically examines the intersection between music as an art and human rights law in Uganda as an innovative pattern of thinking about human rights gives concluding remarks and recommendations on the furtherance of this objective.

Keywords

Music Human rights Bobi Wine Uganda Artistic expression Indigenous languages 

References

  1. Abrahams F, Rowland M, Kohler K (2012) Music education behind bars: giving voice to the inmates and the students who teach them. Music Educators J 98:67–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Achebe C (1975) The African writer and the Biafran cause. In: Achebe C (ed) Morning yet on creation day essays. Heinemann Educational, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (n.d.) Declaration of principles on freedom of expression in Africa. Banjul, the Gambia: 32nd session, 17–23 Oct 2002Google Scholar
  4. Allsup RE, Shieh E (2012) Social justice and music education: the call for a public pedagogy. Music Educators J 98(4):47–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anon (n.d.) Attorney-General v. David Tinyefuza, 1 (Supreme Court 1997)Google Scholar
  6. Bagala A (2018) Singer Viboyo arrested for using obscene words to attack Museveni, Kadaga. http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Viboyo-arrested-attacking-Museveni-Kadaga-new-song/688334-4792240-10pq5kcz/index.html. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  7. Barz G (2006) Singing for life: HIV/AIDS and music in Uganda. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Bast G, Carayannis G, Campbell D (2015) Introduction to Arts, Research, Innovation, and Society (ARIS). In: Bast G, Carayannis E, Campbell D (eds) Arts, Research, Innovation and Society. Springer International Publishers, Cham, p 1Google Scholar
  9. Beausoleil E (2013) Political actors performance as democratic protest in anti-apartheid theater. In: Love NS, Matter M (eds) Doing democracy: activist art and cultural politics. State University of New York Press, Albany, pp 257–288Google Scholar
  10. Big Eye (2016) Bobi Wine confirms his “Dembe” song was banned. https://bigeye.ug/bobi-wine-confirms-his-dembe-song-was-banned/Google Scholar
  11. Big Eye (2017) MC Mariachi apologises to Muslims for ridiculing them. https://bigeye.ug/mariachi-apologises-to-muslims-for-ridiculing-them/Google Scholar
  12. Breitinger E (2004) Uganda. In: Banham M (ed) A history of theatre in Africa. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 247–264Google Scholar
  13. Carvalho JM (2013) “Strange fruit”: music between violence and death. J Aesthetics Art Criticism 71:111–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. CESCR (2009) General comment No. 21, E/C.12/GC/21 21 December 2009. United NationsGoogle Scholar
  15. Chimp Reports (2018) Lyrics: Ronald Mayinja Stings Museveni in new song. https://chimpreports.com/lyrics-ronald-mayinja-stings-museveni-in-new-song/
  16. Curtis M, Bharucha J (2009) The minor third communicates sadness in speech, mirroring its use in music. Am Psychol Assoc 10(3):335–348Google Scholar
  17. Daily Monitor (2018b) RDC shouldn’t ban song but take singer to court. http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Editorial/RDC-should-ban-song-take-singer-court-/689360-4597164-e1dtr0/index.html. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  18. Danaher W (2010) Music that will bring Back the dead? Resurrection, reconciliation, and restorative justice in post-apartheid South Africa. J Religious Ethics 38:115–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Davis W (2007) Art and politics: psychoanalysis, ideology theatre. Pluto Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Dunn CK (2011) “Know your rights”: punk rock, globalization, and human rights. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, SurreyGoogle Scholar
  21. Edge (2017a) Bobi Wine fumes, UCC denies banning his song ‘Freedom’. https://edge.ug/2017/11/05/bobi-wine-fumes-ucc-denies-banning-his-song-freedom/
  22. Edge (2017b) Museveni wants NRA heroes songs on school syllabus. https://edge.ug/2017/06/09/museveni-wants-nra-heroes-songs-on-school-syllabus/
  23. Epstein HC (2017) Another fine mess: America, Uganda, and the war on terror. Columbia Global ReportsGoogle Scholar
  24. Friedman JC (2013) Songs for freedom: music and the struggle against apartheid. In: Malisa M, Malange N (eds) The Routledge history of social protest in popular music. Routledge, New York, pp 304–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gibbs J (2011) ‘Together we go red soldiers’: the revolution’s first song. South East Asia Res 19:737–753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gouge MC (2016) Human rights in play, transnational solidarity at work: creative playfulness and subversive storytelling among the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Crit Sociol 42:861–875CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hellier-Tinoco R (2011) Power needs names: hegemony, folklorization, and viejitos dance of Michoacan, Mexico. In: Randall JA (ed) Music, power, and politics. Routledge, New York/LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Huffington Post (2010) Yes, Sevo! Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has hit rap song. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/05/yes-sevo-ugandan-presiden_n_779769.html
  29. Human Rights Committee (2011) General comment no. 34, CCPR/C/GC/34, 12 September. United NationsGoogle Scholar
  30. Insider (2018) Singer Mayinja claims was trapped to sing for NRM. https://theinsider.ug/index.php/2018/02/26/singer-mayinja-claims-was-trapped-to-sing-for-nrm/
  31. Isabirye (2008) Philly Lutaaya: popular music and the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda. J Postcolonial Writing 44:29–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kaggwa A (2018) The politics in 10 of Bobi Wine’s songs. http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/PeoplePower/-politics-Bobi-Wine-songs-Kyagulanyi-Ghetto-Mayinja/689844-4749988-he1k75/. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  33. Kasasira (2006) Uganda Elections 2006: Musicians take over political campaigns. http://www.ugpulse.com/government/uganda-elections-2006-musicians-take-over-political-campaigns/292/ug.aspx. Retrieved from UG pulse
  34. Kato (2017) Police explain why they blocked Bobi Wine’s Kiryandongo music show. http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Police-explain-blocked-Bobi-Wine-s-Kiryandongo-music-show/688334-4194770-ue93b6/index.html. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  35. Katumanga M (2007) Folk poetry as a weapon of struggle: analysis of the Chaka Mchaka resistance songs of the national resistance movement/army of Uganda. In: Njogu K, Maupeu H (eds) Songs and politics in Eastern Africa. African Book Collective, Dar es Salaam, pp 129–156Google Scholar
  36. Khiddu-Makubuya E (1974) The concept of human rights in traditional Africa. Makerere Law J 1(1)Google Scholar
  37. Kintu D (2018) The Ugandan morality crusade: the brutal campaign against homosexuality and pornography. McFarland & Company Publishers, Jefferson, NCGoogle Scholar
  38. Kiryowa S (2004) Titi treads on forbidden ground. https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1098235/titi-treads-forbidden-ground. Retrieved from New Vision
  39. Knepper P (2009) The ‘white slave trade’ and the music hall affair in 1930s Malta. J Contemp Hist 44:205–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Legros D (2004) Indigenous peoples’ self-determination and the broken tin kettle music of human rights and Liberal democracy. Florida J Int Law 16:579–600Google Scholar
  41. Makumbi C, Kalokwera P (2018) Song critical of government big shots banned. http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Song-critical-government-big-shots-banned/688334-4596014-qk4025/index.html. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  42. Masaba J (2017) Police bans arrests of the ‘idle and disorderly’. https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1455593/police-bans-arrests-idle-disorderly
  43. Mateus-Berr R (2015) In: Bast ECG (ed) Art and design as social fabric, in: arts, research, innovation and society. Springer International Publishers, ChamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mohamed NK (2015) The September 11 generation, hip-hop and human rights. J Sociol 51:1039–1051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mosongo E (2017) Bobi Wine’s Freedom banned in Uganda. https://www.musicinafrica.net/magazine/bobi-wine%E2%80%99s-freedom-banned-uganda. Retrieved from Music in Africa
  46. Musasizi S (2012) Tugambire ku Jennifer rubs govt the wrong way. https://www.observer.ug/component/content/article?id=21025:tugambire-ku-jennifer-rubs-govt-the-wrong-way. Retrieved from The Observer
  47. New Vision (2017) Musicians charged for disturbing the President’s peace. https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1467010/musicians-charged-disturbing-president-peace
  48. New Vision (2018) Mayinja wages war against corruption. https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1335665/mayinja-wages-war-corruption
  49. Nkwaya N (2013) Art work Africa: monitoring freedom of creative expression. Arterial Network Report, 87Google Scholar
  50. OAS; OSCE; UN (2003) International mechanisms for promoting freedom of expression: joint declarationGoogle Scholar
  51. Olwage G (2011) Discipline and Choralism: the birth of musical colonialism. In: Randall JA (ed) Music, power, and politics. Routledge, New York/LondonGoogle Scholar
  52. Onoria H (2010) Jurisdiction ratione materiae of the Uganda human rights commission: making sense of the ambiguity in the jurisprudence. Afr Hum Rights Law J 10:53–77Google Scholar
  53. Osofisan F (1998) The revolution as muse’ drama as surreptitious insurrection in a post-colonial, military state. In: Boon R, Plastow J (eds) Theatre matters: performance and culture on the world stage. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 11–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Putz-Plecko B (2015) Provocation as a constructive element in the arts and in education to Foster societal development and innovation: experience and knowledge as forms of social relations. In: Bast GC (ed) Arts, Research, Innovation and Society. Springer International Publishers, Cham, p 197Google Scholar
  55. Rajan D (2001–2002) Music licensing, performance rights societies, and moral rights for music: a need in the current U.S. music licensing scheme and a way to provide moral rights. Univ Baltimore Intellect Property Law J 10:1–23Google Scholar
  56. Randall JA (2011) A censorship of forgetting: origins and origin myths of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. In: Randall JA (ed) Music, power, and politics. Routledge, New York/London, p 5Google Scholar
  57. Reed T (2005) The art of protest: culture and activism from the civil rights movement to the streets of Seattle. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  58. Saud AK (2007) Rep that Islam: the rhyme and reason of American Islamic hip hop. Muslim World 97:125–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schiesser G (2015) What is at stake: qu’est-ce que l’enjeu? Paradoxes: problematics: perspectives in artistic research today. In: Bast G, Carayannis E, Campbell D (eds) Arts, research, innovation and society. Springer International Publishers, Cham, p 197Google Scholar
  60. Schumann (2008) The beat that beat apartheid: the role of music in the resistance against apartheid in South Africa. Stichproben. Wiener Zeitschrift für kritische AfrikastudienGoogle Scholar
  61. Seelinger TK (2017) Uganda’s case of Thomas Kwoyelo: Customary International Law on Trial. California Law Rev Online 8Google Scholar
  62. Serubiri M (2012) Political music: Kadongo Kamu is dead. http://startjournal.org/2012/04/political-music-kadongo-kamu-is-dead/. Retrieved from START Journal of Arts and Culture
  63. Shaheed F (2013) The right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity. http://www.houseforculture.eu/upload/Docs%20ACP/PresentationEuroParliament2Oct2013Shaheedspeech.pdf. Retrieved from European Parliament
  64. Shirli G (2007) Singing against apartheid: ANC cultural groups and the international anti-apartheid struggle. J South Afr Stud 33:421–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ssempogo H (2006) 15 arrested over nude dancing. https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1134011/arrested-nude-dancing. Retrieved from New Vision
  66. Steen A (2011) Long live the revolution? The changing spirit of Chinese rock. In: Peddie I (ed) Popular music and human rights. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Surrey, p 132Google Scholar
  67. Swedenburg T (2011) Islamic hip-hip vs. Islamophobia. In: Mitchell T (ed) Global noise: rap and hip-hop outside America. Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT, pp 57–85Google Scholar
  68. Sweers B (2011) The power of influence minds: German folk music during the Nazi era and after. In: Randall JA (ed) Music, power, and politics. Routledge, New York/LondonGoogle Scholar
  69. Tiefenburn S (2005) The failure of the international laws of war and the role of art and story-telling as self-help remedy for restorative justice. Texas Wesleyan Law Rev 91:118Google Scholar
  70. Tuhairwe J (2004) Panadol Wa Basajja arrested, police hunting for producer Didi. https://bigeye.ug/panadol-wa-basajja-arrested-police-hunting-producer-didi/. Retrieved from Big Eye
  71. Turner B (2002) The problem of cultural relativism for the sociology of human rights: Weber, Schmitt and Strauss. J Hum Rights 1:587–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Turner R (2003) Islam in the African-American experience. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  73. Turner R (2006) Constructing masculinity: interactions between Islam and African-American youth since C. Eric Lincoln, “The Black Muslims in America”. Souls 8(4):31–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. URN (2012) Media council to ban songs with abusive content. https://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/media-council-to-ban-songs-with-abusive-content
  75. Verily AH (2009) There is only one hip-hop Umma: Islam, cultural protest and urban marginality. Social Democr 18:107–126Google Scholar
  76. Vivienne W (2015) Art, research and society: new ecology: the affective power. In: Bast G, Carayannis E, Campbell D (eds) Arts, research, innovation and society. Springer International Publishers, Cham, p 82Google Scholar
  77. Waswa (2018) Police bans processions, politics at Kyarenga concert. https://chimpreports.com/police-bans-processions-politics-at-kyarenga-concert/. Retrieved from Nile Post
  78. Wa-Thiongo N (1981) Writers in politics: essays. Heinemann, LondonGoogle Scholar
  79. Wesaka A (2014a) City artiste convicted for erotic song. http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/City-artiste-convicted-for-erotic-song/-/688334/2507380/-/3bp2yiz/-/index.html. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  80. Wesaka A (2014b) Musician Panadol Wa’ basajja released on bail, 2 December 2014. http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Entertainment/Musician-Panadol-Wa%2D%2Dbasajja-released-on-bail/812796-2542080-ri5v2kz/index.html. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  81. Wesonga N (2016) UCC denies banning Bobi Wine Dembe song. http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/UCC-denies-banning-Bobi-Wine-Dembe-song/688334-3020230-x8mwqf/index.html. Retrieved from Daily Monitor
  82. World Bank (1997) Confronting AIDS: public priorities in a global epidemic: a World Bank policy research report. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  83. Zhuk IS (2011) Fascist music from the west: anti-rock campaigns, problems of national identity, and human rights in the “Closed City” of soviet Ukraine. In: Peddie I (ed) Popular music and human rights. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Surrey, pp 147–184Google Scholar

Laws

  1. Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 (as amended)Google Scholar
  2. Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act (CNRA) 2006Google Scholar
  3. Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 32nd Session, 17–23 October, 2002: Banjul, The GambiaGoogle Scholar
  4. Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) 1999Google Scholar
  5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC)Makerere University School of LawKampalaUganda

Personalised recommendations