The confluence of music and art's role in pursuit of freedom and democracy

Opinions -->
The confluence of music and art's role in pursuit of freedom and democracy
Robert Kigongo

By Robert Kigongo.

In Oscars,2024 annual awards, have been about the confluence of music and art’s role in the pursuit of freedom and democracy through ‘Bobi Wine the People’s Presidentdocumentary.

Ideally, In my Opinion ‘Bobi Wine the People’s President’ documentary should have won the Oscar category award, since its enlightening the World on the role of Music and art in fight for freedom and safe guarding democracy in Uganda and beyond.

‘Unfortunately, Music and art is still regarded as mere entertainment, but I wish to remind Africa and the rest of the World that, there is much more to music than just eye sighting expeditions, showcasing posh life, singing and dancing’

Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu best known for his stage name ‘Bobi Wine’ is musician, an actor turned into an activist and democracy hunter whose music specifically has turned him into a better communicator against human rights violation, gloss inequalities, atrocities, corruption, oppression, suppression and repression of political activism in a seasoned authoritarian regime of 38 years that came to power in 1986 through gun violence and Military Coup.

Bobi Wine the People’s documentary missed the top spot as a winner but being among the top five Oscar nominees is a great global opportunity to remind the world about confluence of music and art’s role in the pursuit of freedom and affluence on democracy.

Fortunately, the documentary enlightened the world about the neglected atrocities, brutality marred on journalists, gloss inequality gaps, gun violence on civilians and the plight of Ugandans demanding for change.

Bobi Wine the People’s President documentary showcases video-geographers and photographers using camera and digital tools as a deterrent to gun violence and brutality, shading light on broad day light political injustices and repression in Uganda.

‘Music direct effect on human behaviors starts with the ‘Putamen’ part of the brain that processes rhythm, regulates body movements and coordination of rhythmic music slogans’;

For example, the ‘People Power, Our Power’ rhythmic thrilling slogan used by Robert Kyagulanyi’s leading opposition party the National Unity Platform for political assemblies and coordinating young generations into charismatic  participation.

The vibrant Ugandan opposition political leader is not the first to use the confluence of music and art but rather joins the prominent historical list of Miriam Makeba,Masekera,Semenya,Mama Mbulu,Tabane,Bahula among others.

Fear is one of the leading factors upon which authoritarianism springs to suffocate democracy.

However, Music sparks the minds of fearful populations to gain courage for protesting against authoritarianism and kleptocracy.

Scientifically, ‘music triggers the ‘Amygdala’ part of the brain that makes a human being ready to fight back;

 Bobi Wine’s music genres has overwhelming sparked minds of young populations into meaningful participation in democratic processes amidst authoritarian orchestrated fear;

For instance, Bobi Wine presidential bid in 2021 registered an avalanche of young people into political spaces in Uganda with youngest legislator Frank Kabuye Kibirige at the age of 24 years joining 11th Ugandan parliament as a representative for Kasanda while SSejjemba as Mpigi District governor at the age of 24 years respectively.

Consequently, BobiWine’s music minimised fear but rather instilled courage, today as a result young people are in local governments, central government and parliament dominating headlines and front line pages.

In South Africa,Mama Miriam Makeba’s song titled Soweto blues gave courage to many underprivileged  South Africans to overcome and push back the apartheid oppression.

Consistently, “if you play someone’s favorite music the brain lightens up for reaction”.

Subsequently, Music and art has been the highest form of communication that composers use as an avenue for freedom of expression to deliver critical messages.

It’s now crystal clear, the role and confluence between Music and art has been used in expressing political demands and catalyzing democratic leadership across the World.

In Bobi wine documentary art is used as a tool for personal reflection and fostering an understanding of people’s desire for freedom and change of forty years old kleptocratic regime.

Bobi Wine’s music and art has sparked other artists mind to become activists of a fair, a just and inclusive democratic society;

For instance, Jimmy Sentongo commonly known as Dr.Spire’ a university professor is using cartoon and drawing expressions in print media and social media to drive public discourse, change narratives, bridge diverse opinions, promote accountable governance in Uganda.

Dr.Spire’s recent 11th Parliamentary exhibition exposed industrial scale corruption scandals in parliament, government wasteful expenditures of tax payer’s money with gloss impunity.

Art without photographer, the confluence is not a complete concept in the pursuit of freedom and safe guarding democracy.

Wherefore, Isaano Francis a prominent Next Media photographer is using the camera to shade light on political dialogues, public life and political liberation demonstrations.

However, authoritarians across the world are not blind about the affluence and confluence of music and art;

 Therefore, they are aggressively cramping down music spaces, cyber stalking artists and musicians, introducing draconian laws and regulations;

As a result many political songs have been banned on airwaves while other coward musicians have subdued into being compromised with jobs,money,fancy houses to compose political campaign songs in support of dictatorships.

In Uganda, Robert Kyagulanyi has been banned on stage for now five years since 2018 while Jimmy Spire Sentongo is receiving numerous death threats from kleptomaniacs respectively.

Regardless of the challenges music and art has the soft power and huge potential towards pushing back authoritarianism and kleptocracy.

In backsliding democracies as it’s the case in Eritrea, West African countries music and art can be used to build trust, renew hope and construct critical masses that will reclaim freedom, democracy and good governance;

For example, Bobi Wine’s songs namely, Tuliyambala Engule,Ebibuzo and ‘Freedom’ that awakened of young populations into fighting against oppression.

The correlation  between creativity and civic activism has amplified marginalised voices, paved way for new ideas, provided and maintained civic spaces open for debates not only just for political liberation but social cohesion, social justice, fostering unity, peace, spirituality and economic growth.

My appeal to media, governments, United Nations, regional cooperation’s, African-Union, governance and all democracy global initiatives is to heavily invest in promoting arts and music in backsliding democracies to forge sustainable pathways for a democracy and just society.

 Conclusively, as demonstrated by Uganda’s democracy hunter Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu ‘BobiWine’ the world has evidently witnessed how musicians,artists,poets,photographers,cartoonists,cinematographer are such a big force to reckon on for safe guarding democracy and keep Nelson Mandela’s vision of ‘democratising Africa’ alive.

Robert Kigongo is a democracy deliverer supporting reformers and a sustainable development analyst.


Reader's Comments