Friday, December 5, 2008

Luo music meets western fusion

Imagine the traditional "Lukeme" blending with a rock guitar. Someone actually turned that imagination into reality a long time ago. You should experience it.

For many years now, i have enjoyed the sounds of Geoffrey Oryema, a son of Acholi land who inspite of all the hardships he witnessed in his early life, has grown to exceptionally blend Luo music with western fusions in an awesome style. You can read more of this by following this link:

There is no doubt that Oryema is one of if not Uganda's best. While he has had little airplay on local Ugandan airwaves, he maintains a huge followership in Uganda. For starters, you have to listen or even watch him on You Tube, strumming his guitar and singing tunes like "Makambo", "Lapwony", "Africa calling", "Land of Anaka" it. The list is endless.

When you experience Oryema's music, you feel it run through not just your body but your soul as well. True to expectation, this is what happens when traditional luo music meets western fusion.

The sacking Jamwa serves up even more double standards in Uganda’s anti-corruption pretences

Uganda today, 4th December 2008, woke up to news that National Social Security Fund boss, David Jamwa Chandi is actually a casualty of the sack apparently on the orders of a certain Suruma, the Finance minister. In all fairness, Lwani applauds all anti-corruption drives and condemns all pretences in that regard. While it cost the country money to save an accomplice in the Temangalo-gate scandal, the powers that be have decided to sacrifice a pawn, moreover one who turned the fortunes of the fund around. It’s in moments like these that Uganda’s purported anti-corruption initiatives pass for pretences. While the tax payer continues to lose billions of shillings to primitive accumulation of wealth, the gurus in the corridors and dining tables of Kyadondo would rather have the little chicken get eaten by a fox than save it. This is just one in many high profile corruption cases where the top dogs are saved and puppies’ necks are ripped off. While Bakoko Bakoru, former minister of Gender and Social Development had to flee the country on the back of similar questionable transactions involving the workers' fund and Onegi Obel had a stint in Luzira prison, a security minister was forgiven and earlier on, a first brother was also forgiven. Selective forgiveness seems to be the order of the day but for only those at the core irrespective of the magnitude of crime. This is symptomatic of the proverbial struggle of desperate classes that has dogged the progress of this country. Don’t you think it would have been more prudent for all involved in the scandal to vacate office? Your response, if in the affirmative, is as good as mine.

Gulu City: Still a far fetched dream

Part of a "back-street" in Gulu town, Northern Uganda. Quantitative growth devoid of quality inevitably blurs Gulu's march to city status.

I was in Gulu this week and the feeling of being home after about 3 months was always going to be joyous. Apart from the congestion that greets you as you enter Cere Leno, there wasn’t so much change. The streets remained dusty, the awkward round about at the Caltex gas station still stood still like an elephant while the market still looked miserable, in dire need of a face lift. Now for starters, Gulu is one of the few so-called fastest growing towns in Uganda, clamoring for city status. It boasts airfield, an array of commercial banks, three huge hospitals, several NGOs, and of course several people. But on account of what I witnessed, I still ask myself; Is Gulu ready for city status? A few tiled houses and several even looking architectural design commercial buildings sprouting in and around a town dusting itself from the ravages of a two decade war are by all means commendable; however the destination-city status is still far fetched. A lot of qualitative work needs to be done. If only the quantitative growth can be matched by qualitative initiatives then Gulu’s march towards city status will be fast tracked.

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