By Umaru Kashaka
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has lashed out at critics who told him that there are more important things he can do for this country than promoting music battle concerts in Kampala.
He said he was surprised at how some Ugandans could think that because one occupies a critical position in government, he or she should be like “a robot without a life and empathy”.
“To say there are more important things to do than promoting the music industry is a clear indication of the neglect, stigmatisation, and a lack of understanding of what this sector contributes to our GDP (gross domestic product),” Tayebwa said on Tuesday, September 26.
He stated on his social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that the global creative industry, according to Goldman Sachs (investment giant), is worth over $150b.
“The Uganda Performance Rights Society estimates this industry to employ over 500,000 people by 2030 with revenues of sh280b. Currently, it contributes sh140b to our economy. It stimulates our tourism sector with global stars such as Eddy Kenzo, Ghetto Kids, among others, selling Uganda to the world,” he said.
Tayebwa, who is also the Ruhinda North County MP, contended that as leaders, they cannot ignore such a sector.
“It needs a lot of support ranging from legal reforms to deliberate economic interventions. Moreover, music heals and some of us seek refuge in it when the going gets tough. Let the battles go on!” he wrote.
Sparks off argument
On Sunday (September 24), Tayebwa sparked off an argument on the X platform when he called for a music battle concert to be organised between legendary musicians Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool.
“I am relishing a live performance battle between these two titans of Uganda’s music industry. Whoever can organise it has my full support,” he said, posting a photo of the two musicians spotting dark glasses.
His post drew mixed reactions from his followers, with some supporting his idea while others pouring cold water on it.
This came nine days after the music battle concert of Sheebah Karungi aka Sheebah and Cinderella Sanyu, alias Cindy, which Tayebwa promoted and went on to attend at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala.