By Ranell Dickson Nsereko
Comedian Anne Kansiime, while at the Uganda National Musicians Federation’s meeting at Serena Suites Hotel in Mutundwe, Wakiso on Tuesday, May 23, addressed the performance struggles faced by pregnant musicians and women in the arts industry.
She emphasised that no woman would willingly step onto a stage to perform while pregnant, but due to financial constraints, they perform until their last months of pregnancy.
This situation has been witnessed with musicians like Karole Kasita and Cindy, who have performed at numerous events during their pregnancies. Even after giving birth, they only take a short leave before returning to the stage.
Kansiime firmly believes that people should stop pressuring musicians about their childbirth plans, as they need to spend significant time in the studio recording music. Sheebah, Spice Diana and Lydia Jazmine, among other female singers, have been pressured into having children.
Kansiime questioned why they should prioritise having children when their artistic legacy and financial support for their children would be at risk in the event of their demise. Kansiime herself had her first child in her mid-thirties.
She also expressed her frustration with the dissemination of false information by some journalists, stressing that in the arts industry, journalists should be partners rather than adversaries. This disappointment is one of the reasons she said she has chosen to forgo interviews with them. She insists that her statements be published as they are, without any alterations.
The comedian pointed out that in Uganda, musicians have limited avenues to collect funds from their music apart performances. There are no specific shops or platforms dedicated to music sales, which adds to the financial struggles faced by artistes.
The comedian revealed that various stakeholders in the arts industry are seeking partnerships with the Uganda Communications Commission and the Uganda Performing Rights Society. Their objective is to ensure that royalty payments are made in compliance with the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act of 2006. By achieving this, artistes like Spice Diana can experience financial security and give birth without undue financial stress, as they earn from their music.