By Jeff Andrew Lule
The lengthy COVID-19 lockdown, according to music producer Isma Mukkuza, also known as Nessim Pan of Nessim Pan Productions, is responsible for the subpar music in the country.
He claims the lockdown of nearly two years left many Ugandans and musicians penniless.
In a media interview, the 28-year-old producer said Uganda was one of the nations that saw the longest lockdowns, which left many people impoverished.
“Many musicians and music business investors were not employed and ran broke. Because of this, many musicians just create music for financial gain. It is the reason you hear music like Chai Wenjaye,” Nessim said.
He also drew comparisons with South Africa, where he pointed out that many musicians there use Amapiano Beats since it only calls for a few phrases and people dance.
“The same holds true for Uganda. The implications of spending so much time indoors caused some to spend all of their money on feeding their family. They are currently attempting to stand up again. For us to fully recover from the shock, it might take another two to three years,” Nessim warned.
He noted that, unlike in the past, today no musician can spend sh20m on just a song.
The producer pointed out that many Ugandans used to frequent clubs and pubs in the past, but that is not the case anymore.
“People are using their phones and Tiktok as their clubs today because they are accustomed to social media. The lockdown helped Youtube and other social media networks like Tiktok to grow,” he explained.
Killed mainstream media
According to Nessim, TikTok has killed traditional media outlets, including newspapers and television.
He explained that for knowledge and enjoyment, people now spend time on YouTube and other media networking platforms.
“The lockdown was the cause of everything,” Nessim said.
He also added that whereas Nigeria has a sizable population that enjoys music and art, Uganda has a relatively small population that does so. “For this reason, even music promotion is challenging,” he said.