OPINION: Funding the Music Industry is much more than Battles

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My brother Bebe Cool has been a beneficiary of state patronage having received financing and equipment as an individual. Over the weekend, the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa proposed a music battle between Bebe Cool and Jose Chameleone.

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Whereas this is an excellent idea,.Bebe’s response is what is worrying to the music industry where he is again pursuing his usual selfish tendencies by suggesting the Government should support their battle and music labels at the expense of an entire music industry.

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Deputy Speaker, Hon. Thomas Tayebwa

Bebe Cool should know better that for the last five years, stakeholders have been advocating for the sector issues holisticaly out of a genuine desire to uplift the standard of life for a good number of musicians.

Let me educate Bebe and his ilk that what we want Government to do is an industry wide approach to music development. This is so because Government has nothing to show for public investment into Bebe’s projects. What we urgently require currently is public investment into;

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  1. Skilling and Access to Equipment (Which equipments Bebe received by the way on behalf of industry but serve a private interest)
  2. Access to capital with low interest rates and tailormade to suit sector (ie use copyright as collateral) or access to grants (here every player in the sector including young, upcoming and veteran can access it and organise battles across the country).
  3. Favorable policies and laws, the biggest law being the Copyright law but also review the stage play and public entertainment law.
  4. Provision of common user facilities to aid in production, distribution, exhibition and commercialization of sector goods and services
  5. Institutional strengthening ie Government agencies that manage art and private member associations/federations in the arts to be able to mobilize, streamline and professionalize sector

It is clear that the approach of funding individuals failed music development. A majority of stakeholders want Government to change course to better the lives of musicians to effectively contribute to national development.

The Writer is Emma Carlos Mulondo – Music Business Consultant

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