So we witnessed the 60th Grammy Awards this week and as usual they were not short of the glitz and glamour, and the controversy of course.
One of the most talked about moments of the ceremony was when former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appeared supposedly auditioning for the spoken word recording of Michael Wolff’s book on Donald Trump’s administration. She was the final ‘contestant’ in a race that had Snoop Dogg, Cardi B, DJ Khaled, John Legend and Cher, and she ‘won’.
To bring Abdu Mulaasi and Bryan White up to speed, Fire and Fury is a book that is very critical of Trump based on his 2016 presidential campaign, and that explains why the UN ambassador, Nikki Halley, quickly hit Twitter to say, “I have always loved the Grammys but to have artistes read the Fire and Fury book killed it, don’t ruin great music with trash.
Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.”
Well, here we also love our music without the politics, the only difference is that it is dependent on what is in the song. While a cocktail of Bobi Wine’s Freedom song and Mathias Walukagga’s Gundi Okuze cannot pleasantly wash politics down the throat, the same cannot be said of Tubonga Naawe.
More importantly, not every politician can appear at an awards show, and that is how we have managed to remain a ‘sane’ musical society. It is ridiculous that a former presidential candidate can be given time at such a global event to read excerpts from a book that is critical of a sitting president. Who does that? Or to put it plainly, who grew the organisers of the event?
Ideally, ahead of such an event such a politician is not allowed to leave his house for the ceremony. If he/she is lucky to leave her compound, the ceremony is dispersed. If it is not dispersed, the TV stations planning to show it live are warned against airing it. That is how we have managed to save UG music awards from politics. The only challenge remains on how to save UG music from its Nigerian counterpart, but we will get there, it is a slow but steady process.
Had the Grammys been Ugandan, chances of seeing the 61st edition would have been as slim as those of Bryan White’s foundation living up to its third birthday. Because you know what? Not many foundations are started with the founder being the targeted beneficiary. Unless the founder and the foundation are put on a stringent nutrition regimen.