Alexander Hamilton is one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. Wikipedia says he was statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He is also the guy whose face is plastered on the $10 bill. Before you brush me off as writing irrelevant things because you would probably rather read about masks, hand sanitiser and that ebiluma abayaye nonsense, first hear me (or read me?) out.
Last weekend, I finally got to watch Hamilton, the brilliant American musical history written by Lin Manuel Miranda who I must confess is a genius. It is a stage play that shows on major stages in the US but I have a clear copy (not from Papa’s Corner) so if you want, slide into my nonexistent DM, I am feeling generous. And yes, I know I am late to this party because the play is as old as 2015 but hey, better late than never. Yes?
After watching Hamilton, I now understand American history like it matters to my Black life. It got me thinking maybe we should do more to help us understand our history, especially our political history. Of course, if Uganda had a genre it would probably be a mix of lugaflow, kadongokamu, kidandali and a whole load of bitontome.
Imagine GNL Zamba waxing lyrics about the 1900 Buganda Agreement or Fefe Bussi rap-talking about Zwangendaba. Of course, Bobi Wine would be in there too probably acting as the then young and revolutionary Kaguta and Eddy Kenzo would probably be … still trying to figure out what role he would play and I honestly can’t think of any.
We will just set him up as an overzealous extra who attempts to sing the national anthem when Idi Amin visits the Uganda museum, especially the cry babies section.
Seriously, how much more educated would young people be if art was used creatively to educate? Put aside the ridiculous TV and radio lessons we are now forcing down our children’s throats. How about we get more creative, more interesting and artistic. You never forget such things.
So dear artistes of ours, enough with the twerking, pouting, lifting weights to make arms (okukola emikono) and singing about nothing, any fool can do these things. Surprise us please with some brilliance and awe. But oba I am asking for too much? Hamilton, a two and half hour show has 46 very nicely done songs, some of our ‘artistes’ don’t even have a proper nursery rhyme to their name.