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Reggae singer says his song ‘Openjuru’ is not political but rather Pan-African

For close to a year now, Reggae singer Aneccoo Omitto has been having backlash from fans and friends about a song he released in December last year. According to fans, the song was a Political song meant to find it’s way into the recently concluded Presidential elections. From research that he did back then, Anecoo says that it everyone knows the importance of something, only after it’s gone.

He goes on to say that it is true with NRA bush warfare and the morale boosting songs. NRM History states that, during the 1980-1985 bush war that led Mr Museveni to power, morale boosting songs would be used to lighten up the spirits of the rebels at times when they started to lose hope, fighting a seemingly unwon war. And Sgt. Stanley Ssempala aka Kifulugunyu was renowned for composing most of these songs that includes, “kino kyekiseera, Omwoto Nawaka, Nitasonga, Kibonge”, among others.

Unfortunately, Anecoo believes that after taking power, the role that music played in the struggle, was readily forgotten and abandoned. It’s said that, even Sgt. Kifulugunyu himself, transitioned a poor man, homeless and selling ‘kaveera’ water to survive.

But because music is part of man, it kept on haunting the NRM. For instance in 2001 presidential elections, when Al Hajj Nasser Ntege Ssebagala dropped down for Col. Besigye, songs like, ” Hajj alagidde” were composed and were widely used during campaigns. And seems, after realizing the strength of the “Hajj alagidde” song, in 2006, Museveni too came up with “Mpa enkoni” rap.

Subsequently, in 2011, started to introduce musicians to their camp, when they used Eddy Kenzo and his hit song at the time, “Stamina”. And as if that wasn’t enough, in 2016, NRM brought in the whole bunch of cream artistes at that time, who came up with the, “Tubonga naawe” song. Fortunately or unfortunately, musicians too started to realize their strength in national politics. And before we knew it, in 2017, rose to become the biggest face of opposition currently. To an extent of giving Mr. Museveni, sleepless nights, during the last concluded general elections, January, 2021.

With Bobi Wine, an artiste, rising so fast the ladders of national politics, seems this had made other opposition leaders, who are not artistes, to begin befriending artistes and making them compose them songs. This can be true with Mr. Openjuru Howard Jakernga, the leader of Uganda Homeland Liberation Movement (UHLM), whose presence came to light early last year, in March, after the Zombo district UPDF detach attacks. Where it’s alleged that some of the captured attackers disclosed that their boss is Openjuru, a thing that Mr. Openjuru denies. Stating that, all that are the government’s smear campaigns, to tarnish his name and his movement.

And by December, 2020, a song, “Openjuru” was released by Anecoo Omitto, Uganda’s international reggae and afro beats master. And both Anecoo and Openjuru, being tribe mates, the Alur, from Nebbi, West Nile, many people back home, thought Anecoo, composed that song for Openjuru. Maybe true, maybe not. Here is the link to the song https://music.apple.com/us/album/openjuru-single/1543828765

But according to Anecoo Omitto soon after releasing the song, posted on his official Facebook page, he stated that the “Openjuru” song, is a Pan-African song that he wrote to morale boost Africans all over the world, in their struggle for absolute independence. Taking an example of the South Africa’s EFF, that’s fighting for the complete economic independence of the native black South Africans.

On the post, further states that, the “Openjuru” song was based on the famous speech by the legendary Pan-african black American, Mr. Malcolm X.

On December, 13, 2020, Anecoo posted; “My philosophy is Pan-african. And for that reason, I follow all African nationalists, both within the main land and those abroad. I therefore, use my music to keep the the teachings alive and moving. The “Openjuru” project was inspired by the Prophet Malcolm X’s famous speech, “the ballot, or the bullet”. On April, 3, 1964, in Cleveland, Ohio, Malcolm spoke, ‘…..the question tonight, as I understand it, is, the Negro revolt and where do where do we go from here?’ or, ‘what next?’ In my little humble way of understanding it, it points forward to either the ballot or the bullet’ Malcolm added, ‘if we don’t do something real soon, I think you’ll have to agree that we are going to be forced to either use the ballot or the bullet.’

Anecoo Omitto further admitted that, “This project too was inspired by the name of the president of a Pan-african movement, UHLM, ‘Jakernga Openjuru’. This name literally means, ‘who is the rightful person of the throne (Jakernga) and ‘ask yourselves (Openjuru). He also confirmed that, “I realized too, for long, Africans are aware of all these voices in them, but are always asking themselves, ‘who will lead the fight?’ That question is gradually being answered with the ongoing global black consciousness”. And Anecoo concluded with, “In the song, I painted a picture of how it will look like on that day when Uganda (Africa) is finally liberated. It’ll be all merry!”

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