Gulu Musicians, Peace Day organisers Face off Over Entertainers

3283 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
All is not well between the local musicians in Gulu and the organizers of the International Peace Day celebrations due to be held in the town on Wednesday.

All is not well between the local musicians in Gulu and the organizers of the International Peace Day celebrations scheduled for Wednesday.
The artists are angered by the priority given to the Kampala-based musicians, despite the presence of many  local musicians. 
Geoffrey Opio Twon Gweno, the chairman of the Northern Uganda Music Artists Association, a body formed to unite the artists said it was unfair for the organizers of the event to leave out the local musicians from the do.

He argued that most of them composed many songs that urged the LRA rebels to ceasefire while others helped to soothe the pain of the population that was besieged by the war.
Twon Gweno, said on Monday that Kampala based artists like Jose Chameleon and Jacky Chandiru have been lined for the show from which they are to be paid shillings 4 and 2.5 millions respectively. URN was however not able to independently verify this claim.
//Cue in: “They have selected some…”
Cue out: “…they can pick some of the artists.”//
Jeff Korondo, one of the artists,  is also questioning why they should be left out at a time when all should be celebrating the return of peace.
As a result, the artists under their umbrella of Northern Uganda Music Artists Association have threatened to stage a parallel performance of all their peace songs on the same day at Pece stadium where they have invited their fans to turn up to celebrate the existing peace. Pece stadium is hardly three kilometer from Kaunda ground, the venue of the International Peace Day.
Its not yet clear how the stand off will be resolved however, Stephen Oloya, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer of Gulu who is heading the preparations said he was aware that some local artists have been lined up to perform at the event but declined to comment further saying the organization was being managed from Kampala.
Minutes of a planning meeting held in the Office of the Prime minister, 11th Floor Board Room on 31st August, which URN accessed indicate that five local artists were identified to perform at the event but mentioned no names.
When contacted however, Martin Owor, a Commissioner in the Office of the Premier who chaired the meeting said another official has been designated to oversee the planning for the celebration. He however said the exclusion of some of the individual artists should not constitute ground for a few to complain over the organization adding that not all could be selected to perform at the event.
Also called the World Peace Day, the International Day of Peace occurs annually on September 21 and is dedicated to peace, and specifically the absence of war. The day was first marked in 1981 and will this year be hosted in Uganda under the theme: Make your voice heard – Youth Must engage now.
Gulu, the host of the international event has been the centre of a battle field of an insurgency that lasted over two decades.
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