A friend has just sent me this great link to a Guardian blog about the Ugandan dancehall scene. Naturally as a neighbour to ghetto President H.E. Bobi Wine, it was the references to Kamwokya that piqued my interest:
VBS.TV recently flew out to Uganda to film a documentary about a dancehall collective called Fire Base Crew, who have set up a breakaway republic, the Ghetto Republic of Uganja, in one of the slums in Uganda's capital, Kampala.
While there, the internet TV station discovered the republic has a full cabinet of appointed members: Bobi Wine (who is the leader of the crew) is the president, the vice president is an artist called Buchaman, they also have a prime minister, a defence minister, a minister for disaster preparedness, a minister of agriculture (whose crop of choice, unsurprisingly, is cannabis) and many more.
The whole concept may appear trivial, but these musicians have much more influence on local people than politicians could ever wish for. If the government needs to communicate a message to the people in the slums of Kamocha [sic], where the Ghetto Republic of Uganja is based, they will get in touch with the crew. Recently, according to Buchaman, they were contacted by the government to help encourage wary locals to go and receive immunisation jabs, and the crew obligingly recorded radio messages telling locals it was safe.
The documentary looks good too. I'll be loading it up overnight (Note to Seacom: your cable cannot come soon enough).