Music is everywhere! My host-family turns on the radio at 5:30 am every morning. Trucks with big speakers drive around town, blasting tunes and making announcements all day, starting at 7:00 am. At mealtimes, we watch music videos on the television. Every once in a while, a boda boda selling ice cream will play an icecream-truck adapted version of “My Heart Will Go On”. (For some inexplicable reason, Ugandans love Celine Dion. Bonus points in favour of all Canadian expats!) At night, young men gather to play drums in the alleyways, and the blaring music of nightclubs is inescapable. From cellphones and car stereos, street-food stalls and churches, music radiates… at least, whenever the power is on. Every person I’ve encountered here, from 3-80 years old, moves to the rhythm as if they were born to dance rather than walk.
Here are some tunes. (My internet access is too slow for me to actually watch these videos, so it’s up to you to let me know if they’re grossly inappropriate or awful…Also, not all songs are strictly Ugandan)
(Sidenote: While Ugandans have rhythm in every cell of their bodies, melody does not seem to come as naturally. I’m convinced that at least half the choir at the neighbourhood church is completely tone-deaf. My ears suffer on Sundays.)