We were punished in school for speaking vernacular i.e Luganda, Runyakitara, olusoga, etc I don’t know if it’s still the trend. However, most of us abandoned our mother tongues to take on the most celebrated English language.
When you go back to the village, speaking our local languages can be a shame to some; in fact most kids don’t even know what’s going on. In Uganda kids can embarrass you especially if you don’t speak English or say something incorrectly. In school we nicknamed this “OKUBA EMBOGO” I also don’t know why!!! These days we fuse all languages with some words in English, creating a whole new language.
Song lyrics today have the same ‘katogo’, to enable many crossovers to the different crowds. Say a few lines in English, Luganda, luo, kiswahili, etc. And you will get away with it. There are times you listen to songs and actually hear the same lyrics, the difference being word arrangement. It feels like some people are cramming lines that work for the audience, and it has ended up becoming a trend. But if you actually suppose they speak your language get a one on one with them. Of course we know the meaning of those words even though we may not speak the entire language.
I will not interpret any Lyrics here, but the love for local languages is almost at zero. But I discovered where our problem is. This is because I’m learning a third language that has no connection with my roots whatsoever. Here is our problem, “WE DO NOT READ.” Yes I said it. See the more one reads, the more vocabularies one accumulates and eventually these come around during the song writing moments. I can assure you that “You will never remember what you did not keep.”
Simple illustration, in those days, if you were writing a document on Microsoft Word and didn’t save, you would be wasting time trying to find it. Dear Musicians/songwriters/artistes wherever you are, even if you run away from your mother tongue it will catch up with you. I’m not saying don’t use English, Nedda! Because even English has loads of words you need to know, however my point here is, get into the habit of reading. There’s so much wisdom hidden in libraries around the place. Wait a minute, look at that phone you’re holding. Facebook, and whatsapp, are not all you can get with your Mbs, there’s so much information available to you, Wake up and quit saying you have no time to sit down and read. You’re in control of your time, use it well. Buy a book or two to expand your knowledge of the way the world functions. If can’t afford to buy a book, you have your bible, read it daily.
Something else I need to share with you. There’s a beauty you may never have discovered yet but it is hidden in your mother tongue. If you’re Ugandan, you have roots ask about them. There’s nothing as beautiful as listening to people pour their hearts out in their local language. If you can learn german, spanish, french, you can also learn your local language. There needs to be something that makes Ugandan music stand out. What is the identity of Ugandan Music???? What differentiates it from Music elsewhere???!!! That’s for you to answer.
Dear Artistes/songwriters and to whoever it may concern, we your listeners want content. If you do not know your local language, endeavor to learn. In fact, it doesn’t have to be your mother tongue nevertheless Uganda has been gifted with so many languages, let’s embrace that beauty. If you want to reach out more break your boundaries and explore. Remember this, “KNOWLEDGE IS WEALTH IN DISGUISE.” The more you know the richer you are. Anyone can steal what you have but one thing they are yet to learn how to do, is stealing what you know.
Your origin shouldn’t be one to be ashamed of but one you proudly celebrate. And To you Parents, schools, and those concerned, please encourage children at a young age to learn their mother tongue in addition to English. If we say we are grooming the next generation leaders, it is important for them to know their roots to serve the community better.
Read not just things in your interest, break free. You can start with s page a day. However don’t read because someone said so, read with a purpose to learn something.