Government Urged to Deliberately Invest in Local Content

Kampala. Advocates for Uganda’s local art and creativity are urging the government to allocate a dedicated budget for nurturing and promoting such content. The group comprising media figures, cultural advocates, academics, and more, believes that showcasing local art is crucial in presenting Uganda’s narrative to the world accurately. They assert that this approach will dispel misconceptions and bolster the local art industry. 

Emmanuel Ewaku, the director of investment at Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), criticizes the prevalent content style driven by Western ideals and emphasizes the need for a shift. “Uganda and Africa as a whole need to tell their own and get away from the hysteria content style, which focuses on which story sells. This system is a creation of the Western world, it is not ours,” Ewaku stresses.

Steven Rwangyezi, a respected culturist and founder of the Ndere troupe, emphasizes the necessity of investing significantly in reshaping Uganda’s narrative. “We need to sponsor research, capture authentic knowledge, put it in structured books and make them reference materials, put them in curriculum and have it from nursery to university. If the content we are to create is devoid of our culture we risk falling into boring content from script writers,” Rwangyezi said. 

Rwangyezi attributes the success of the Ndere troupe to its emphasis on Uganda’s culture, art, and unique stories, setting it apart from mainstream entertainment. Rwangyezi underscores the urgency for governmental and pan-African support for local content creation. He highlights the importance of documenting African traditions comprehensively, including music, dance, architecture, and medicine. 

Concerned about the lack of resources and awareness in schools to teach traditional arts, he stresses the necessity of promoting indigenous knowledge to change the narrative on a global scale. “Uganda and Africa have abundant content but must proactively share their own story to compete and thrive in the global media landscape,” he said. The call for increased investment in local content was voiced ahead of the inauguration of Alkebulan TV (AKTV), an online channel dedicated to portraying Uganda and Africa’s cultural, tourism, social, and economic aspects. 

Moses Kazibwe, the founder and CEO of AKTV, aims to showcase Africa’s wealth and untold stories overlooked by existing media platforms. Justine Kasule Lumumba, the Minister for General Duties in the Prime Minister’s office, praised AKTV’s initiative, emphasizing the significance of investing in local content, particularly in culture, for national development and international appreciation. 

Lumumba urged religious and traditional leaders to play a role in preserving Ugandan cultural norms, emphasizing that reclaiming and sharing Uganda’s stories is crucial for national and continental progress. “Traditional and religious leaders and their institutions must come in to promote and save our culture from vanishing. The success of the Ugandan story will be the success of the country and Africa at large. We need to tell our own stories or else somebody else will tell them it and we might not have the power to change how it is told,” Lumumba said. 

Source: URN

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