Right after that we were entertained by a dance and drumming troupe who performed a traditional Buganda dance for us. The instruments were essentially the same as what the students at the primary school had just a couple of days ago, and it was fun to see a little native culture in action. The dance troupe was excellent as well, and they got a few of our students and the MUBS students up to attempt their dance. A number of the MUBS students are Buganda, and were trying to teach us the dance as well. It seemed really simple, but you could see how much practice the dancers had put in as the evening went on. Some of the students were even up with the dancers for a good while, and could hold their own in the feather-shaking, hip-swinging style the dancers used for the night.
As we mingled with the students, faculty, and staff from MUBS at the reception, we had time to get supper and get to know some of them more. The music was always on, either from the hired DJ or the drummers. You can definitely hear where they get their preference in dance music from, though, because the beat just kept going. As darkness fell, the DJ started playing a combination of old school American pop and newer Afro-pop. All the students were out having fun, and the mixing of dance styles was just as fun as the music. We were all disappointed because there was a noise ban at eight o’clock, and the music had to stop. It sounded like everyone had a great time this evening, and we hope to get some more opportunities to see more of this integral part of Ugandan life and culture.
Finally, a few questions: Given that the Inspector General said today that Ugandans do not worry about copyright laws, do you think that the country is able to sustain a music industry? Artists can make money from hiring out to parties (like the one tonight), doing shows and events, but not from recordings. Does this still allow for development, or are artists limited by piracy? Also, did you enjoy the music? What similarities did you hear between their cultural musical heritage and their pop music?