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What's the Verdict on Uganda@50 Independence Song?

Uganda gained its independence on 9 October, 1962, making it 50 years independent this year. Many activities are going on around the country, and because music is part and parcel of national culture – and one of the fastest growing industries in the country – there had to be an official celebration song.

Yoga Yoga (meaning ‘congratulations’ in Luganda) is the official song that features Ugandan artists including Esther Nabaasa, Ruyonga, Barbara Kayaga, Hum Kay and Richard Kaweesa. You can listen to the song below or download it here.

Many Ugandans came out and commented on the song via social media platforms, some of them praising the song while others saying it neither represents all Ugandans nor Ugandan culture:

Javie Ssozi thinks the song has great vocals:

@jssozi : Celebrating #Uganda50 in Style – The theme song #YogaYoga is super vocal.. http://soundcloud.com/thenewvision/official-jubilee-song …

Rosebell Kagumire (a Global Voices contributor) thinks the song is great:

@rosebellk: And here is the Theme Song as #Uganda celebrates 50 years of Independence. Great one! ‘Yoga Yoga’ http://soundcloud.com/thenewvision/official-jubilee-song …

Uganda at 50 logo. Image source: Uganda at 50 Facebook page.

Uganda at 50 logo. Image source: Uganda at 50 Facebook page.

Patrick Mugumya thinks the song is good but wonders why it has a repetitious name and thinks its not very groovy:

@mugumya: Got two problems with the Jubilee Song #YogaYoga: 1. Name (why name it twice) 2. It aint too groovy (danceable). Otherwise its cool

Tusiime K Samson thinks the song sounds too foreign:

@Samwyri : Gerald Kiwewa RT @primagaba: This #YogaYoga song is foreign!! even the accents were purchased on some foreign tarmac! #LooksforRonaldMayinja

Mark Keith Muhumuza ‏thinks the song sounds more South African than Ugandan:

@mumakeith: The#yogayoga song sounds like it is from South Africa. Especially the Chorus… Its a good song but just doesn't feel like #Uganda@50

Commenting on a story at the New Vision website, Rodgers criticizes the opposition for opposing every government move including the song, however useful the move might be:

It’s unfortunate that we have a group of Ugandans that will oppose everything that comes to their mind. Style up guys, opposition does not mean opposing everything. Good work from those talented Ugandans, who know what to do at the right time.

Reacting to the same story, Francis notes that the song is good to listen to, but is not motivational:

While the song is good to listen to , it does not , provoke or motivate jubilation. If we need a Jubilation song, musicians have to go back to the drawing bard. It should be a song that most Ugandans will associate with.When the jubilation song is played, it should not leave any one seated. Check how songs like Hakuna Matata, Wipolo or We go We go or the World cup songs change the atmosphere when played. However, the song should be able to appeal even beyond the borders of Uganda. Let musicians compose songs and Ugandans choose the one they feel should be a jubilee song.

Ugandan Economic Monitoring State Minister, Henry Banyenzaki, launched the song in Kampala at the Independence Monument on 5 September 2012.

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