In a shocking display of what some Members of Parliament (MPs) deemed as a disgrace to the nation, the recent weekend concert featuring Ugandan musicians Sheebah Karungi, also known as Sheebah, and Cinderella Sanyu, alias Cindy, at the Kololo Airstrip in Kampala has ignited fury among the nation’s lawmakers. Their dress code, which some MPs labeled as “ungodly and un-African,” has led to a fervent demand for the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance to intervene before Uganda, a traditionally conservative East African nation, descends further into what they perceive as ‘immorality’.
The fury of Members of Parliament reached its zenith on Monday, as they voiced their concerns regarding what they perceived as “excessive nudity” during the music concert headlined by two prominent Ugandan female artists, Sheebah and Cindy. The concert, held at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, raised eyebrows and drew ire from several MPs who saw the performers’ attire as a breach of cultural and moral norms in the country.
Bufumbira East MP, Nsaba Buturo of the NRM party, attributed the decline of many musicians’ careers to their poor dress choices and the emphasis on nudity as a marketing tool. According to Buturo, instead of using their talents to contribute positively to the preservation and promotion of Uganda’s values, many artists are now investing in provocative clothing.
Buturo, a former Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity in the Office of the Vice President, sternly stated, “Our artistes should promote our way of life. They should be champions of what is good in our society. They should be beacons of honor when it comes to defending the interests of this nation. However, the current crop of artists falls woefully short. They take the stage in attire that is entirely un-African, misleading our people. We appeal to our artists; the God-given gift they possess should be used to promote the interests of this nation.”
Ms. Peggy Joy Waako, the National MP for Older Persons from the NRM party, emphasized the importance of artists presenting themselves with grace rather than disgrace. She argued that music serves as both employment for the younger generation and a form of recreation for the general public. It should not be used as a platform for nudity and obscenity.
“These artists perform for the public. They are public figures, and they should be mindful of their dress, language, and behavior. Let them be graceful, not disgraceful,” asserted Ms. Waako.
Adding fuel to the fiery debate, Charles Onen, the Laroo-Pece Division and Gulu East MP, accused Ugandan artists of potential drug addiction, though he presented no concrete evidence. Onen lamented that substance abuse had hindered these artists from assuming their roles as educators, philosophers, and visionaries. He questioned why Ugandan artists failed to emulate their counterparts from countries like Singapore, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who used their music industry to foster national identity and integrity.
“In my religion, only one thing should be exposed—the Blessed Sacrament. Yet today, we witness young women dressing themselves half-naked, with breasts protruding like they are seeking divine guidance. Their undergarments are on full display. They call it fashion, but it’s damaging their reputation, their names, and the future generation. Only one thing should be exposed—the Blessed Sacrament, not bare breasts,” passionately declared Onen, a former Catholic priest.