By Henry H. Ssali
In 2006, there was public uproar as a certain Mzungu guy named Hornsleth was giving Mukono peasants pigs in exchange for his name. People had to get new IDs with the name Hornsleth. By the time government stopped Hornsleth, he had renamed 270 people he had given pigs and another 70 he had given goats.
Hornsleth later held an art exhibition in Denmark themed “We Can Help You, But We Want To Own You” where he showed photos of the poor Ugandans he had renamed displaying their new IDs with smiles.
Bryan White and his uniform and ID wearing celebrities reminded me of the Hornsleth. Bryan White has managed to “own” some of our biggest stars and no one leaves the “podium” unless her permits it, but that’s besides the point.
I think every cloud has a silver lining.
The good thing is that he has managed to teach our musicians several things like respect. Some of the musicians on the “podium” have had the genuinely rich men in this country and the biggest corporate entities at their mercy. They pay them and they don’t turn up for shows, or when they do, their conduct is an event spoiler.
Some of the musicians have had multimillion retainers from big corporate companies like beer and telecoms but they have never worn these companies T-shirts. Whenever a brand manager gives them a T-shirt at a show, they throw it into the crowd, but now they even wear IDs. Those are good lessons for them to learn that he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Speaking of IDs, these are celebrities who never go through any security checks because they use face value. When everyone else flashes an ID and is frisked by security, they flash that don’t you know me face. Now they are wearing IDs like Hornsleth’s peasants.
Bryan White has also taught these guys time management. Who knew that some musicians could attend a “press conference” at 8a.m when all they have to do at that press conference is to wear a foundation shirt and an ID. These are guys who are always late when they are paid to perform at an event at 10p.m. But now they are on the “podium” at 8a.m.
By the time the Bryan White chapter ends in Uganda’s social soap opera we shall have some disciplined celebrities.