Friday, December 10, 2010

"Your boldness stands alone among the wreck..."

This evening I heard Mumford and Sons on the radio. This might not be so remarkable if I wasn't currently living in Uganda. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mumford and Sons, they are a British folk band who have reached new heights of popularity and fame over the last 12 months. Their album ‘Sigh No More’ did extremely well and produced several hits in Britain. It also happens to have been one of my favourite albums of 2010. So imagine my delight, and quite frankly, my astonishment when I heard them here on the radio.  

It’s not just that they are a fairly new British band (Ugandans are seriously stuck in the past with their music taste – Backstreet boys, Westlife and Celine Dion are still common features of nearly every radio show) but they are a folk band. To be frank I’m pretty sure that 90% of Ugandans living outside of Kampala probably have no idea about folk music. It’s not their fault, it’s just that radio stations insist on playing a severely limited repertoire, comprising largely of ballads, cheesy pop, rap and Lugo-flow.. and of course a wholesome slice of gospel on Sundays.  The music situation has become so dire that even 66 year old president Museveni is contributing to the radio play lists. Sadly this is not a joke, his song "You want another rap?" must be heard to believed. If you so desire you can listen here.

Maybe the introduction of Mumford and Sons marks a turning point for radio in Uganda, but I won't hold my breath. Instead for now I'll just sing along to Little Lion Man and when Westlife and Dolly Parton continue to dominate the airwaves I'll find sanctuary in my ipod.


  1. Joseph, don't get me wrong. I love Islands in the Stream as much as the next person, but we are living in the 21st century now so it might be time to update the radio playlists, no?

    Thanks for commenting ^_^

  2. Oh sorry Ali! You need to spend some time in Kampala! Are they still using my voice for some of the promo's on VOK? Hilarious if so! And Lugaflow is exceptional, I do love it!

  3. Every now and again Laurie, yes your sultry Aussie tones come flowing out of the radio.The first time I heard it I was like "what the deuce!?" x

  4. i just had to stop by when you mentioned Uganda♥ my closest friend went there last summer and is returning this year.
    her blog is:

    welcome to the blogosphere♥ i'm excited to keep up with your adventures. and i'd love it if you dropped by to say hello!

  5. Connally, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I hope I can keep you entertained with my news of Uganda ^_^