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Bebe Cool welcomes music battle with Chameleone, explains why he can't retire

Bebe Cool agreed to a music battle between him and Jose Chameleone following Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa's tweet in which he said that he would be happy to see two singers in a music showdown.

Bebe Cool and Jose Chameleone

"I am relishing a live performance battle between these two titans of Uganda's music industry," tweed Tayebwa on Sunday, September 24. "Whoever can organize it has my full support."

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It should be recalled that Tayebwa and his wife, Anita Rukundo, attended the music battle between Sheebah Karungi and Cindy Sanyu.

In a tweet responding to the speaker, Bebe wrote:

Right Honorable Deputy Speaker, I appreciate you for showing interest in a music battle between Jose Chameleone and me. A little rewind... Yesterday, D/Speaker Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa tweeted that he relished a live music battle between Chameleone and me.

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For starters, I would like to inform Ugandans that if Chameleone and I, and the musicians before us like Philly Bongole Lutaaya, Elly Wamala, etc. have managed to elevate music in Uganda to a fully-fledged money-making industry for both formal & informal Ugandans, we can do much with full financial support from govt.

And govt backing can be on different fronts, music battles (in this case mine and Chameleone) one of them. Back to the D/Speaker's post... His tweet received mixed reactions from tweeps, with some condemning him. Some people have called him out to focus on advocating more on a fully functional copyright law.

These argued that with a fully functional copyright law, the arts industry can generate immense revenue. This is so true. But let me remind Ugandans that on 20 Jul 2022, Member of Parliament Hon. Hillary Kiyaga (Dr. Hilderman) was granted leave of Parliament to introduce The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (Amendment) Bill.

Soon, this bill will be in Parliament. Back to the battle A music battle between Chameleone and I is one the whole country would relish. And this would be a reaffirmation and confirmation that the government is always willing to support talent in Uganda.

We are big brands and government support to our music battle would go miles to assure young Ugandans emerging in the talent industries (arts and sport) that these are full-time jobs that government takes serious. Governments in Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania have directly supported musicians.

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And now Nigerian musicians are running music world over. Governments know when their top artists are rich, they can easily support budding artists through music labels. Chameleone and I have spent our entire careers trying to earn a living.

It's been hard to uplift youngsters because we do not have the financial muscle to uphold our personal careers and at the same time invest in young artists. But we have tried and done our best. Government support to us is welcome. Look at some big companies which collapsed due to Covid after-effects.

Many companies needed government push. Some people have always called for us to retire and support the new-age artists. Without money, this is practically impossible. This battle can bring talkability for a year or so and this brings numbers.

I have seen people fly from different countries to go and watch music concerts. We started our careers in Nairobi Kenya, we have fans all over Africa. Such a battle can attract people into Uganda. This promotes tourism. At the end of the day, the money invested in us trickles down to other artists.

Our labels -- Leone Island and Gagamel -- are stuck because of a lack of funds. Managing and promoting an artist requires a huge investment. By investing in us, the government is investing in younger artists as well.

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For now, we can't do much for our young brothers and sisters as we still have a lot to achieve on a personal level. All these- audio, visual production, marketing on TVs, radio, etc.- require massive investment. On average, shs200 million is annually needed to push a budding artist. Its social economic impact would encompass the masses and would be of large proportions.

It must also be noted that a battle of such magnitude employs (directly or indirectly) around 5,000 people. There's nothing really wrong with the government supporting a battle between us.

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