Lessons from Mowzey Radio’s death
Uganda kicked off the month of February in a sombre mood, when news came out that gifted vocalist and one half of the dynamic duo Radio and Weasel Moses Sekibogo had succumbed to injuries sustained during a bar brawl and died. He had been in intensive care for ten days since he was allegedly picked up and thrown to the ground head first by a bouncer at De Bar, located in the serene town of Entebbe.
It is high time the entertainment industry acquired the services of professional managers. You will ask me that there are people in the artists’ entourage who always refer to themselves as managers. In true sense, these are artists personal assistants whose job description involves distributing CDs, getting cars washed, fixed, running errands etc. A professional manager is one who draws strategies and manages the brand that a certain artist is. This involves managing their personal affairs too to a certain extent. Where they hang out, is it a good image they project ? Do they have security personnel since one becomes a public figure they become a target too. In this sense, the manager is the guardian of the artist making sure the artist is at all times in shape to fulfill his obligations.
Artists should invest in their personal physical and mental health. It is rumoured that Case hospital, where Mowzey Radio was rushed to refused to start on his treatment until a certain amount of money was paid. Whether it’s true or false we learn that for an industry that relies heavily on the physical and mental wellbeing of a person being able to perform his duties. Measures needs to be taken to keep their health in check. Artists should use the huge sums they are paid to buy health insurance plans instead of flashy cars. Insurance plans cost just a tiny minute fraction of the cost of the Benzes and hummers they drive.
It is time for patron security personnel in places of entertainment to professionalise their services. No doubt whoever caused Radio’s death used excessive force to handle the matter. A professionally trained bouncer would know how to pacify a chaotic situation with minimum physical force. So, whoever can step up to design a curriculum for body guards and bouncers, please do. That will even be a bargaining chip for the bouncers when negotiating their wages
On a personal level, artists should grow up and learn to live responsible lives. They should know that their lives are in the public’s eye. Whatever they do or not do affects a young fan in a certain village who considers these artists as his/her role models. Musicians have become synonymous with heavy alcohol consumption, drug use, fist fights etc. It is this bad boy image that the likes of Jose Chameleon, Bobi Wine and Bebe Cool used to garner support with the downtown crowd. However, with the advent of corporate sponsors such an image is not sustainable. So, artists need to clean up their acts.
The entertainment industry needs to streamline its activities and see how they can enforce the copyright law and its enforcement. Ever since Radio was hospitalised, airplay of his music skyrocketed, this has been the trend even after his death. Internet mp3 downloads have increased too. The real beneficiaries are the local boys on the corners burning music to CDs, nothing of the proceeds make it to the artist. There is the Uganda Performing Rights Society that collects money from public users of music on behalf of the artists, but it has failed to unite all the artists to get behind it. From the increased airplay, downloads etc after his death, Radio’s estate would have raised enough funds to cater to secure its near and distant future.
I hope someone in position reads this, sees some sense in it and implements any of these points to prevent a recurrence of such a sad incident. Rest in peace Radio, you fit in well with heaven’s choir of angels.