[A] group of rappers turned journalists in Uganda have united to create a news show that tells their stories through Hip-Hop lyrics. Uganda has been in the news lately thanks to their harsh stance on homosexuality as well a growing anti-liberal movement in the country.
Recently, r&b/Hip-Hop artist Ugandan Panadol became the first person to be charged under the new anti-pornography law. It prohibits anything that shows sexual parts of a person such as, thighs, buttocks, breast or anything sexual, including female performers in skirts, blouses or anything that excites the opposite sex.
Thanks to some cleavage in her video, Panadol was sent to jail for five weeks. She was charged with wilfully and unlawfully producing, trafficking, importing, selling and abetting pornography.
A collective calling themselves Rap Porters in Uganda hope to address these issues and more, through their show NewzBeat, which airs on a public access channel, NTV.
NewzBeat targets Uganda’s youth population, which makes up 62% of the country.
“We are rappers already, and being that through our music we spread the message and the kind of music we wanted to do was the educative, entertaining, and political kind of stuff. So being that we are rappers we decided to make it a rap-format kind of news.”
The show has developed a cult following in the country because of its willingness to address issues like Panadol’s situation as well as other controversial issues plaguing the country.
“It mostly has inspired the youths to watch the news, because of the beat and the rap, it doesn’t make them bored, and they also get the education out of it,” added NewzBeat presenter, DJ Nesta.
So far, NewzBeat has avoided the wrath of Uganda’s censorship machine.