It was more than comedy when Artist Richard Kaweesa, chained himself at the Africell Uganda offices on Monday the 18th of January 2016. His One-Man’s protest is against music copyright injustice. The Arrest Injustice (AI) team had a brief discussion with him and we have the whole interview for you here:
AI: Where is the point of injustice?
Wesa: The point of injustice is on the steps of Africell Uganda headquarters.
AI: What time does the protest mission kick off?
Wesa: 10am sharp.
AI: Mission cause?
Wesa: To seek an audience with the Africell Uganda Chief Executive Officer who I had tried but failed to meet or hear from since June 2015.
AI: Why must you meet the CEO?
Wesa: I want to seek an amicable settlement out of Africell for their commercial theft of my music rights.
AI: Why is that important to you?
Wesa: It is important for people to realize that music is property and like real estate, the type of world class and timeless music that I do keeps growing in value as I grow older. My music is not only a retirement plan, it is also what allows my family to have a decent livelihood without the temptation of being dragged into corruption. I am therefore proud to be the type of father who can go to this protest-extent in order to address injustice and secure justice as an example to other fathers.
It is now Tuesday 19th January 2016, 9am on a rather cold morning. Wesa Kawesa was arrested for what Africell (in its charge sheet) called CRIMINAL TRESSPASS. We now bring you Wesa Kawesa after he was released on bond together with a member journalist of Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda:
AI: Why did you bind yourself with a cd-draped industrial chain and padlocks?
Wesa: I wanted to communicate the idea that when economic injustice is committed, it binds people and cripples productivity in society.
AI: In the photo we can see that you are dressed in Buganda official regalia for mourners. What was that all about?
Wesa: Oh, I also had the “I am Ugandan” tshirt underneath the Buganda Kanzu. Here I wanted to communicate the idea that I am a just, productive and order Ugandan but also attached to the cultural values of my forefathers who understood the power of symbolism in conveying pain.
AI: You were arrested. How do you feel about that?
Wesa: I am proud to have been arrested for a great cause and I consider it an honor and privilege to be arrested trying hard to Arrest Injustice.
AI: Did you succeed in your One-Man Protest?
Wesa: Yes I did. The Africell CEO and his delegation of senior managers came down to meet me on the steps of Africell within 5 minutes of my One-Man protest.
AI: So what is the way forward?
Wesa: The demand on Africell is even bigger after the protest because they brutally arrested two journalists who had come to cover the protest from the vantage point of Clement Hill road which is a public utility. If it wasn’t for my protest, the two journalists wouldn’t have been arrested and so it is only just and orderly that I stand in the gap for them as they did for me. As for my compensation demands on Africell Uganda for copyright infringement, the ball is squarely in their hands to give me a written communication by Thursday 21st January 2016.
AI: Thank you for Arresting Injustice!
Wesa: The privilege is mine. Thank you too for keeping people in the know on this.