Campaign songs have become effective tools to sway and win national elections. In Africa, most presidential candidates rely on music to excite and influence potential voters.
Many such songs are commissioned/paid for by the politicians and their teams. However some campaign songs are ‘voluntarily composed by artistes’, with politicians eventually embracing and incorporating them onto their campaigns. Musicians that involve in the latter (unpaid campaign songs compositions) are usually those that believe and for all intents and purposes candidly support a particular politician or believe in their manifestos.
A few days ago, a Ugandan-Rwandese artiste Juju aka DJ Junior released a brand new version of his early 2003 Rwanda Elections hit Tora Kagame – Vote Kagame. In Tora Kagame, Juju shares a timely message of unity, transformation and prosperity; all essential for President Paul Kagame’s re-election bid.
In a way to keep this sound fresh, Juju chose to reproduce the song. Tora Kagame song was recently remixed and mastered by a group of audio producers from Uganda and Germany. Just like on its original piece, the remix features his sister also famous Ugandan artiste ‘Grace Nakimera’.
Tora Kagame is an upbeat, afro-mix campaign song that delivers a message around the outstanding role played by President Paul Kagame in rebuilding, uniting, pacifying and transforming Rwanda over the years. It further highlights a good-natured reference to the personal qualities of Paul Kagame such as his love to serve, attention to detail, active participation and strict adherence to community rules; all of which have been key in developing this land of a thousand hills. The song appeals to all patriotic and optimistic Rwandese to support Paul Kagame’s re-election bid come 2017 as he is the ideal candidate for the job.
Tora Kagame sets the tone and reflects the message of modern campaigns. It gives President Kagame a musical opportunity to assert his celebrity status and also showcase his accomplishments in a language that is spoken and loved by everyone, at the worst majority. But importantly, this song will help him gain the much needed Youth Attention.
Tora Kagame song has a deep and rich history in Rwandan elections. As the nation recovered from Genocide, they needed a strong message that could bring all people together and this song formalized the communication, hence making it a friendly anthem for masses to adapt and act in good spirit for their country. Since then, the place of music in campaigns of Rwanda was elevated.
It should be noted that, Tora Kagame was first recorded as peace song following the 1994 Rwanda Genocide that saw hundreds of thousands of people die in about 100 days from 6th April. An estimated 500,000 citizens of Rwanda died during this genocide according to Human Rights Watch.
Getting people to vote in Rwanda for the first time was not a simple task for president Kagame not until the highly innovative Singer Juju aka DJ Junior came up with an idea of this song, of course among other tools that were employed.
President Paul Kagame at the start of 2016 confirmed that he would seek re-election for a third term in 2017. This was after “a referendum approved constitutional changes to allow him to run for three further terms and could potentially see him stay in power until 2034.”