Celebrating Uganda's street culture

Uganda's creative industries are on the rise and while there is still distrust for things "made-in-Uganda", the music industry has a massive local following.

From the Series

There is still some reluctance among Ugandans to accept and trust made-in-Uganda products. The fashion industry is making some strides in this area, but in many cases, Ugandans would rather spend on well-known American, European or even Kenyan brands. However, the local music industry is flourishing. 

Though it is not yet exported like Nigerian music is, Uganda’s listeners have begun to demand that every song has a music video to accompany it and musicians have been delivering. 

Onoh Ozongwu, a British-Nigerian filmmaker living in Uganda’s capital, works on audio and video production in Kampala, Lagos and London.

Ozongwu’s most recent work was a music video for the Ugandan rapper Young Cardamon. The song, “Kanda (Chap Chap)”, features HAB and celebrates the chapatti – Uganda’s popular street food.

“I like documenting real life,” says Ozongwu. “There is a down-to-earth look and feel to my videos. I’m based between two homes, Kampala and Lagos, and I love representing the continent. Chapatti is a staple, cheap food. Its one of the most Ugandan fast foods you can get.”

The video for “Kanda (Chap Chap)” is humorous and colourful. DJs spin chapattis on the decks, chapattis are handed out as graduation scrolls, and the musicians perform spontaneous-looking dance routines while dressed in suits made of bright, traditional fabrics. 

Recently Ozongwu has been experimenting with fashion film and in the future he hopes to make more documentary-style films that capture the many realities of living in Africa, starting in Lagos.

“I want to make films that highlight forgotten issues: there are so many outcasts and taboos in Africa. Film is one way to get people to accept that these things exist. They need to be on people’s minds in order for anyone to start fixing them.”