Pastor Solomon Mwesige, owner of KS TV
PASTOR SOLOMON Mwesige, Head pastor of Good News Church located in Bulenga, Wakiso district on Mityana road, also owner of KS (King Solomon) TV is the first to stop playing of Ugandan gospel music on his television and banning of gospel artists affiliated to an organization called Uganda Performing Rights Society (UPRS), to sing in his church.
This was as result of an invoice worth UGX 2M sent to KS TV by UPRS for playing music of gospel artists something which angered the man of God and he directed that music belonging to artists who are members of UPRS should not be played again on his tv. Among songs banned are those of Brian Lubega, who started his music career in this Bulenga church.
While preaching to his followers who filled Good News church to capacity in a Sunday service, Pr. Mwesige said because this is open day robbery, “From today, we have stopped inviting gospel musicians to our church, hosting them on KS TV and singing their songs in chuch by our Worship Team because we don’t know, who is with UPRS and who is not. We will compose our own songs and instead play international music on our TV. We are done with Ugandan music.”
A few weeks ago, while speaking at the launch of UPRS annual general meeting, Wisdom Kaye one of the board members said they are capable of mobilizing one hundred billion Uganda shillings if all Ugandan artists register in this organization explaining that, when all this money is collected, it will go back to artists hence improve their lives.
Kaye who urged artists to continue registering to become beneficiaries of this initiative, condemned pastors who deter gospel artists from registering in UPRS saying they are endangering these talents.
He instead advised gospel artists not to listen to such suggestions because pastors who say such want them to die poor and never to gain from their talent.
“It’s not the pastor that pays for the production of their songs, it is the artist who personally pays for every cost therefore gospel artists should think twice before making a decision of not registering.” Said Kaye.
CHURCH UNDER ATTACK – PR. SOLOMON MWESIGE
Showing his followers a video clip of UPRS boss during a press interview in which he vowed to milk money from all Born-Again Pentecostal churches who sing and play songs of registered gospel artist during the service and church choir with membership of UPRS, Pr Mwesige said UPRS is reaping from where it did not sow.
He noted that, for example KS TV has been playing Uganda’s gospel music for free, “We have helped many of these gospel artists to develope their talent, they started their music career using our microphones and other music instruments, how can we be made to pay such a tax?”
“Look at this musician Brian Lubega, he did his first song on my key board which I bought from United States of America and you all heard him testifying about it here. Now UPRS is claiming him with all powers and our television was invoiced for playing his music and promoting him. But his first song was on my key board. To become a musician he is today, he started his music journey from our church. But now, we can not even sing his song and I can’t invite him and other musicians to sing in our church.” Said Pr. Mwesige.
Gospel artist Brian Lubega has songs like; Nungamya, Wakitiibwa, Nyanjala, among others.
“So as Good News Church,”, Pr. Mwesigwa reasoned, “To avoid being in conflict with UPRS, and I am speaking this live on television, we have stopped inviting musicians because if they will sing here and they are part of UPRS, church will also be invoiced just like KS TV got an invoice of 2M. Other Pastors be aware.”
A tough speaking Pr. Mwesige who owns King Solomon School and Feed the Hungry NGO, reminded his church that, UPRS doesn’t have an audience, the church has a congregation, “This is where musicians come to sing. They do their concerts in our churches and UPRS leader is accusing us that we don’t wish them well. You can imagine!
He told church how some pastors had not cared about it so much, “But we have come to realize that these people intend to get money from us in any way and this can easily kill gospel music.”
This news website is reliably informed that, some musicians are registered with UPRS while others are not but this organization behaves like it owns all musicians in Uganda.
UPRS chairman was quoted by Pr Mwesige saying, every musician provided you are a member of UPRS, either you registered yourself or some one registered you without your consent, although you sing in a church choir, he will bring an invoice to the church and make it pay for using their member to sing in your church.
Churches must therefore stand warned! When you sing a song in your church of any musician who is a member of UPRS during worshipping or praising session, you will receive an invoice and pay for that.
Pr. Mwesige, without mincing words revealed, “These musicians you see, like here at Good News Church, started holding the microphones from this church. They use our machines and you are the first audience. Remember they don’t sing for free. Don’t you people give them money? When did UPRS start claiming and fighting for these musicians? What does UPRS know about them?”
He said, for those gospel artists who visit Born-Again Pentecostal churches to sing, people give them money. And if what church members have given is less, in the office, Pastors add on. He wondered when UPRS started caring
about these musicians more than their pastors. “
He talked about a day he found their Worship team training a song of gospel artist Brian Lubega and he stopped them so that church doesnt get problems with UPRS. “Even if they hear you singing a song of somebody in your church, UPRS brings an invoice.” Said Pr. Mwesige.
He cautioned those musicians who still want to sing in churches, let them go and fight for themselves with UPRS. “But for us as pastors, no such music will be played again in our churches.” Said Good News Church Pr. Solomon Mwesige.
Andrew Kajara, one of leaders at Good News Church in support of his Pastor said, “Radios and TV’s promote gospel artists. My question is, if Pentecostal media houses boycott their music who will promote them? I think UPRS has come to kill that industry indirectly, gospel artist should fight for themselves otherwise they are going out of the market.”
Patrick Okumu another church member said, “Some of these Associations are self seekers not representing the purpose for which they were formed.”
WHAT IS UPRS
Uganda Performing Rights Society (UPRS) is a society that was formed in 1985 by authors (mainly musicians) to advance the cause of copyright administration in Uganda
promoting and protecting the authors’ rights while representing all genres of music. It is registered with the Registrar of Companies as a Company Limited by Guarantee having no share Capital, in other words it belongs to all of its members.
It is located at Plot 35, House 5A Bukoto Drive Kampal, Uganda.
UPRS is recognized by the Government as a Collecting Society and is a Member of the Confederation of International Societies of Authors and Composers ( CISAC ).
UPRS protects foreign and local works falling within their repertoire in Uganda while other Societies protect UPRS members’ works in their respective Countries.
UPRS Chairman is Moses Matovu and Antony Mwandah is the CEO.
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