In Uganda, a white German former aid worker becomes an unlikely local pop star


#1

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#2

she is everything I hate - a worker.


#3

I love this! Thanks for posting, Xeni…it’s a great example of how a white person can be inspired and take part in Ugandan culture without being offensive or ignorant about it. I’m not African, just a child of the diaspora, but this video had me longing to visit Kampala.


#4

whether you think this is the coolest thing ever or yet another episode of cultural appropriation.

lolwut it’s neither

she sung a thing because someone asked her to, and got popular because she kept singing - that’s not really appropriative

it’s also… okay? i mean i’m not too big into celebrity so standing over here i’m just like “good for her” and that’s about it


#5

that video was quite a strange mix of some dark imagery and her happily singing in the woods and by a lake. maybe it makes more sense if you can understand it.


#6

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that. At the end I was all “how did he get home? Did they just let him go? Why is the singer so happy about this? I really hope it’s all explained by the song”.


#7

Nice voice but the music is just awful.


#8

Ryan North of Dinosaur Comic fame would like everyone to know that BoingBoing buried the lede!
The bad guy is very obviously wearing a T-Rex tshirt in the video (see 2:20)


They Buried the Lede!
#9

I was thinking the same thing. I enjoyed the song, but the jarring dichotomy of “pretty white singing in the woods” while “dark-skinned man is kidnapped and beaten” hits some really strange chords for me. While I’m certain that part of it is my enthocentrically projecting America’s troubles onto the video it still leaves an unpleasant feeling.

The song is nice, and it is great to hear music from another culture (especially one so under-served in the US as Uganda). So, I’ll take the music as a treat, but the video leaves me disturbed.


#10

I don’t think it’s particularly awful. Not really my cup of tea, either, but then “Ugandan pop music” is unsurprisingly something to which I don’t have much exposure.


#11

According to one interview, “Mumulete is a love song that talks about missing your loved one, to me I feel helpless without him, he is nowhere to be seen and without him life cannot move on”. I wasn’t sure what happened at the end - I guess he was beaten up and released by the Dinosaur Comics mafia and she nurses him back to health (while looking like Mel from Flight of the Conchords)? Or maybe it was all just a dream and she wakes up with him next to her (or this happened a while ago and she’s having flashbacks)?

I’m not sure how much cultural appropriation would apply in this case, even though she is getting a lot more attention just because she’s white. Learning a language like this involves spending long periods of time listening to locals and learning from them, and a fairly brief look at comments on various sites seems to suggest that people are generally impressed with her knowledge of the language and culture. I’d have thought appropriation would rather involve taking a cultural element without having any allegiance to the culture itself.


#12

Yes! THAT is who she reminds me of. Kristen Schaal!


#13

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