Singing in the Shadow of AIDS
Extended Music
Malawi | Tanzania | Kenya | Uganda

Part of Document Uganda: A National Transformation
All links are in 128k MP3 or RealAudio. (Audio Help)

Philly Bongoley Lutaaya - "Alone"
Audio Listen
When Philly Lutaaya was diagnosed with HIV, he went through the painful ostracization still common for people living with HIV. But when he was able to translate his experience into song, he managed to make a difference in the way Ugandans viewed those affected by the virus. As his posthumous Pearl of Africa 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award demonstrates, he remains a powerful presence in Ugandan music and health activism.


Out there somewhere
Alone and frightened
Oh the darkness
The days are long
Life in hiding
No more making new contacts
No more loving arms
Thrown around my neck

Take my hand now
I'm tired and lonely
Give me love
Give me hope
Don't desert me
Don't reject me
All I need is love
And understanding

Today it's me
Tomorrow someone else
It's me and you
We've got to stand up and fight
We share a light
In the fight against AIDS
Let's come on out
Let's stand together
And fight AIDS

In times of joy
In times of sorrow
Let's take a stand
And fight until the end
With open arms
Let's stand up
And speak out to the world
We'll save some lives
Save the children of the world

Let's be open
Advise the young ones
A new generation
To protect and love
Hear them singing
Playing nothing
Let's give them everything
In truth and love

Take the message
Cross the frontier
Break the barrier
We'll fight together
The doors are open
We'll lead the struggle
We won't bow down
In defeat we'll fight on

Mbale AIDS Information Centre (AIC) Choir - "The Time Has Come"
Throughout Uganda, AIDS Information Centres provide voluntary testing and counseling, and many of their offices promote healthy lifestyles with musical outreach groups. In this song, the AIC Choir from Mbale in Eastern Uganda presents a message that has some negative elements. While generally positive, their chorus saying, "Do not touch me, go away/Take away your AIDS" manages to reinforce discrimination and isolation of those living with the virus.
Audio Listen

The Time Has Come

The time has come
The time has come
For you and me
To say no, no, no to AIDS

This is our message today (Say no to AIDS)
This is our latest drug (Say no to AIDS)
This is our cheapest tablet (Say no to AIDS)
You don't even have to buy it (Say no to AIDS)

Sugardaddy, no, no
Sugarmommy, no, no
Do not touch me go away
Take away your AIDS

Brother, brother, no, no
Sister, sister, no, no
Let me run away from you
Run away from AIDS

You are on market today (Say no to AIDS)
You feel so good and young (Say no to AIDS)
Temptations come a-knocking
Keep that tablet on your two lips


Say yes to count your funeral (Say no to AIDS)
Say yes and lose your life (Say no to AIDS)

Say yes, the bitter tablet (Say no to AIDS)
Say yes and get your death ticket (Say no to AIDS)


Say no and God will bless you (Say no to AIDS)
Say no and save your life (Say no to AIDS)
Say no and shun the devil (Say no to AIDS)
No is very everybody (Say no to AIDS)

Chorus etc.

Iki-Iki AIDS Community Initiative (IACI) Volunteers - "IACI Walks Proudly"
Audio Listen

Volunteers sing at the opening celebration of a small AIDS Community Initiative Office in the village of Iki-Iki in eastern Uganda. Their song is in a commonly used call and response style, with a female voice singing lead and a mixed choir repeating her message. (Translation by Gloria Kalema Birungi)

IACI Walks Proudly

IACI walks proudly as they teach about AIDS.
Better join TASO for treatment with ARVs.
Thanks to TASO Mbale for teaching us and helping us with ARVs and all the support.