End aid to despots, says Uganda-SA song

Ugandan musician and opposition-party leader Bobi Wine, left, with Cape Town musician Robin Auld, after recording their latest single together, Don’t Pay Our Oppressor.

Don’t Pay Our Oppressor is the title of a new song collaboration between a Muizenberg musician and a Ugandan opposition leader.

It also ties into the launch of the book, Expensive Poverty, by Dr Greg Mills, the director of the Brenthurst Foundation.

The track features Ugandan musician and opposition leader Bobi Wine, the work of Kampalan producer Sir Dan Magic and Cape Town surf-rocker Robin Auld.

Dr Mills and Auld co-wrote the song.

The Brenthurst Foundation was established in 2004 by the Oppenheimer family to build on the work of the Brenthurst Initiative of 2003.

This was a programme that facilitated debate on policy strategies in South Africa. Its aim was to accelerate economic growth, and the foundation has now taken this approach across the African continent.

The musical collaboration is the third between Auld and Wine and follows Alone but Altogether, also co-written with Dr Mills.

Musician/promoter Derek Craig says the new single tackles the trend of donor nations giving aid to countries whose human-rights records are often bad.

One-in-three Africans live in poverty, says, Craig. “Yet the continent has received more than 1.2 trillion dollars in aid over the last 30 years.”

Wine says the message of their latest song is simple. “We call out the phenomenon of misdirected aid, which many times helps despots more than needy citizens. There simply must be a better way to help ordinary Africans.”

Auld mixed the track in Muizenberg, working long distance with music producer Sir Dan Magic in Kampala.

The track features Auld on guitar, with other local musicians, Dan Shout on horns, Barry van Zyl on skins and Schalk Joubert on bass.

Wine was recorded in Kampala.

Auld says it was challenging making the recording with Wine, who, he says, as the opposition-party leader in Uganda, is under 24-hour surveillance by security police.

“We’d arrive, set up to record and just as we got going, boom, the power would shut down. So we would have to pack up, split up into different cars, and race off to another venue, which was reserved as back-up. Once we were found there too, and Bobi was mortified to realise he’d left his phone on, so he was tracked through that.”

Dr Mills’s book, Expensive Poverty, tells of the successes and failures of aid in Africa.

“I wrote this for several reasons, but specifically,” he says, “to put down my experiences of operating in this environment for nearly three decades.”

The ongoing poverty prompted vital questions, he says. “Why has so much money gone to waste? And given the imperative to address poverty, particularly in the face of the doubling of Africa’s population to 2.5 billion over the next generation, is there a better way to go about assisting Africa’s reformers and African development?”

He says he has worked with Auld several times since 2014, co-writing songs on South Africa, Asia, African development, and African democracy and its “big men”.

“We have also worked on two productions with Bobi, including a song (Alone but Altogether) at the start of lockdown – which had a remarkable record on social media reaching 12 million people – and now this one.

“It’s an overused word, but Robin is a true legend; truly without ego and supremely talented – not to say very tolerant in putting up with my demands.“

Dr Mills says he got to know Wine over the last few years and says it was Wine’s comment, “Don’t pay our oppressor”, when asked what America should do to help Ugandan democrats, that prompted him to start writing.

The song is available on SoundCloud and YouTube.

The book Expensive Poverty was written by Dr Greg Mills, and the song Don’t Pay Our Oppressor was co-written by Dr Mills and Robin Auld.

Don’t Pay Our Oppressor is the title of a new song collaboration between a Muizenberg musician and a Ugandan opposition leader.

It also ties into the launch of the book, Expensive Poverty, by Dr Greg Mills, the director of the Brenthurst Foundation.

The music track features Ugandan musician and political opposition leader Bobi Wine, the work of Kampalan producer Sir Dan Magic and Cape Town surf-rocker Robin Auld.

Dr Mills and Robin Auld co-wrote the song.

The Brenthurst Foundation was established in 2004 by the Oppenheimer family to build on the work of the Brenthurst Initiative of 2003.

This was a programme that facilitated debate on policy strategies in South Africa. Its aim was to accelerate economic growth, and the foundation has now taken this approach across the African continent.

The musical collaboration is the third between Auld and Wine and follows Alone But All Together, also co-written with Dr Mills.

Musician/promoter Derek Craig says the new single tackles the trend of donor nations giving aid to countries whose human-rights records are often bad.

One in three Africans live in poverty, says, Craig. “Yet the continent has received more than 1.2 trillion dollars in aid over the last 30 years.”

Wine says the message of their latest song is simple. “We call out the phenomenon of misdirected aid, which many times helps despots more than needy citizens. There simply must be a better way to help ordinary Africans.”

Auld mixed the track in Muizenberg, working long distance with music producer Sir Dan Magic in Kampala.

The track features Auld on guitar, with other local musicians, Dan Shout on horns, Barry van Zyl on skins and Schalk Joubert on bass.

Wine was recorded in Kampala.

Auld says it was challenging making the recording with Wine, who, he says, as the political opposition party leader in Uganda, is under 24-hour surveillance from security police.

“We’d arrive, set up to record and just as we got going, boom, the power would shut down. So we would have to pack up, split up into different cars, and race off to another venue which was reserved as back up. Once we were found there too, and Bobi was mortified to realise he’d left his phone on, so he was tracked through that.“

Dr Mills’s book, Expensive Poverty, is an account of the success and failures of aid in Africa.

“I wrote this for several reasons, but specifically,” he says, “to put down my experiences of operating in this environment for nearly three decades.”

The ongoing poverty prompted vital questions, he says. “Why has so much money gone to waste? And given the imperative to address poverty, particularly in the face of the doubling of Africa’s population to 2.5 billion over the next generation, is there a better way to go about assisting Africa’s reformers and African development?”

He says he has worked with Auld several times since 2014, co-writing songs on South Africa, Asia, African development, and African democracy and its “big men”.

“We have also worked on two productions with Bobi, including a song (Alone but All Together) at the start of lockdown – which had a remarkable record on social media reaching 12 million people – and now this one.

“It’s an overused word, but Robin is a true legend; truly without ego and supremely talented – not to say very tolerant in putting up with my demands.“

Dr Mills says he got to know Wine over the last few years and says it was Wine’s comment, “Don’t pay our oppressor”, when asked what America should do to help Ugandan democrats, that prompted him to start writing.

The song is available on soundcloud.com at bit.ly/3lg9GpO or youtube on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbFnFhT7cAM&list=OLAK5uy_moDPIQvK87ICxqtKfF9-AIY8iA1bqbeGM