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The Culture of AIDS in AfricaHope and Healing Through Music and the Arts$
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Gregory Barz and Judah Cohen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.001.0001

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A Lady Who is an Akadongo Player

A Lady Who is an Akadongo Player

Singing Traditionally to Overturn Traditional Authority

Chapter:
(p.222) 19 A Lady Who is an Akadongo Player
Source:
The Culture of AIDS in Africa
Author(s):

Rebekah Emanuel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.003.0019

This chapter focuses on the songs performed by Ugandan traditional singer and akadongo (plucked lamellophone) player Vilimina Nakiranda. It analyzes the layers of Vilimina’s song by explicating the symbols she uses and how they portray gender, AIDS, and marginalization as interconnected societal ills. It then considers how Vilimina transforms these symbols from the standard bearers of traditional hierarchy to playful and assertive images of a new sexual order. It also discusses the six arguments Vilimina puts forward to convince her audience to change. On the basis of her song-texts, the chapter suggests that Vilimina is much more than a village-based entertainer. Her songs instead show her to be a powerful advocate for women’s rights and issues related to HIV/AIDS health care disparities in her rural region. The chapter demonstrates that the elaborate codes and metaphors adopted by Vilimina draw on traditional values to stimulate social change through musical performance.

Keywords:   songs, Uganda, Vilimina Nakiranda, gender, marginalization, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, health care disparities, social change, musical performance

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