Medkimbugwe [at] HiPipo.com
If any objective analyst dug deep into the roots of Ugandan Hip Hop, they would find the name Babaluku written right there, in bold letters. Many Ugandan Hip Hop artists, especially Luga Flow ones, directly or indirectly owe their success to this guy; if not for anything else, for the fact that he set a fertile ground on which LugaFlow in Uganda currently thrives.
For Babaluku, it has never been about just Hip Hop, but Luga Flow. The Bataka Squad, the hip hop group co-created by Babaluku and the cornerstone of the Bavubuka Foundation, distinguished itself early on with its creation of Lugaflow, a hip hop style using Luganda.
Babaluku has always believed that using the native language empowers young people and gives them a reason to be proud of their heritage, giving the example of his work in northern Uganda where he encouraged Acholi youth to rap in their native language rather than English.
Right from the onset, Babaluku has never been selfish. For him, it has never been about elevating himself as an artist, but rather trying to propagate Luga Flow in Uganda and beyond. Alongside guys like Shillingz, Krazy Native, Momo Mc, Abenganda Clan and Lyrical G, he set a strong foundation for Ugandan Hip Hop, with emphasis on Luga Flow.
Babaluku has also always tried to drive Hip Hop alongside community empowerment and development projects. For example, Bavubuka Foundation introduced action-driven programs that encouraged youth to take responsibility for the issues in their communities.
Babaluku describes his organization with five words – Knowledge, Power, Community, Inspiration and Revolution and he believes it is making change by giving a voice to voiceless young people. So far the foundation has a bunch of projects in its hands; the Bavubuka All*Starz Music Project, the Bavubuka Film & Media Projects, the Bavubuka Textiles Project, the Bavubuka Sports Project, and the Bavubuka Girls Project.
In taking community empowerment to a serious level, Babaluku and group are actively fundraising to build their first community center which represents the overall vision of the Bavubuka Foundation.
The Bavubuka Community Centers will have computer labs, art studios, sports gyms, dance and music recording studios, a library, a photography lab, a health clinic, a theatre, and a meditation sanctuary. Babaluku advises young people to trust in themselves and listen to their inner abilities and tells them to proceed confidently and always remember they are capable of making a difference in their life, in their community, and the world.
The story of Babaluku is indeed that of a guy that has given Luga Flow his all; a man that takes music hand in hand with community empowerment and the improvement of others. Therein lay a rare quality of selflessness.