The Ugandan government has been sued by the 83 year old composer of its national anthem “Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty.” Prof. George Wilberforce Kakoma seeks compensation for the continuous infringement of his work on national festivities, for which he received no royalties.
Uganda, a former British colony in east Africa became an independent nation in 1962. Since it had no official anthem, a committee was appointed to select one, and Kakoma’s song – that took a day to compose – was eventually picked as the winner.
At the time, Kakoma received a few dollars for his contribution, but he was never commissioned by the government. Now, 45 years later, the prof. is hoping to get paid for his work after all. According to his lawyers, Kokoma is entitled to be compensated based on section 4 and 9 of the Copyright Act of 1964.
The case will appear before court in two weeks, where it will decide on the future of the Ugandan anthem. It is uncertain if Kakoma will also go after the BBC, since they have been hosting a version of the song on their website for quite a while now.
Kakoma, currently residing in the US for medical treatment, has not yet commented on the lawsuit, but his lawyers said that they wont call for a temporary injunction on playing the song on national events.
To quote from the anthem: “Oh Uganda! the land of freedom…”