With 84 million views and counting, the viral video documentary, Kony 2012, has brought international attention to the issues of child soldiers and sex slaves, under the dictatorship of Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and neighboring African countries. For Cayuga Community College’s Brunell Visiting Scholar, Samite Mulondo, this Internet protest and awareness video captures atrocities that are all too familiar to him. In fact, Samite composed music for the documentary, War Dance, which tells the story of children from a Uganadan refugee camp who have an arduous journey to compete in a national music and dance competition.
For decades, Samite, a musician and photographer, has dedicated his life to humanitarian work in his war-torn home country of Uganda and distressed countries, including Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Latvia, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire. In those places, he works in refugee camps, with former child soldiers and AIDS orphans, and brings his message of peace and hope to people through his music. Much of his work is done now through his non-profit organization, Musicians for World Harmony.
On March 28, Samite will lead a discussion of African politics during a class open to the public at 1:30 p.m. in T229 at Cayuga Community College, 197 Franklin St., Auburn. The event is free, and all are encouraged to attend.
Samite was born and raised in Uganda, where he learned the traditional flute and grew to love the powerful effects music has on the soul. He performed frequently to enthusiastic audiences throughout Uganda until 1982, when he was forced to flee to Kenya as a political refugee. He witnessed genocide and human rights violations, losing family under the dictatorship of Milton Obote and Idi Amin. After immigrating to the United States in 1987, he turned to music to bring his message of peace and hope to others.
He has released eight CDs internationally, and in 2009, the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, which features his original score, debuted nationally on PBS. Samite released My Music World, in 2010, which he has described as capturing more of who he is than any of his previous albums. Most recently, Samite composed the soundtrack for the film Addiction Incorporated and his tenth CD, Trust is scheduled to be released in 2012. His first live CD, Samite Live: A Collection was just released digitally this month.
Other upcoming public events with Samite this semester include:
- Concert—7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, Auditorium, G. Ray Bodley High School, 6 William Gillard Drive, Fulton
- Joint Concert with Cayuga CC student chorus and jazz band—7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, Auburn
The Brunell Visiting Scholar program is administered by the College Foundation.