Tom Herriman's Journal
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News and Views
Fire Destroys Artworks, Music Studio

Dandaloo recording studio in Namungona, home of the Uganda Cultural Troupe was destroyed by fire March 1. Jeffrey Ddongo, head of Dandaloo was sitting in his car outside the studio at 11PM when he said the studio exploded in flames. The space was completely incinerated within 10 minutes he said.

Universal Designs Artists and Artwork in the same building was severely damaged by water and smoke. Several months of work by 7 artists including dozens of paintings, carving and jewelry pieces were destroyed. James Nsamba, Director of Universal Designs said the artists’ consortium would begin immediately to restore their workspace and produce new artwork to replace the work that was destroyed. All of the 30 or so items listed on the website were destroyed.

Ddongo had just finished recording master tracks for a CD for Paulo Kasumba, the itinerant singer and odongo player. At first we feared the tracks had been lost to the flames. Fortunately, Jeffrey kept a back up at home, so production of the CD will continue as soon as the fire debris has been cleared away and some new equipment can be purchased. Jeffrey lost millions of shillings worth in audio equipment he had painfully accumulated over the years. He has vowed to start over again from scratch and continue his mission of offering music training to street kids, and preserving traditional music