5 April 2017

Uganda: Juliana Kanyomozi Comeback Haunted By Plagiarism Ghost

The last time Juliana Kanyomozi dominated media for music reasons was after her participation in the controversial Tubonga Naawe campaign song.

She had enjoyed lots of love, thanks to her mash-up collaborations with Nigeria's Flavor, but the campaign song got her onto the wrong side with some politically-inclined fans.

In a flash, no one remembered her most recent genius on songs such as Woman, Kalibattanya or Twalina Omukwano. Last year, her effort alongside Radio and Weasel was not a success as expected. Many said it was rushed while others said the song was not well-thought-out by the two parties involved.

A week ago, Juliana launched what would have been her real comeback when she released I'm Still Here. The song was released online, complete with a video.

Much as the audio was memorable thanks to Esther Nabaasa's writing prowess and Michael Fingers' production, problems started with the video. Directed by South Africa's Justin Campos, the video is set in a plastic house with only one character: Juliana.

In the visuals, Juliana is seen doing different house chores including ironing, mopping, relaxing and, in other shots, singing to the camera. Campos has in the past done videos like Unconditionally Bae for Sauti Sol and Ali Kiba, Vanessa Mdee's Cash Madame and Navy Kenzo's Kamatia among others, thus his amazing picture is not surprising.

It is the activities Juliana does in the video that got the whole thing in trouble; for instance, she is seen mopping the floor in a green outfit and manner that Jennifer Lopez is seen doing it in her Ain't Your Mama video.

The other scene has her ironing her clothes the same way and in an outfit Lopez does it in the same video. Even before the song could spend hours on YouTube, people had already posted memes that compared the two videos.

But that was not all; Juliana's video was full of clichés we have seen in other 'strong woman' videos and worse still, they were almost copied and pasted.

The Alicia Keys' Cleopatra scene from Super Woman had been recreated just that this time it was done with more African décor and of course Keys had been replaced by Juliana.

Then there was a scene copied from Beyoncé's Pretty Hurts with the main character performing behind a trophy cabinet. In Pretty Hurts, Beyoncé is a beauty contestant singing about what people perceive as beauty.

Juliana's reconstruction of the scene has her as a beauty queen performing behind a trophy cabinet... Other scenes are from Ariana Grande's Side to Side.

The worst thing is that the video and audio do not connect at all; for a message of 'still being here', one would wonder why she was mopping floors and being so domestic.

Many people claim that the debacle could have been deliberate since the artiste could have wanted attention, while others went as far as asserting that Campos should be sued. Juliana has not responded yet, leaving her core fans to defend her on her social media platforms.

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