Dominic D.B. Makwa is a lecturer of music in the Department of Performing Arts and Film at Makerere University, Uganda. He teaches courses in ethnomusicology, popular music studies, music archiving, music video production, research methods, data analysis and report writing to both undergraduate and graduate students. He received his PhD (Music) from Stellenbosch University (South Africa). In addition to his research on integration of music, dance and ritual, music and gender, music festivals, musical communication in contexts of displacement, Dr Makwa’s new research area is music archiving. He specifically deals with repatriation of archival recordings back to communities of origin in order to document the interplay between indigenous and colonial archival practices in a manner that allows for the establishment of methodologies that can facilitate engagement of children in archiving.
Although landslide disasters in Bududa came to the limelight in 2010, this area has experienced landslides since time immemorial as documented by musicians are among the different custodians of historical knowledge about landslide narrative in this community. The songs composed narrate experiences about this calamity and act as mechanisms to offer advice on mitigation measures. Moreover, as landslide survivors, musicians are also among the people relocated from their original homes. While in their migrant homes, they have continued to archive through song their new experiences. Tracing this history from mid-1960s when some of the musicians began their music careers, this study engages musicians and community members to investigate the nature of material archived through song and how local and Central Government officials, community leaders, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and development agencies can draw on it to mitigate the landslide disaster in Bududa District. I argue that history has the power to address the present and predict the future since it enables people to study and understand the past. As such, there is a need to examine how musicians have archived landslide disasters in Bududa through song and how such information can participate in mitigating landslides in this district.