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Bobi Wine spreads water and sanitation message through music and sports

Bobi Wine performing at #WeLoveYouganda. PHOTO BY Stefan Groenveld
Bobi Wine performing at #WeLoveYouganda. PHOTO BY Stefan Groenveld

Week-long World Water Day celebrations in Uganda concluded with Saturday’s massive concert dubbed #WeLoveYouganda in Kamwokya, Kampala.

The concert which attracted top Ugandan and international artists, was organized by NGO Viva con Agua who have several water and sanitation projects in Moroto, Karamoja.

The Viva con Agua celebrations included project visits, workshops and performances in Moroto and Kampala, as well as the recording of a “collabo” between top artists from Uganda, Kenya, Switzerland, and Germany. Representing Uganda was Bobi Wine and Maro.

The celebrations started with a visit to Karamoja on Tuesday and concluded at Kamwokya Football ground on Saturday.

In Moroto, Bobi Wine spoke of the importance of Ugandans taking responsibility for their own well-being at the Moroto Municipal Primary School.

“I want you to remember,” said Bobi Wine, “that as much as we have our Muzungu friends that come support us, most importantly it is us that can change our water from dirty water to clean water, from bad water to good water. So I want everybody to say ‘we can do it by ourselves’!”

The artists from four different countries – Bobi Wine and Maro (Uganda), Octopizzo (Kenya), Megaloh and the Ghanaian Stallion (Germany), and Knackeboul (Switzerland) – went into Firebase studio together to record a “collabo” inspired by their trip, and a music video was filmed in the following few days. This song’s audio and video are due to be released in all four of the artists’ countries in May, 2016.

“I’m always critical with NGOs,” said artist Knackeboul, “and I’m not always sure how much they connect, but what I saw with this group is there’s not only the support with water and sanitation, but also this cultural exchange. We go to Kampala and exchange with the artists from here that are on a similar level when it comes to arts and music. It’s not only like “here are the cool artists from Switzerland that we show to poor people; it’s like, we learn from them and they learn from us.”

The celebrations ended in style with the artists working with Viva con Agua performing again for free in the #WeLoveYouganda concert on the Kamwokya football pitch. Those who starred in this year’s recorded song were joined by other Ugandan artists who have been supporting Viva con Agua for years, like Sylvester and Abramz, Lady Slyke and others.

“It is a challenge to change the perspective of Ugandans, because it’s about the people here in Uganda, the young generation – very skilled, very talented, very qualified – and we as guests in Uganda can learn a lot. We can find a new vibe of inspiration to bring back to Germany,” said Viva con Agua spokesperson Claudia Gersdorf.

“ In Germany, often the media are showing the same negative images of Africa, but thanks to some Ugandan journalists working for international media who came out to the #WeLoveYouganda Festival, yesterday they captured important stories of a talented young generation that gets active to change and build up its own country.”

“ With Viva con Agua, this changing of perspectives comes from connecting through music, art and sports. We all love to be on eye level with each other, we love Uganda.”

Founder of Viva con Agua Kampala Nobert Latim was pleased with a great week of celebration.

“This was the first time we were really going deep into organizing the festivals and workshops. It was really challenging, but in the end it was worth it! Seeing all the international artists, musicians and dancers work together was really a good example of the uniting factor of Viva con Agua. For the vision ALL FOR WATER – WATER FOR ALL”.

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