To mark 60 years of Rotary in Uganda and 100 years of the Rotary Foundation, legendary South African music icon Hugh Masekela and Ugandan saxophonist Katumwa headlined a concert at the Kampala Serena Hotel to raise money for the construction of a blood bank at Mengo Hospital in Kampala and a trauma centre at the Rotary Hospital in Ngandu, Mukono district.
Masekela told The EastAfrican; “Artistes are called upon from time to time to promote causes or raise funds for community-oriented projects. I think we should rise up to every occasion, not just for health issues but against injustice too.”
Katumwa said: “I think as artistes we have a positive influence on society. It is time for us to change the kind of influence we wield. It is a great opportunity to be called upon to perform for a good cause.”
Masekela and Katumwa’s performance was not unique. Over the years, celebrities around the world have used their fame and status in society to promote good causes either by lending their voices to campaigns or raising money for those affected by natural calamities such as earthquakes, famine or floods.
The construction of the 800sqm Mengo Rotary blood bank was put at $1.3 million and the jazz concert was part of efforts to raise a balance of $560,000 needed to complete it. The blood bank was officially opened on Monday.
Ticket were going for $55 to $1,375 per person.
The Rotary Hospital in Mukono has been constructed to address the lack of health facilities in the district, especially in light of the numerous road accidents along the Jinja-Kampala highway.
The hospital was opened on Sunday by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda. -