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What’s the proggie: Pastor Bugembe brings stars to his church at the Celebrity Sunday

unique concept: Musicians and other celebs are known to patronise hangout joints, but Bugembe has invited them to church, writes   Edgar R. Batte

When Pastor Wilson Bugembe sang his break-out song Mukama Njangala Kumanya , it earned him celebrity status. He started mingling with both gospel and secular artistes. As he did so, he sought to know the stories behind his new found friends. Artistes like Eddy Kenzo, Bobi Wine, Jose Chameleone confessed that their road to stardom had been long and a challenging one.
“They would all give glory to the Lord and confess they would not have come thus far if it had not been for His mercy and guidance. None of them ever claimed Satan helped them. Then I wondered why I could not bring them together and downplay the notion that celebrities only go church in a casket,” Bugembe recounts.
His idea was to get celebrities; singers, comedians, radio and television presenters, together to pray, give thanks to the Lord and dine. At the time, his church was not yet complete. He tried to sell the idea to other churches, but they did not buy into it.
They branded him an artiste who identifies and hangs out with ‘bayaye’ (hoodlums, like artistes are referred to by some sections of the public). He decided to do it at his incomplete church.
“So we started Celebrity Sunday but I did not know how it would go. I simply wanted us to meet and pray together. It took off well and since then, we have held it every two years. At first artistes were sceptical that they were going to be preached to and asked to get saved, but the Bible says He who fears God when the time comes will accept Jesus Christ. We meet and fellowship,” the musical preacher adds.
At the last edition, NTV Uganda came on board and aired the service live, which Bugembe says is a big plus since the country can come together to pray with its celebrities.  He observes that the beauty of this Sunday is that stars show that they have a star above them too and have showed the public that the Lord receives no matter their lifestyles.
Many of the stars have confirmed to attend. Juliana Kanyomozi, Radio and Weasel will perform a hymn, alongside a choir of about 100 people.
The theme is “Thank God for who you are” and the service starts at 10am. John Ssegawa is the chief organiser of this edition of Celebrity Sunday assisted producer Paddy man Kayiwa, Ruth Wanyana, Angela Kalule and Sophie Gombya.

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