EDUTAINMENT: The time has come again when comedians and musicians share a stage to educate young people about HIV. As Edgar R. Batte writes, the show, in its third year, happens tonight at Serena Hotel.
In 2013, Comedian Pablo met fans living with HIV. They wanted him to join them in their fight against HIV. And then the Zip-Up 256 HIV/Aids Prevention Campaign was born, with the first outreach held at Seeta High School that year. It was an extremely eye-opening outreach.
“We were asked to return by the administration because the message was powerful but we were limited by resources, so we decided to do a charity concert to raise money to facilitate the activations in schools,” Pablo recalls.
The comedian did not want to charge schools, so he started looking for sponsors to meet the operation costs to jumpstart the campaign.
“My wife being a musician seeking to explore her talent, we came up with the Comedy Meets Music idea. But putting together the first edition was an uphill task,” Pablo says.
With his wife, they decided to use their savings. They did not have any financial sponsors save for Patrick Bitature who believed in the project and bought the first table. They did not make profits, but they were able to win their first sponsor, Stanchart Bank, which helped meet some of the immediate costs to facilitate the campaign.
Last year, Cavendish University came on board to offer career guidance to the students. Pablo says this year, the university decided to add financial support to boost the campaign.
“The proceeds from the show will go to purchasing a PA system which is our biggest need at the moment,” he says. This year’s theme is ‘The future is now’. Pablo says the theme’s relevance is that it is only today that we have to save the future leaders, youth or students.
He further explains, “We can save the youth from contracting HIV/Aids or living positively for those who have the virus and giving them hope that the future is still bright against all odds.”
The show is on tonight at Kampala Serena Hotel. It will be headlined by guest comedians Gordons from Nigeria who featured at the Night of 1000 Laughs at National Theatre last year.
Also featuring will be Dr Ofweneke from Kenya, who is making a second appearance at the Comedy Meets Music fete. From the local front will be comedian, Teacher Mpamiire a.k.a Mendo.
Performing artistes will be Sandra Suubi, winner of Airtel Trace Star, Gospel singers Solome, Levixone, Cape brothers, and Bracha Music.
“But most importantly we will be commissioning the Young positives who have offered to share their stories with their peers in secondary schools and universities,” Pablo adds. Entrance is 50k for ordinary tickets and 100k for VIP. KFM, a Daily Monitor subsidiary, is a partner in the show.