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Fresh Kid barred from singing in bars

Comedian Alex Muhangi and Fresh Kid on stage. COURTESY PHOTOS

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has cleared Patrick Senyonjo, aka Fresh Kid, to sing after classes, over the weekends and during holidays.

The seven-year-old rapper, was, however, stopped from performing in bars and for commercial purposes.

The ministry said keeping Fresh Kid in bars violates his rights as a child and he risks being harmed and learning strange behaviours.

Fresh Kid in the company of his parents and his managers at around 11am had a conversation with Youth State minister Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi at the Ministry of Gender headquarters in Kampala.

Child protection
When journalists started taking photographs at the meeting, the minister and Permanent Secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, ushered him into another room which according Mr Shafique Butanda, the Principal Probation officer, was meant to protect him from psychological harm.

Fresh Kid

In a telephone interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, Mr Bigirimana said they guided Fresh Kid and his manager about how to develop his talent without losing his rights.

“We told them about the Children’s Act, 2018, which talks about the right to survival, nutrition and good health, protection from any form of violence, the right to development and the right to go to school,” he said.
Mr Bigirimana said government has no problem with the seven-year-old on stage but everything should be done in recognition of his other rights.

Meanwhile, the ministry has attached a social worker to work with Fresh Kid’s manager and parents to ensure that his rights as a child are not violated.

Ms Nakiwala said they summoned Fresh Kid’s parents and his manager to enlighten them about when he goes to school and whether his school schedules are not interrupted.

A photo montage of Minister Nakiwala and Fresh Kid. COURTESY PHOTO

She said he is barred from singing on school days.

When asked what they had gathered from the meeting, both Paulo Mutabazi, Fresh Kid’s father, and Francis Kamoga, his manager, said all was well.

At the weekend, the seven-year-old released a song in which he pleads with the minister to allow him sing so that his talent is not suffocated.

The Masaka LC5 chairperson, Mr Jude Mbabaali, who is also a lawyer, however, took to his Facebook page and quoted the Employment Act of 2006 under Section 32(2) that allows a child under the age of 14 years to be employed in any business if he or she is under the supervision of an adult aged more than 18 years as long as that adult allows the child to go to school.

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