Gemwa is a Luganda word meaning vaccinate but now it is also a title name to a song by 12 artistes aimed at promoting vaccination against Covid-19.
The artistes, who represented different regions in Uganda, sing about the different challenges Covid-19 has brought to the economy, such as a ban on entertainment and urge the public to take advantage of the free massive vaccination to help artistes get back on stage.
At the launch of the song on Saturday, Dr Richard Kabanda, the Ag commissioner in the Ministry of Health, said, “The Government of Uganda is aware of the power of music and artistes as messengers. We join hands with these popular artistes to encourage all Ugandans to come out and get vaccinated.”
The song, an initiative drive by Twaweza, and NGO, features Daddy Andre, Edgar, David Lutalo, Yaled Kaluya, Phina Masanyalaze, Daphine, Oscar, Wintex, Evy Treyz, Junior Pro, Rachael and Liama and was produced by Crouch and Davie.
According to Junior Pro, there is no better way to make people understand the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination other than through a song. While Joshua, who was one of the songwriters, said they involved artistes from different parts of Uganda so that they could reach people on the ground.
Meanwhile Daddy Andre on the other hand called on people to be strong once they get vaccinated because personally, he did not get any side effects and neither did anyone else he has interacted with.
The Ministry of Health and Twaweza along with Veloce came up with this project in January after collecting representative data from three districts identified as high-risk for Covid-19.
In particular, the data showed that between one and three out of 10 residents in the three districts were still unwilling to be vaccinated because they did not trust the vaccines. When asked what might help them overcome their uncertainty, citizens pointed to being made aware of the benefits of the vaccine. So Gemwa emphasises the positive side of being vaccinated.