Kicking out cancer one song at a time, cracking jokes and sharing stories
Forget the usual concerts in Kampala where musicians draw large crowds amass money and go smiling all the way to the bank without a care.
On Friday night musician Angela Katatumba proved a different point when she filled the Katonga Hall at Serena Hotel for a live concert whose proceeds are going towards the cancer fight in Uganda.
A live band was on stage simply set up, entertaining the crowd whose souls were lost in music yet keen to fight cancer by being present.
Musicians Steve Keys and Maurice Kirya graced the stage with soulful performances, making way for the night’s main act.
At about 22 minutes to 9:00pm Katatumba stepped on stage rolling off the concert with all-time classic, Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When She Is Gone’ by perhaps a reminder to act now on cancer, than wait much later and regret it.
Kicking out cancer one song at a time, cracking jokes and sharing stories about herself, family and friends to giving shouts out to notable guests present, Katatumba kept reminding the audience of the need to stop cancer.
Diplomats, business people, humanitarians, lawyers, medical people, politicians, the ordinary persons, people young and old, all came together to support the cause whose proceeds will go towards setting up a national cancer screening centre and its subsidiaries all across the country.
Having belted six songs from a number of her all-time favourite musicians like Whitney Houston and some of her own including ‘Mulago Yaffe’ the signature song for the cancer campaign, it was time to take a break.
A Congolese duo took to the stage and engaged the audience with their music.
The night’s host, comedian and Vision Group’s Daniel Omara kept the audience giggling with his jokes before inviting fellow comic Agnes Akite who also had guests in stitches.
After the bout of laugher it was time for Katatumba to make her way back on stage for the final set of the night.
Having performed the opening song of the second session Katatumba was swarmed with pledge cards towards the cause.
But moving the crowd on the night was the South African Ambassador Rtd. Maj Gen LS Mollo who upon receiving a message to give as much as he can to the cause from a niece battling with cancer, he read it to crowd and donated sh2m.
Another emotional moment of the night was from Ambassador Bonny Katatumba who shared his prostate cancer survival journey and committed to chair his daughter’s cause to fight cancer in Uganda.
Notable on the night were also cancer patients from Hospice Uganda and the Uganda Bikers Association who together with Katatumba are fundraising money to fight cancer.
The bikers will next year ride from Kampala to Cape Town and back to raise awareness on cancer and also get funding, something they have done before for HIV/AIDS.
However for the night the bikers offered rides and photo shoots for people present and money collected was given towards the cancer cause.
Also to give money on the night was the Ruparelia Group which pledged sh5m, Pemba Sport pledged $1000 plus an additional sh3m, plus the Kenyan high commissioner gave sh1m.
There were also pledges from the deputy high commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, Eco Bank, law firms, musicians present and a host of individuals even after the last song of the night was performed and the concert closing at 11pm.
The fact that the pledges were flowing in was in itself proof that music acts as a magic key to which hearts open.
It was an act of love which heals, as echoed by the Director Uganda Cancer Institute Jackson Oryem.
“Working together, we shall kick out cancer” he said.