Songs of awareness to stop the spread.
As Uganda intensifies the fight against COVID-19, rumours and false information about how to avoid catching the virus are spreading fast.
There are reports of individuals drinking high strength alcohol thinking it will protect them.
But many young people are leading the way for communities across the country – including a young musician from the Karamoja district called Airjay, who lost full use of his sight when he was three months old.
While I am blind in both eyes, I can feel the pandemonium that this pandemic has caused in my community, and to help, I am raising my voice, in the form of songs of awareness to contribute towards the government’s efforts to keep us safe.Airjay
Airjay, who is a volunteer with Restless Development, has recorded two new songs, “COVID-19” and “Corona”.
In “Corona”, he sings about how Karamojongs have suffered many disasters in the past including droughts, famine, and more recently locust invasion and appeals to security forces not to make brutality yet another one.
In “COVID-19”, he shares advice on hand washing, social distancing and sanitizing, and appeals to local organisations to support members of the community to access soap and hand sanitizers as many cannot afford them.
Recording these songs was no easy feat. Airjay had to seek special permission from the district commissioner to be allowed to travel from his house to the recording studio and it cost him about $100 in-studio fees, which he will have to pay back in small installments.
But his efforts have been worth it. Both songs are now enjoying regular airplay on the eight radio stations in the Karamoja sub-region, reaching thousands of Karamojongs with life saving messages.