Kampala, Uganda. Airtel Uganda in partnership with the Buganda Kingdom has launched the virtual Kabaka Birthday Run at Bulange Mengo.
The virtual Kabaka Birthday Run will take place on 19th November under the theme ‘Men against AIDS to save the girl child’ and will be flagged off by the Kabaka of Buganda. For this special event, participants will virtually be part of the event but from their homes.
The Kabaka Birthday Run is an annual event to mark the King’s birthday as part of a partnership that the telecommunications giant has with the Buganda Kingdom to sponsor four of their most important activities; the Kabaka’s Birthday Run, Kabaka’s birthday celebration, the Kabaka’s coronation as well as Eid El Fitri. Airtel Uganda also sponsors the Masaza Cup – the Buganda kingdom football tournament.
Unfortunately, with the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), many business activities and sporting events had to be put on hold or postponed to mitigate the spread of the disease, and the Kabaka Birthday Run was part of those.
Speaking during the launch of the virtual Kabaka Run, Ali Balunywa, Airtel Uganda’s Sales Distribution Director said; “As Airtel Uganda, we are proud to continue this partnership and support of the Kingdom’s activities. Covid-19 has presented us with an opportunity to exploit the virtual world using Airtel Uganda’s 4G network readying Uganda for digitization. As we continue to observe the safety measures to limit the spread of Covid-19, we still have to devise new ways to continue doing business and holding certain events. We believe that the virtual Kabaka Birthday Run is a good idea to ensure the continuity of the Kabaka’s birthday celebrations no matter where we are.”
“I call upon Ugandans all over to go to Airtel Uganda Service centers, New Park, Thobani Mall and New Park Kyaggwe road to pick their kits and take part in the upcoming virtual run as we, together with other partners, government and the public, commit towards ending AIDS by 2030,” Balunywa added.
The Katikkiro of Buganda, Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga, reiterated the Kingdom’s efforts to support the girl child in the fight against AIDS.
“We had prepared to mark the Kabaka’s 65th birthday with a very big Kabaka Birthday Run but Covid-19 interrupted that. This will not stop us from running. We shall run in remembrance of the Kabaka’s birthday and we shall continue with our efforts while we work with Airtel Uganda, UNAIDS, and other partners to save the girl child against AIDS,” he remarked.
In 2017, the focus was re-channeled from Fistula to the Fight against Sickle Cells – to direct the Kabaka Birthday Run’s proceeds towards fighting the Sickle Cells disease in Uganda.
Together with the Ministry of Health, the impact has been created in the areas of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness, testing and prevention.
About 150,000 people were tested in three years.