On Saturday afternoon, the Ministry of Health and Twaweza along with Veloce and 12 artists from across Uganda launched a new song titled- Gemwa.
Gemwa was produced as collaboration between Ministry of Health, Twaweza and Uganda Musicians Association, to encourage people to get vaccinated.
From December 2020 to January 2021, Twaweza collected representative data from three districts identified as high-risk for Covid-19 on citizens views and experiences of Covid-19. The data from the districts showed that between one to three out of ten residents in the three districts, were still unwilling to be vaccinated because they did not trust the vaccines.
The findings further established that when asked what might help them to overcome their uncertainty, citizens pointed to being made aware of the benefits of the vaccine.
Hence the song Gemwa (the Luganda word for vaccinate). The song does not just stop at emphasizing the positive side of being vaccinated, but also speaks to the importance of vaccination for economy revival.
The song, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Health features a total of 12 artists from all regions of the country.
They include; David Lutalo, Daddy Andre, Phina Masanyalaze, Edger, Oscar, Junior Pro, Rachel, Wintex, Yaled Kaluya, Daphine, Llama, Evy Treyz.
All artistes, apart from David Lutalo and Daddy Andre were present and performed during the launch of the song at the Media Challenge Hub at Tirupati Mall, Kabalagala.
Speaking via zoom at the Gemwa launch on Saturday, singer/ producer Daddy Andre showed off his vaccination certificate, and said that he’s happy to use his platforms and voice to serve his country.
“I got vaccinated to protect my loved ones, and myself, and to enable me to go back to work safely so we can kickstart the economy. I urge all my fellow Ugandans to do the same,” he said.
Dr. Richard Kabanda, Ag Commissioner, Ministry of Health, thanked the Uganda Musicians Association (UMA), the media, and Twaweza for joining hands to further help create more awareness about the advantages of vaccination.
“The government is aware of the power of music and how wide the artists’ voices can spread.. We join hands to encourage all Ugandans to come out and get vaccinated, so that we get back our country to normal,” he said.
Dr Kabanda also highlighted the Ministry’s intentions to work with musicians beyond the vaccination drive; “we intend to work with UMA on most of our campaigns, because we know their voices reach the masses even much easily,” he added.
Twaweza Uganda Country Lead and Director of Voice and Participation- Violet Alinda, said that they are excited to have been part of turning data into song to try to overcome vaccine hesitancy.
“Tackling people’s real fears and motivations through artistic expression can be a powerful way to address them. We are optimistic the message in the song will get more Ugandans going for vaccination, or will help change mindsets of those that have been hesitant to vaccinate,” she said.
Twaweza collected data from 2,121 respondents; 807 in Kampala, 654 in Kyotera and 660 in Tororo.
To watch the full video of the Gemwa song click this link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmK627mIxlM