The Jabulani Charity Concert held on June 30th featuring PJ Powers and Radio & Weasel was a huge success! Over 600 guests filled the Kampala Serena Hotel for a momentous evening.
We were lucky to have hosted our Global Ambassador, PJ Power’s during her initial visit in April when she came to meet our staff and participants of the programs to increase her understanding of our work, shoot her new music video of ‘Home to Africa’, and promote the Jabulani Charity Concert.
Despite the tragic passing of her mother the day before, PJ Powers returned to Uganda in June to headline the Jabulani Charity Concert. The charity concert aimed to raise funds locally to expand Girl Up’s Adolescent Girls Program (AGP) and empower more girls in UPE schools across Uganda. As an organization, the concert was also a way for us to increase our national visibility while connecting with different organizations, companies, and media outlets that share our vision.
During PJ’s June trip, she spared her time to visit our offices, located in the Kirombe/Bbiina slum area, and the Mazuri Designs workshop.
(Photo: PJ Powers dancing with Girl Up Initiative Uganda staff)
(Photo: PJ Powers with Mazuri Designs seamstresses)
Girl Up also held a press conference at the Kampala Serena Hotel in preparation for the concert.
(Photo: Weasel, PJ Powers, Radio, Monica and Connie at Kampala Serena Hotel for the Jabulani press conference)
During the press conference one of the journalists asked PJ Powers why she insisted to fly to Kampala for the concert even after losing her mother. She responded:
“I promised my mother always to live by my words. I made a promise to Connie Viveros four years back that I would support an initiative that advocates for girls’ rights and that's the reason why I am here to support Girl Up Initiative Uganda to raise more funds to run its programs.”
Friday, June 30th was the big day everyone had been waiting for! The event gates were opened by 6pm and the audience started arriving at Kampala Serena Hotel walking down the red carpet and taking pictures. Rockie Troupe Uganda opened with cultural dances and drumming from the different tribes of Uganda. Right after the troupe performance, Lady Slyke from NewzBeat rapped three songs.
MC of the night, Flavia Tumusiime, welcomed all guests to the event. She brought the Girl Up girls on stage to perform and dance one of their songs. Then, Flavia invited our Executive Director, Monica, to the stage to present the work of the organization and to show our latest video that illustrates our gender transformative programs.
Before we knew it, Radio & Weasel were on stage performing some of their classic songs, getting the crowd moving and grooving.
Following their set, the Guest of Honor, Honorable Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, Speaker of Parliament, made her way on the stage to give her speech.
(Photo: Honorable Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament, addressing the crowd at the Jabulani Charity Concert)
Being one of the women that have spearheaded change in Uganda, Honorable Speaker Kadaga shared:
“We have a lot of unfairness in our society when it comes to the female child and with such events at least we know that something is being done to empower girls. Thank you Monica and your team for this initiative.”
As Honorable Speaker Kadaga left the stage, Radio & Weasel joined PJ Powers to perform the first-ever live performance of their recent collaboration: “Home to Africa”. The crowd was moved by this live performance.
(Photo: PJ Power’s performing “Home to Africa” together with Radio & Weasel at the Kampala Serena Hotel)
PJ Powers, Girl Up’s Global Ambassador, then remained on stage for her hour-long performance. She played some of her hit songs, “There is an Answer”, “Jabulani”, “See you in Soweto”, among others. The audience enjoyed her performance and were clapping, dancing and singing along.
(Photo: Girl Up girls dancing and singing along)
After the performances, there was an art auction of a piece drawn by the event live artist, Tibirusya Roland Roldan, to help us raise more funds for our cause. A number of individuals signed the art piece including Honorable Speaker Kadaga, Radio & Weasel, PJ Powers, the South African Ambassador, HE. Professor Lekoa Solomon Mollo, Connie Viveros, and Monica Nyiraguhabwa. The art piece was then auctioned off to the highest bidder.
(Photo: Honorable Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga signing the art piece together with our ED Monica Nyiraguhabwa)
The guests left the concert with much satisfaction and joy. The Jabulani Charity Concert was a huge event for Girl Up Initiative Uganda and has had multiple ripple effects. The concert and organization has received publicity in newspapers (such as The Kampala Sun, Daily Monitor, Observer and The New Vision) and radio stations and television programs have written and spoken about the story of GUIU, the Jabulani Charity Concert, PJ Powers’ visit to Uganda, and the release of “Home to Africa”. Monica was also invited to NTV's show “Mwasuze Mutya” and NewzBeat to share her story of co-founding Girl Up Initiative Uganda.
(Photo: Monica being interviewed by Faridah Nakazibwe on NTV Uganda’s Mwasuze Mutya program)
(Photo: Jabulani Charity Concert featured in the Observer newspaper)
The concert also solidified our key partnerships in Uganda. Without our partners and sponsors it would not have been possible to organize such a concert. Our main sponsors for the Jabulani Charity Concert included: NTV Uganda, Fenon Events, Barclays Bank, Coca Cola, Johnnie Walker, Vipers Sport Club, Sky Beach Lounge, Kampala Serena Hotel, Toyota Uganda, Bank of Uganda, Mazuri Designs, Plan International Uganda, and Inspired Heart Foundation. Our other key partners included: Identity, Business Tools Limited, Woman of the Year, Content Connect Africa, Caring Hearts Uganda, Hedge, NewzBeat, Gold Events, Segal Family Foundation, Prophix Studios, PVI, and Smart Toto.