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Viva con Agua redefining ‘charity’

Maro performs

‘Art creates water’ was the tagline for the just-concluded We Love YoUganda music festival at the Design Hub in Kampala’s Industrial area.

The festival that in the past has been graced by artistes from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Germany, is an initiative that tries to interest masses into charity work using art as a driving force.For every event, organizers Viva con Agua put emphasis on painting, graffiti, printing as well as poetry, dance and music.

Last Saturday, it was a climax of what Viva con Agua has been up to for almost a year. But everything did not just happen on the weekend; the build-up started in March when a youthful team of Viva con Agua volunteers visited Moroto to create awareness about safe water.

The group was made up of photographers, visual artists, dancers and singers such as Keko, The Mith, Flex D’Paper, Giovanni Kiyingi and Maro. All proceeds from the show went to maintaining and repairing boreholes and other water sources in the area.

Last month the activities continued with a walk from Kigali dubbed Water Walk – this again involved youths that embarked on a three-week trek from Inema gallery in Kigali to the Design Hub in Kampala.

The Millerntor Gallery art exhibition and the We Love YoUganda festival were the climax for the Viva con Agua year.

The gallery was showcasing art made by more than 60 artists from different countries, whose sales would also go to the cause of providing clean water.

Curated by Ronnie Tindi, the exhibition featured prints, sculptures, paintings as well as photography from the likes of Paul Kintu, Jess Atieno, Ashenafe Mestika, Caro Ley and Lillian Nabulime, among others. The festival started earlier in the day with some patrons engaging the music and others the art.

Navio, Rwandese Angel Mutoni, Yallah MC, Byg Ben Sukuya, The Mith and Maro, among others, entertained the audience with their unique performances.

The audience beatboxed, danced, rocked and rolled all in the name of getting water to places that can’t access it; yes, regardless of how heavy the party became, the message was never lost.

For instance, the biggest performance of the night, Chefboss, a DJ, dancer and rapper, was heavy on house music and reggae influences. But just when the party was catching fire, the DJ turned around to reveal his Water for Life print shirt.

According to Francis Mugoya, one of the Viva con Agua Kampala crew members, these events are crucial for them and hopefully, they will help redefine charity organizations.


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