Beyond the gospel circles, George Timothy Lubega a.k.a Exodus has made himself a name as a three times Buzz Teenies Awards winner in Uganda. You may also recognize him from the 2012 Groove Awards in Kenya where he strutted away with three accolades to his name. What you may not be familiar with though, is his involvement in helping children in a state he can relate to—considering his background as a homeless drug abuser.
That’s what the Igwe Live Charity Concert was all about; a show that brought together multitudes of Christian and non-Christian fans to Serena Hotel on Sunday 19th August 2012 for a four hour long vortex of gospel dancehall and reggae. With Steve Jean and his Fenon Entertainment doing an awesome job with the lights, stage and sound, fans were in for what would turn out to be a larger-than-life show.
Curtains were raised at 7:30 by rather popular gospel artists like Ruyonga, Ken Miziki, Leviticus, Tabu Flo, and later guest appearances like Hum Kay, G-Way, Morris Kirya and Isaac Rucci—a rib tickling MC as well as representative of the legendary Limit X group.
By 8:30pm when the star of the show hopped onto the stage, the enthusiasm that kept most people on their feet through the most part of the event was manifested by the squeals erupting from the audience.
With an excellent band and back up vocalist neatly draped in white, he performed most of his popular hits like: Situations, Rising, Ganja man, Addicted and a duet with his expecting wife Brenda.
In the interludes, Exodus shared his life history on the streets and drug abuse, then how far God has brought him and used him to touch lives through the Irene Gleeson Foundation [IGF] were he acts as the Creative Arts Director and spear heads the ‘GUNS4GUITARS’ campaign; an initiative intended which encourages former child soldiers (who make up 80% of the children in the facility) to become involved with music, dance and creativity.
He introduced Irene Gleeson- the lady who adopted him and founder of the Irene Gleeson Foundation in Uganda. Irene was moved by the plight of the children in the war ravaged region when she first visited Africa in 1988. She sold her Sydney beach side home in 1991 to come back to northern Uganda where she started the IRENE GLEESON FOUNDATION (IGF); leaving behind her family of 4 children and grand children (now sixteen). She travelled into the war zone of Kitgum where war and disease prevailed and Children were routinely abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army to fight for the rebel forces while others became sex slaves.
Using her Caravan parked under a mango tree, just 40 kilometers south of the Sudanese border; Irene gathered 50 traumatized kids and began to teach and feed them. Twenty one years later, the IGF program has expanded and diversified to include education, feeding projects, water and sanitation, health projects, creative arts, agriculture, capacity building and economic development projects for more than 1500 children with a support staff of 420 individuals employed and catered for by the IRENE GLEESON FOUNDATION.
Irene’s touching story inspired the audience to generously donate to her cause as evidenced during the auction done by Pastor Robert Kayanja of Lubaga Miracle Center where the first of the 1000 CDs on sale raised UGX 3,050,000 cash.
At the end of the show (around 11:30), Exodus changed outfits (for the fourth time) to a Nigerian-like kitenge and did the long awaited Igwe. The track that got everyone back to their feet jigging to the hit that earned Exodus a Groove Award this year for best video of the year, reportedly consuming a whooping $ 1500 to become the most expensive local video shot within the region.
Not being a “savdee”, I didn’t expect much. But as it turned out, you didn’t have to be a Born Again Christian to enjoy the concert, just like it was in the 80s and early 90s when people delighted in Congolese music even when they couldn’t make out a single word. Ask any one who was in Victoria Hall that Sunday night and they would tell you they got their money’s worth of entertainment and a chance to become a part of a noble cause, to fundraise towards the IRENE GLEESON FOUNDATION.
Published by proggie