Shortly before 7:00am, the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s motorcade entered the Mengo Lubiri (palace) where thousands of Buganda kingdom loyalists converged for this year’s edition of the Kabaka birthday run.
In a short speech, the Kabaka urged couples to test for the sickle cell disease before marriage for a sickle cell free generation.
Atleast 60,000 runners positively responded to the cause of the 2019 Airtel Kabaka Birthday run that was flagged off by the King of Buganda Kingdom, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II on Sunday morning.
As early as 5 AM, participants started to arrive to the start and finish point at Lubiri in Mengo, Kampala.
As they arrived, many limbered around in preparation for the run that had 5KM, 10KM and 21KM catergories.
By 6:50 AM, the chief guest and main reason for the run, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda II had arrived in the Lubiri before the national and Buganda anthems were played.
Clad in a brown jacket, blue jeans and brown shoes, the Kabaka was received by the Buganda Prime minister Katikiro Owek Charles Peter Mayiga who was flanked by the sports minister Owek. Henry Ssekabembe Kiberu.
According to the Ministry of Health, if both parents have the sickle cell trait at each pregnancy, there is a 25% chance that the child will pick the trait from the parents.
The main sponsors Airtel Uganda were ably represented by the Managing Director V.G. Somasekhar and communications director Remmy Kisakye as they joined the Kabaka and other Kingdom subjects.
Uncharacteristic from the previous runs, the Kabaka spared valuable time to educate about the value of screening to test the sickle cell disease especially before marriage.
Runners across the divide, young and old, filthy rich and marginalised, male and female joined hands to run for a bold cause – raise proceeds to help sickle cell patients.
Airtel Uganda, the anchor sponsors had their staff who contributed 4M (in kits purchase) leading the line of other corporate companies to include Post Bank, CBS, Centenary Bank, Buganda Land Board, Vision Group among others.
The Airtel Kabaka Birthday run is one of the many celebrations to mark the 64th birthday of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II.
The other activities will include volleyball which also climaxes on Sunday, 7th April 2019 at Lugogo show grounds parking grounds.
Kabaka Mutebi will celebrate his 64th birthday on 13th April 2019.