The ‘Go Green Fest’ is possibly the biggest children funfair day in east and central Africa.
The ‘Go Green Fest’ is possibly the biggest children funfair day in east and central Africa. Yet, it is not your ordinary “come and play with bouncing castles” kind of events organized in every corner of the city.
The Superstar Kids Go Green Festival is a social movement, which has grassroots in schools where mentors from Little Hands Go Green organizations set up by Joseph Masembe, visits schools weekly to teach children about planting trees and the benefits of caring for mother nature.
The festival in Kololo is usually a climax of events that helps children recharge their batteries and show off to their parents what they have done in the past terms.
Therefore, every September and December, children flock Kololo Airstrip, to meet with peers from other schools who are part of the green movement.
The festivals that take place twice in the year after second and third terms attract not only children but also their parents, who are not charged to take part in the children event.
Camila Wangoi Wanjohi, a coordinator for the event, says, “Apart from the exhibition by environmental organizations like Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Nature Uganda, some parents come with fruit tree seedlings that they brought to show their solidarity in conservation of our environment.”
The same happens to the artistes that perform on the day.
For example, this year, dancehall singer Sheeba Karungi, who has captured the imagination of children and youth in the country, kept sending out words of encouragement to the children and parents to plant trees for a beautiful Uganda.
Masembe started this movement less than five years ago. The festival has since been graced by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni himself.
President Museveni’s first time at the festival, was accidental. He was flying into Kololo airstrip from Adjumani in northern Uganda when he spotted thousands of children gathered at the airstrip.
The politician in Museveni, sent his aide then, now Joint Chief of Staff (JCOS), Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi, to inform the event’s organizers that he wanted to speak to the children.
Then, the President told the children to stay in school, study hard, avoid bad company and obey their parents.
Organizers, Little Hands Go Green, would see the President again as chief guest last year.
Masembe, however, says it is not big people like the President that come to the event that drive him. He says, it is children growing up with belief that they are inheriting a better planet.
At the Green Fest, children dance, do fashion shows, swim, ride horses and camels, visit the zoo, carousel and other fun activities.
So far, Masembe says, children have helped plant more than 100,000 trees in their respective schools and homes, with the hope they are making their contributions towards countering the negative effects of climate change
By Isaac Ssejombwe