KAMPALA – The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Pius Bigirimana has Thursday, May 9 met with singer Fresh Kid real name Patrick Ssenyonyo and urged parents and his music promoter to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
Fresh Kid, 7, Uganda’s youngest rapper met Mr. Bigirimana at his office in Kampala where he was urged to keep in school.
“You (family) should have a Memorandum of Understanding with the promoter,” said Mr. Bigirimana.
“The performance and distribution of the proceeds of what is collected should be guided by the MoU,” he emphasised.
Like in the past meeting Mr. Bigirimana asked the rapper’s parents to ensure that he stays in school and avoid performing in bars.
“The family must ensure that the kid goes to school and develops the talent on weekends or in holidays. He can also perform at concerts or school exhibitions but not to go into bars.”
Bigirimana further said Fresh Kid “must have enough sleep and should never be exploited again.”
Ugandan laws protect minors from exploitation.
Fresh Kid’s family said they were happy to listen to Bigirimana on how they could develop his talent while securing his education.
“We reached on a way forward,” said Bigirimana, adding, “He sat in my chair and promised to study hard and become a Permanent Secretary one day on top of his music.”
In March this year, the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Nakiwala Kiyingi advised Fresh Kid to stop performing due to his tender age.
“Uganda’s constitution Article 59 clause 56 line 8 restricts young children below 18 from being used for any financial benefits,” said Ms. Nakiwala.
However, early April, the Ministry gave instructions to his manager and parents on how to balance his (Fresh Kid) music career as well as education.
“We gave them guidelines of how to prioritise school instead of the music. To develop his talent, he can sing for relatives over the weekend. He should not be contracted to perform for commercial purposes, his public appearances should also be timed well, he may sing to raise school fees if he does not have,” Ms. Nakiwala said.
The first rising rapper who has been schooling from a local school also recently grabbed himself a scholarship from Ruparelia Foundation boss, Rajiv Ruparelia to study from Kampala Parents School, one of the best primary schools in the city.
Among other Ugandan artistes, Fresh Kid has been nominated in International Award in the Carolina Music Video Awards 2019 slated for July 20, 2019, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame High Octane Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina.