KAMPALA – Without a doubt, multi-award-winning artist Edirisah Musuuza known by his stage name Eddy Kenzo is the country’s biggest music export as his international recognition record is unmatched by any other Ugandan artist for the past 10years.
In 2017, the singer was unveiled as the tourism brand ambassador of Kenya, a gesture that made many heads turn because it wasn’t making any sense.
Questions of how a Ugandan could be named a Kenyan ambassador! Much as it was perturbing to most Ugandans, Eddy Kenzo was also bothered because he badly wanted to represent his country more.
The opportunity finally surfaced yesterday as he was unveiled as the Ugandan tourism brand ambassador by Godfrey Kiwanda, the State Minister for Tourism and antiquities in an event that happened at Sheraton hotel Kampala.
“I’m delighted to be the Ugandan ambassador. I waited for this for a long time. I remember when Hon Kiwanda asked a question that if Uganda was playing Kenya in a football match, who would I support and I told him Uganda and he further asked me which country I was representing as the ambassador and I replied Kenya. He asked me how much money I needed to promote my country and I surely felt ashamed. Those questions stuck with me,” Kenzo emotionally narrated.
He also added that now that he is the ambassador of his beloved country Uganda, he is going to do his level best to promote it even further and appealed for support and ideas from the public on how to make tourism boom especially in these very tough times.
“This for me is an opportunity to continue what I’ve been doing using my music to promote Uganda. As you will hear in the news, it’s entirely voluntary and I am glad to be doing this for my country,”he said.
Kenzo also pledged to employ his vast network of friends and professionals across the globe to help unlock Uganda’s tourism potential, as well as encourage the youth here to embrace their country’s tourism industry.
“I have been selling Uganda and you have seen me waving the Ugandan flag each time I am out of the country. I do not need money to sell Uganda because I am a Ugandan, I am happy to do this job volunteering.”
According to Kiwanda, Kenzo has come at the time the tourism industry needs him the most in these hard times of Covid-19 and they believe that the singer will bring his music appeal to the tourism industry of Uganda world over.
“Eddy Kenzo will join the sector in pushing forward majorly four campaigns; Tulambule where he will concentrate on promoting domestic tourism, Twende Uganda campaign- whose purpose is to increase the Uganda tourism awareness amongst the East Africa Community, Destination Uganda campaign- which targets the rest of Africa and Pearl of Africa Tourism Campaign whose target is the international scene,” the minister said.
Kiwanda explained that Kenzo’s music has been that instrumental voice that has restored hope, built confidence and showcased our strength to move forth (Sitya loss, Stamina, Tweyagale etc) and the ministry is privileged to be associated with him.
He noted that the singer commands a huge following and loves the country and always associates with its positivities.
“God gave us the most beautiful country in the world characterised by nice weather and people. How then do we gain something out of this, by advertising the country positively. Kenzo’s music record transcends Uganda and the entire world. He has been on various ambassadorial roles and we feel he is the kind of person we should associate with to take the sector to another level.”
The minister further noted that before Covid-19, the ministry was earning 10% of the country’s GDP.
“The strength and resilience of the sector has helped it thrive intensively. We believe tourism will be the answer to reviving our economy as this partnership will build the visibility of Uganda both locally and internationally.”