Fix Reporter's Notebook

Ugandan Children Use Art To Show Respect, Admiration For African Hero, Nelson Mandela

Gilbert Bwette /
Ugandan Meddie Sserunkuma shows his artwork honoring the late South African President Nelson Mandela.


By Gilbert
Daniel Bwette
Uganda –
spread across the African continent last Friday of the death of Nelson Mandela,
Africa’s beloved son.
engulfed everyone, and it fell to me, as a
leader of a group of young artists, to deliver
the heartbreaking news to the children.
I spoke with the
young people at Bavubuka Foundation – who are greatly talented in expressing
themselves in hiphop music, poetry and art – about the hero Mandela and
challenged them to use their passion to show how they felt about his death.
Gilbert Bwette /
David Kaweesa’s artwork

Meddie Sserunkuma,
also known as Mc Ship, gathered his other two colleagues; Vannesa Assolo also
known by her performing name of Mc Flower and David Kaweesa also known as Mc
Kaweesa, and decided to use art to express their feelings. 

“I got to know about the death of my hero on Friday,” Assolo said, adding
that the news made her sad. He lived to be 95, but Assolo said, “I wanted him
to make 100 years.”
Mandela did a
lot of good, said Assolo, including ending apartheid in South Africa. She said
she would create a song for young people about Mandela’s contributions.
We spent the
whole evening talking about Nelson Mandela, watching his pictures on the
internet and concluded the evening by lighting candles.
Bwette Gilbert /


David Kaweesa studies Nelson Mandela’s 

photo as he works on his own drawing.


Gilbert Bwette /
Vannesa Assolo, David Kaweesa and Meddie Sserunkema make drawings to honor Nelson Mandela.
Together, Silas
Balebyekkubo and Assolo finished a music writing session, composing a song that
she said will amplify the voices of young people and help them understand the
importance of celebrating African heroes.
Bwette Gilbert /
Vannesa Assolo works with  Silas Balebyekkubo to compose a song about Nelson Mandela.
death hurt. I felt sadness, grief and sorrow at having lost yet another
great African icon, a man who 
sacrificed his life and endured years of hardship
for his people to finally have freedom.
Mandela is
greatly remembered for his stand against apartheid and the many injustices that
white minority imposed on the native black people of South Africa.
He was the first South
African president who stood for justice for the oppressed black demographic,
the president imprisoned for more than 27 years for believing in the rights of
his people.
Mandela will
also be remembered for uniting the great nation of South Africa into a rainbow
nation where white and black people now live harmoniously.
A source of
African and global youth inspiration, Mandela has been one of the major threads
that held the African continent together through all the dark tribulations it
has gone through, a man whose legacy not only affected his country, but the whole
Mandela set a
great example for other places in the world that had racial problems, teaching
that people of different skin colors and cultures could live together
Mandela will
greatly be missed, but forever celebrated as the great African hero.


Gilbert Bwette /
David Kaweesa and Vannesa Assolo show their drawings of Nelson Mandela.

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