We are nearing the 1st of December, a day dedicated to creating global awareness and reflecting on the sad reality of the deadly HIV virus.
Speaking about HIV/AIDS in a generation most dominated by the millennials, we today in our #MCM series celebrate MC KATS, who in these modern times came out and declared his positive HIV/AIDS status.
A distinguished events emcee, at the peak of his Television career, when fame was his second name, Edwin Katamba famously known as MC KATS shocked Uganda in December 2019 when he declared that he had AIDS. He became the first Ugandan celebrity to give the disease a human face in the modern times of course after Philly Bongole Lutaaya who did the same amidst high levels of stigma and discrimination in the late 80’s.
The self proclaimed “King of the Mic” was the center of media attention when he broke the news that he was HIV positive. The news came with mixed reactions from the public followed by episodes of both mental and emotional rollercoasters for the emcee. Since then, Kats has undertaken various endeavors as part of his civic responsibility to advocate, advise and inspire the younger generation about HIV and other related diseases.
Kats’s courage evidently changed how Ugandans viewed HIV/Aids, an influence that spread beyond Uganda by using his entertainment platforms to educate the masses about stigma and its dangers to those living with the virus that causes Aids. Kats has been working closely with the Uganda Aids Commission, Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/Aids (UGANET), UNDP, TASO, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) among others.
MC Kats’s efforts seem to be paying off as was last week recognized with an award towards the fight against HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination in Uganda. This was during the 14th Annual joint AIDS review and the Philly Lutaaya memorial lecture held at Hotel Africana on November 18, 2021.
The event’s Key note speaker, King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru presented Kats with his accolade amid ululations and praise for the latter’s courage to stand against stigma. Organized by the Uganda AIDS Commission in collaboration with Ministry of Health and the Research Academia and professionals, Self Coordinating Entity, the three day meeting had discussions and presentations from other HIV/AIDS advocates.
We as SPINERS, we hail you MC KATS, for you efforts against fighting HIV-related stigma, KUDOS.