Hundreds of thousands of runners during a previous Kabaka Birthday run at Lubiri, Mengo Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE


The Kabaka Birthday run 2023 is intended to raise awareness and strengthen the efforts to fight the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in Buganda and Uganda at large, under the theme: “The fight to end HIV/ AIDS by 2030.”

  • Event: 10th Kabaka Birthday run
  • Date: Sunday, 16th April 2023
  • Official Start & Finishing points: Lubiri, Mengo – Kampala city
  • Charge: UGX. 20,000 per kit (vest, water bottle & bag)
  • Theme: The fight to end HIV/ AIDS by 2030

For the 10th year running, the annual Kabaka birthday run returns to Uganda’s sporting and social sphere on Sunday, 16th April 2023.

The King of Buganda Kingdom Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II will officially flag off the run that is intended to end the prevalence of HIV/ AIDS in Uganda.

The run has been officially launched on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at Bulange, Mengo by the Buganda Kingdom and the main sponsors, Airtel Uganda.

Prime minister (Katikiro) of Buganda Kingdom Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga, Buganda Kingdom minister of sports, leisure and recreation Henry Ssekabembe Kiberu and the Airtel Uganda Managing Director Manoj Murali graced the launch flanked by other officials as well as media.

The official launch of the 2023 Airtel sponsored Kabaka Birthday run at Bulange, Mengo – Kampala on Thursday, 9th March 2023.

This year’s run is intended to raise awareness and strengthen the efforts to fight the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in Buganda and Uganda at large, under the theme: “The fight to end HIV/ AIDS by 2030.”

The Kabaka Birthday Run is a great platform for millions of Ugandans to celebrate the life of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II and direct our common efforts in reducing public health challenges like ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, fistula and sickle cell. Airtel Uganda is pleased to, once again, champion a cause that supports the reduction of the disease burden in Buganda. Since 2019, Airtel Uganda together with Buganda Kingdom and UNAIDS has continued to drive awareness about the danger of HIV/ AIDS in our society through the Kabaka Birthday Run. This forms part of our sustainability strategy of transforming lives in Uganda. We remain fully committed to this cause.

Manoj Murali, Airtel Uganda Managing Director
Official launch of the 10th Kabaka birthday run at Bulange, Mengo – Kampala

After putting up a strong fight against Fistula and Sickle Cells, the Kingdom embarked on a fight against HIV/AIDS in Buganda and in other parts of Uganda through the Kabaka Birthday Run which attracts over 80,000 participants annually. Having partners like Airtel Uganda who are culturally aware of their operating environment, has enabled us in growing digital and financial inclusion of our people. We appreciate their support in transforming the lives Ugandans. We know that their contribution towards the run will greatly support the fight against HIV/AIDS because Buganda’s productivity is premised on a healthy population.

Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga, Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga (Katikiro of Buganda Kingdom)

The running kits worth Ushs 20,000/- include a vest, a water bottle and cap can be purchased at select Airtel Shops Airtel Shop New Park Kyaggwe Road, Shoprite building Ben Kiwanuka and Thobani Centre.

Alternatively, one can use Airtel Money by dialing *185#, select payments, enter the amount plus their PIN to confirm the payment and then pick their Kit at the mentioned points.

Over the years, thousands associate with Buganda Kingdom to make this run a success.

Data from UNAIDS, the leading organization in the fight against HIV/AIDS, indicates that by 2021, 38.4 million people globally were living with HIV.

The report also indicated that although 1.5 million people became newly infected with HIV, there was a reduction in New HIV infections reflecting a 54% drop since the peak in 1996.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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