Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II flags off the runners at Lubiri Mengo on Sunday, 16th April 2023


Donned in sporty grey track suit, blueish shirt with an accompanying jacket and a maroon cap, the Kabaka waved to the masses with the trade-mark infectious smile.

It has been unmeasured excitement at the main palace of Buganda Kingdom in Mengo, Kampala as the King Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II graced the 2023 charity birth run.

As early as 5 AM, participants from all walks of life had thronged the Lubiri donned in the red Airtel branded vest kits on Sunday, 16th April 2023.

Despite the chilly weather conditions that followed the overnight rains in Kampala city and the surrounding areas, thousands of people braved the cold and mud to reach the Lubiri.

Buganda Kingdom ministers were right on spot, at the right place and timing.

Katikiro (premier) Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga arrived at 6:30 AM. He was welcomed by the first deputy premier minister Owek. Hajji Twaha Kawaase.

The Lubiri erupted when the King majestically arrived minutes after half past seven.

Donned in sporty grey track suit, blueish shirt with an accompanying jacket and a maroon cap, the Kabaka waved to the masses with the trade-mark infectious smile.

Kabaka Mutebi II holds the Buganda Kingdom flag to see off the runners at Lubiri, Mengo

Musician Sir Mesach Ssemakula led the treasured Buganda national anthem as the crowed chorused every word of the anthem with vigour.

“I want to thank you for getting the time to grace this run amidst the rains” the Kabaka echoed as the crowd applauded.

The Kabaka’s message to the masses about mitigation of the HIV/AIDS was well delivered.

“The war against HIV/AIDS is very important. We want our people to stay alive and look after the relatives with this disease. Therefore, this event is very important.” He added with a firm voice.

Driving to a famous run:

The King hinted on the plans to transform the Kabaka Birthday run as one of the most adored runs not only in Africa, but the whole of the world.

“I have been informed that this run is one of the most prestigious ones in the whole world. I want us to be like New York, London, Zurich and other places in the world. I appeal to you to surge forward as we fight against HIV/AIDS. May God bless you all.” He concluded before handshaking with the ambassadors of Egypt and Germany who also took part in the run.

At 8:00 AM, the Kabaka officially flagged off the 21 KM runners.

After two minutes, His majesty then flagged off the runners in the 10KM category and then the majority of the participants in the 5KM cluster.

Top officials with Kabaka Mutebi II (third from left). I&M Bank Managing director Sam Ntulume is extreme left as Airtel MD ManojiMurali is second from right
Prince David Wassajja (fourth from left) waves to the crowds. He was chief runner in the 21KM race

Buganda Kingdom loyals and officials, diplomats, ministers, members of Parliament, CEOs, company directors, famous businessmen, musicians, other celebrities and ordinary persons graced this run.

Musicians as Pallaso, Rodney Wine Kabako, and others entertained the runners during the warm down session.

Meanwhile, there were different races spread out in the countryside and outside the spheres of the country in Africa, Europe and USA.

Thousands of runners at Lubiri during the 2023 Kabaka Birthday run

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

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