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American singer’s Ksh1.3bn gift to Uganda’s ‘Wakaliwood’

American singer Akon and his Rozina Negusei will invest $12 million (Ksh1.3bn) in the Ugandan entertainment industry.

Yesterday, they visited Uganda in search of investment opportunities and met President Yoweri Museveni and other senior government officials. Akon is keen on extending his business footprint in Africa.

“When you develop an artist, you develop a nation,” said Rozina.

Wakaliwood, arguably Uganda’s most notable entertainment export, produces low budget films from Wakaliga slums near Kampala. Some of its notable products are Who Killed Captain Alex?Bad Black, and Tebaatusasula.

The meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and other government officials. Akon had earlier visited a mosque in Kampala. PHOTO/COURTESY

Akon (real name Aliaune Thiam) has planned a futuristic $6 billion city in Senegal, the land where his parents hail from. His other investments in the continent are copper and cobalt mining in Congo, and various solar energy projects under Akon Lighting Africa.

He describes the lighting project as “deeply personal”. though born in the United States to Senegalese parents, he spent much of his childhood in Senegal. When he visited later on in life, he found his grandmother still using candles to light her home. Akon decided to light up not only her home but also Africa.

The Grammy Award-winning singer describes the futuristic city as a “real-life Wakanda,” comparing it to the technologically advanced fictional African place portrayed in the blockbuster film “Black Panther.”

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