By Kiyimba Bruno

Today in history marks 27 year since Philly Bongole Lutaaya left this planet.

Philly is the only and first African celebrity musician who came out in the faces of the whole world, as many feared to come out and speak openly about the verge of HIV and AIDS. On 19th October 1989 Philly came out openly to tell the world that he was HIV/AIDS positive.

During Philly’s lifetime, HIV/AIDS was the story everywhere. Many people were dying at a very first rate  where some were even neglected whenever they were found HIV positive.

Philly became so popular with his songs mostly for Christmas festivals where he played songs like;

Katujaguze tuyimbe nenyimba, alone and frightened, born in Africa, merry Christmas and a happy new year, ngenda mukibuga  ekampala and many more. These songs actually were the rocks of the 1980s.

Philly Lutaaya performing one of his songs called Alone and Lonely
Philly Lutaaya performing one of his songs called Alone and Lonely

But one song remained standing alone to the extent that even when Philly died, the song stayed winning awards like pearl of Africa music awards and many more. ‘’TODAY ITS ME, TOMORROW IS SOMEONE ELSE’’ is a song that got everyone’s mind, spirit soul and every part of a human body and mind. The person singing it was always a live example on stage. HIV/AIDS gave people a shock. Those days people were taking life as a jock. Only one man Philly came out to open their eyes about what was going on.

In Uganda, areas like Masaka were at times ignored and left vacant due to the fact that many people were dying at a very first rate.

After Philly Bongole Lutayaa’s death at 38, the Philly Lutaaya initiative association continued with his work in support with UNICEF. They preached the gospel of living a healthy and free HIV/AIDS life.

Today in Uganda, the infection rate is reducing and people infected are living happily a positive live after good counseling from the councilors and health workers.