Girl turns to music to raise school fees

Daphine Babirye with her mother at their home in Kapulukuchu A  Village, Kadimukoli Sub-county in Budaka District. Photo | Mudangha Kolyangha 

What you need to know:

  • Babirye started her education journey at Bugade Primary School in Mayuge District before she joined Kamonkoli Seed Secondary School for Senior One in 2023.

Every day, 21-year-old Daphine Babirye from the remote village of Kapulukuchu A in Sekulo Parish, Kadimukoli Sub-county in Budaka District, watches her age mates go to school.

She is envious because, under normal circumstances, she should be trekking the same path.

However, she cannot attend due to a lack of school fees.

Babirye started her education journey at Bugade Primary School in Mayuge District before she joined Kamonkoli Seed Secondary School for Senior One in 2023.

But she was chased from school after her mother, Ms Edith Naula failed to pay fees of Shs100,000.

In March, Babirye, 21, decided to leave home to look for work in Mukono to raise school fees but things did not work out as she had anticipated.

“I worked in one of the hotels as a waitress. I had hoped to raise some money before I could bounce back to school but it didn’t work out,” she says, adding that she only managed to save Shs190,000 for the two months of work.

Determined not to bury her education dream, Babirye used part of the money to buy a mini-speaker at Shs180,000 and a memory card at Shs10,000 to aid her in her new venture -- singing.

“I started moving on various streets of Mukono, Kireka, Bweyogerere, and Mbalala to sing for Shs1,000 per song. I raise between Shs30,000 and Shs50,000 if things go well,” she says.

Babirye sings Kadongo-Kamu and Reggae songs but sometimes the council officials arrest her and demand money from her before she is released.

“The council officials demand Shs100,000 before they release me but because I want to raise my fees, I’m never distracted,” she says.

She puts the money in savings groups where her mother is a member with the hope that it can increase and enable her to restart her education journey.

On June 3, during the Martyrs’ Day celebrations at Namugongo, Babirye moved to the venue as usual with her speaker.

“That day I collected Shs50,000. My dream is to become a lawyer and serve the underprivileged in communities,” she says.

After her return from Namugongo, Babirye was informed that Bugwere High School had offered her a bursary.

“I now ask other people to aid me with other basic scholastic materials since I have been given a bursary,” she says.

Babirye’s troubles started after her mother separated from her father.

 Ms Naula, the mother of Babirye, says the school offered her daughter a bursary after they saw a video of her daughter singing in trading centres to raise school fees.

“I am extremely happy that finally my daughter is returning to school,” she says.

The Bugwere High School Headmaster, Mr Azizi Walumoli, says the school administration decided to offer Babirye a bursary because of her love for education.

He, however, says she needs a mattress, blanket, and other scholastic materials.