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I Started My NGO At 18 - Melissa Mulungi

Musician and Founder of Chec Foundation Melissa Mulungi revealed that she started her charity organization at only eighteen years of age.

She made the revelations on The Groove Cafe on RX Radio with Crystal Newman where she said that during the visits she made to Uganda from her home in Germany, she was compelled to impact the lives of the children she saw in her parents' villages.

Born and raised in Germany, the now 24-year-old narrated how on visiting the villages, she wanted to teach the children about using modern technology after realizing that they lacked basic life necessities, hence the formation of the Children's Health Empowerment and Care (Chec).

“Whenever we came to Uganda, my parents would take me to their villages and old schools so I would get to compare the schools in Germany and those here. I realized these children didn't have as many opportunities as we did. I looked at them and thought that I could have been one of them so I felt obliged to do something to help them,” she narrated.

She continued, “but because I was young, at first, I wanted to bring computers and educate them about modern technology. But when I started speaking to their parents and teachers, I realized that my priorities were different from theirs which were food and clothing. I figured I couldn't teach them about computers when they haven’t had a meal all day. That is when I switched to a more sustainable idea that would benefit them.”

Mulungi said she started up farming and poultry projects such that the families could benefit from the startups for longer periods of time since she was an occasional visitor in Uganda.

Besides her kindness and generosity, Mulungi is also a lover of music. As part of her musical journey, she says she began to sing at 3 years in a church choir. However, she had never recorded music for public audiences till she came to Uganda in 2020 where she eventually created and released her first song.

“My first recorded song was done when I moved to Uganda and met different musicians and producers.” Crystal, amazed by this, asked her who eventually encouraged her to start singing.

She mentioned Malaika, Ray Signature and Irene Ntale among the first who were her inspiration. “Recording in the studio was actually weird because I was so used to singing in church and now the transformation was very huge. I hadn't studied music so I found the terms a bit challenging. But I eventually fell in love with it and now whenever I am not in the studio, it's like a part of me is missing,” she confessed.

Mulungi describes herself as an R’n’B, Soul and Afrobeat musician whose inspiration she got from her preferred type of music. Her first song Empire of Love was released at the beginning of 2020. However, she was nervous to release it given that it was her first song and the crisis the globe had fallen into. However, she says the reception it got gave her a euphoric feeling she had never experienced before.

“I released the song and didn't use social media the whole day. I just sent it to everyone and at night, I opened my social media only to realize all of my friends were posting it and there was so much love and positive feedback,” she said.

Although she notes that making videos for her music is quite expensive, she has been going on media tours for her new release One life.

Melissa Mulungi has so far released three songs that are Empire of Love (2020), Make You Proud (2021) and One Life also released in (2021).

The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5pm on RX Radio.

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