With Ironic Swagger, This Cheeky Hip-Hop Video Seeks Investors for a Rural Village in Uganda

Communities for Development campaign comes from Dude London

a cardboard helicopter
Communities for Development wants to see one Ugandan village stop faking it, and start making it. Communities for Development
Headshot of T.L. Stanley

A few years ago, a nonprofit group and a boutique ad agency trolled Silicon Valley with a sendup of a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a poor Ugandan village.

Now the U.K.-based partners are back with a hip-hop music video, slathering on the swagger to land more investors for rural Bulambuli.

The short film, from Dude London and Communities for Development, revolves around the ironic concept that money often goes to those who don’t need it. As a woman in the video says, “If you look rich and successful, people will trust you, invest in you.”

Cue the beat drop for “Money Makes Money,” which features a catchy original rap song as its soundtrack and stars members of the community as its well-to-do “moguls” showing off their air taxis, sports cars, ready cash and serious bling.

But these aren’t the stereotypical trappings of the ultra-wealthy. Not for real, anyway. In this case, they’re handmade props, cobbled together with plastic, cardboard and other recycled materials.

The video “subverts many of the normal rules of a charity fundraising campaign,” said Lauren Westmore, associate director at PR and social agency Third City. “A clever idea combined with incredible local talent and overwhelmingly positive energy has resulted in a campaign that not only feels fresh but that will hopefully attract the investment that Bulambuli needs for the community to thrive.”

The video, directed by action film maven Isaac Nabwana of Uganda-based film studio Wakaliwood, came together with an entirely Ugandan cast and crew, including rap artists Byg Ben Sukuya, MC Yallah and Jorah MC writing and performing the song in three languages (English, Luganda and Lugisu).

The campaign aims to fund business and finance training and other entrepreneurial skills in an area that struggles with natural disasters like floods and drought, and has also been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Pilar Tejon, co-founder of Communities for Development.

The tongue-in-cheek concept for the video intends to find a common thread between remote villagers and urban dwellers, said Curro Piqueras, Dude’s executive creative director.

“We needed a global insight that felt local,” he said. “The well-known saying ‘money makes money’ felt as real in the Bulambuli Valley as it does in the city of London.”

Though the residents don’t actually golf at country clubs or shower their friends with stacks of bills, they have the energy and drive to create their own success, the partners say.

“Help us make it,” says one of the video’s stars, “so we can stop faking it.”


Creative: Dude London
Production: Wakaliwood, Uganda
Music: Bana Mutibwa, Byg Ben Sukuya, MC Yallah, Jora MC, Baru Beatz
PR and social: Third City
Trade PR: boo pr

@TLStanleyLA terry.stanley@adweek.com T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.