Rwandan artistes Ama G The Black, Karigombe and Fireman joined forces, calling for widespread support for the visually impaired. The move was during the annual celebration of ‘White Cane Awareness Day’ on November 15. The impassioned plea came following an impactful event hosted by the Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB), shedding light on the challenges faced by the visually impaired in their daily lives. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane. A white cane allows blind or visually impaired people to scan their surroundings for obstacles or orientation marks. It also helps onlookers to easily identify the user as blind or visually impaired and take appropriate care. ALSO READ: Disability is not inability, visually impaired painter Uwukunda attests Papi Sibomana, the Chairman of Advocacy Committee at RUB said, during the event, some individuals including the duo were blindfolded to experience the challenges of crossing roads using a white cane in a small exercise dubbed ‘street challenge’. “They were instructed to navigate through challenging lanes, uneven faces full of obstacles while following the sounds of someone clapping. They encountered numerous difficulties along the way as some of them testified,” Sibomana explained. He added: “The challenge aims to highlight the daily struggles faced by individuals with visual impairments when crossing roads in public independently. So, we collaborate with public figures because we believe they are so influential and their messages can reach far and beyond.” ALSO READ: Union of the blind calls for local production of white canes Rapper Amani Hakizimana, also known as Ama G The Black expressed that, When someone suffers challenges, I immediately put myself in his or her shoes and that's what I did yesterday.” “However, I was surprised to see that there are visually impaired people who have been able to be involved in productive work and are successful. They deserve to be treated like everyone else,” he said. The ‘Nyabarongo’ singer said: “I was blindfolded for only three minutes to cross the road with a white cane. However, the experience I had, felt heavy and made me think about a person who has experienced the same issue for quite a long time.” “Regardless of the situation, they deserve equal support and respect as human beings,” he added. The ‘Uruhinja’ hitmaker believes artists have a responsibility to use their platform to convey powerful messages. “After experiencing their challenges, I was inspired to create an advocacy project through songs to raise awareness about their needs and rights. My advocacy, however, will not be on the side of the visually impaired only, it will be dedicated to people with disabilities in general,” he said. ALSO READ: The woes and wishes of a visually impaired painter Rapper Karigombe real name Stephen Munyurangabo echoed similar sentiments, acknowledging the immense struggles faced by the visually impaired persons while praising their abilities beyond sight. He said: “Artistes shouldn’t be available for support on a certain occasion only. Instead, I urge them to embrace it in their art-related activities throughout the year. It means a lot in our community,” he said. The ‘Umunyerezo’ singer observes that “being blind does not prevent them from excelling in various activities. Their talents often go unnoticed leaving their lives unexplored,” he said. The rapper said the collaborative efforts will make a difference in supporting the visually impaired community since, the artistes are voluntarily giving their best on top of the already existing supporting systems to assist visually impaired individuals.