NAIROBI – YouTube star Pikotaro was appointed by the Ugandan government Friday as a tourism ambassador to help boost the number of Japanese travelers to the East African country.
In a ceremony in the capital Kampala, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni asked Pikotaro if he is a samurai. Pikotaro, best known for his viral hit song “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen,” responded that he is “a singer-songwriter” and drew laughter from the attendees with a performance of the song, also known as “PPAP.”
Uganda “has fantastic weather and tasty food. It is a great country to visit for those who want to have a relaxing time,” Pikotaro said of the country known as the “Pearl of Africa” for its lush greenery, but which currently draws few Japanese tourists.
Pikotaro, who will serve in the post over the next year, said he hopes to write a song to promote tourism to Uganda.
He also met with members of the Ugandan national soccer team Thursday and taught them how to do the PPAP dance so they can perform it upon scoring a goal.
Pikotaro is popular in Uganda, with PPAP topping the local charts last October, said an official from his management office Avex.