Nyege Nyege, the biggest party in East Africa, came to a close on Sunday, September 18, after three days of reveling and a three-year hiatus, caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, that brought the whole world to a standstill.
Nyege Nyege 2022 exceeded all expectations, attracting over 300 artists from all over the world showcasing culture, heritage, food and drink to boot, in a show of the will to simply celebrate life after the trying years of deprivation in the lockdown.
The event almost came off the rails when a group of ‘holier than thou’ lawmakers made a futile attempt to ban this year’s event alleging immorality, homosexuality and nudity only to be overturned by the Prime Minister (the executive), honorable Robinah Nabanja, who stated that Ugandans should be allowed to celebrate after being in lockdown for three years, albeit under stipulated guidelines by the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity.
The First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda and Minister for East African Community Affairs, honorable Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, who happens to be the previous Speaker of Parliament and hailing from the Busoga region where the event was held was a big crowd puller at the event, in a big show of endorsement by government to the embarrassment of the so called ‘moralist ‘ lawmakers and current house speaker, who had sworn to deal with errant lawmakers who attended Nyege Nyege.
‘How can we not market the beauty of the Nile, remarked Kadaga in a show of defiance.
‘It is God-given.’
“Nyege Nyege is now an institution, you know, in terms of representing African music and culture,” said Arlen Dilsizian, co-founder and Nyege Nyege festival organizer.
Taking place on the banks of the river Nile in eastern Uganda, this year’s edition was a draw for over 12,000 revelers including 1,500 Kenyans and 500 Rwandsns from within the region.
“Africa’s Glastonbury,” quipped a British reveler.
Uganda Tourism Board CEO LillyAjarova twitted ‘ We need #NyegeNyege2022 in every district. More events like this will help the world discover and #exploreuganda more.
Issa Kato Director of Pristine Tours and Board member Association of Uganda Tour Operators who had a fried fish deli had this to say: “The festival was a success in terms of organization and participation. It is a bullet train in promoting domestic tourism as well as attracting tourists from around the World. When we interacted with the several European and American tourists that attended, they clearly said they wouldn’t be here in Uganda if it wasn’t for Nyege Nyege because they didn’t even know Uganda. So, our special request goes to government through Ministry of Ethics and Ministry of ICT and national guidance to include the festival on the national calendar of activities every year.”
“In the subsequent years to come, Nyege Nyege will definitely be the biggest festival that promotes tourism, supports community initiatives and contributes to the GDP of Uganda. We must a support the festival for it is a sure way to promote our cultures as well.”
The source of the river Nile has been a subject of mystery since Alexandrian Astronomer Claudius Ptolemy described the snow-capped Ruwenzoris Mountains of the Moon as the source of the Nile in his writings in 300 BC.
The mystery was unraveled when explorer John Hanning Speke reached the source of the Nile on August 3, 1858 under the commissioning of the Royal Geographic Society.
The debate about his discovery continued, at least for a while.
It was laid to rest by Henry Morton Stanley who circumvented Lake Victoria between 1874 and 1877.