Nyege Nyege Festival comes to an end after four days of what many people could/will describe in their own way.To be be precise,what is written herein is a perspective by one of the mainstream Ugandan Writers and Events Planner , Absolom Lubwama.
A few years ago, there was a slogan by one of the liquor manufacturing companies that people liked making fun of.”The spirit that binds us”.By then, it sounded like a spirit that held people in bondage of drunkenness and partying and needed exorcism.
However, this seemed like the “true spirit of Uganda” like the slogan was later changed.It’s Ugandan to find an excuse to party, drinking ourselves “lame” in company of music & crowds.
Nyege Nyege – what we learnt
The organizers of the Nyege Nyege festival found a vacuum that was marketed as a celebration of cultures to offer a space where booze would flow like the Nile.Music vibrating like it’s waves .Spirits flow freely like it’s waters.No wonder the tickets were sold out.
The critics and opponents of the festival sighting immorality and lack of true culture at display were silenced by need for fun, profit and tax. Why deny the area the only festival that fetched more than the areas’ sugar cane harvest of 3years ?
This was a celebration of diverse culture.A marriage of the local and international cults. A fussion of different spirits bonding into one.A free spirit to indulge at ease with no guilt , to accommodate, promote , share and respect.A freedom to spend with no regrets, to rekindle with no restrain like the annual pilgilmagers of the Uganda Martyrs.
With a combination of substances and mind altering music to prepare the soul for freedom to wander freely like the waters of the Nile. With a choice to join and be free.Like the River is known world over, so is the festival of Nyege gaining ground each year.
The negative publicity by politicians is creating more awareness and curiosity . The tax man smiles counting his collection after the event, hotels walking to the bank with their profits and airlines smile welcoming passengers back home.
The Losers and Winners at Nyege Nyege
The satisfaction of some are visible on the faces for the weekend well spent. The regrets of the unfortunate who got carried away in sexual orgies and drunken stupors claimed by the unforgiving spirit of fun are clear. Clinics are ready to welcome new patients.
Trekking home and gearing up for next year’s event to quench the thirst of the now growing “Spirit of the Nile”.One is left with a choice “to be or not be” part of this.
By Absolom Lubwama
Absolom Lubwama does printing write ups, language translation and events planning. He began writing his debut novel during the first covid out break and world lockdown in 2020 with the use of a mobile phone. He is the author of Behind the storm and Marriage an African man’s perspective.When he’s not writing, he offers a free hand at counseling, plays a saxophone , takes nature walks , travels taking photographs or does journaling at a coffee shop.
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