By Bayan Nalubwama
The Ugandan envoy led by the PRO of Uganda National Cultural Center, Robert Musiitwa and Kiconco Cultural Dance troupe popularized Uganda’s diverse Culture and shined during the National Tribal Dance Festival that happened in Chhttisgarh Raipur in India.
The National Tribal Dance Festival is an annual dance feast that brings together all the tribal states and Union territories of India to show their prominent and colorful tribal dance forms. The three-day Festival that ran from 28th- 30th October included performances by tribal dancers from twenty seven Indian states and six union territories.
This was the second time Uganda represented and this time round, the representatives showcased Uganda’s Cultural diversity through dance and music, celebration dances as well as Marriage and initiation acts. The team also took time to practice and made a fusion of the local dialect Hindu with local dialects in Uganda. That and other activities overwhelmed the festival organisers together with the audience and they awarded Uganda an accolade. Each participant also came home with a certificate.
The team comprised of Robert Musiitwa PRO at UNCC, Nuwamanya Juliet the CEO Kiconco Cultural Dance troupe, Katongole Derrick, Mubezi Zainah Nakagwa, Namaya Enoth, Winnie Nankya, Patrick Ndawula and their participation positioned Uganda’s Culture as a tourism aspect that should be prioritized, promoted Uganda as a tourist destination, promoted and created awareness about Uganda’s Cultural products, exposed the beautiful and rich Ugandan Cultural heritage and also, increased awareness about Uganda the Pearl of Africa.
During a media Briefing held at UNCC to welcome the team home, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and social development who was represented by Julian Naume Akorio, the commissioner for Culture and family affairs advised the UNCC to once in a while organize different cuisines of all the different cultures in Uganda with belief that this will attract crowds from Uganda and the rest of the world since many people would like to taste the food from the fifty six tribes in Uganda. She also advised the Cultural Center to organize similar festivals and invite other countries in order to bond and strengthen relationships.
Mr. Usher Wilson Owore, a UNCC board member applauded the team from India for the job well done and also promised to continue sending different teams not only in India but in the world over.
“We are really proud and happy that you have lifted Uganda to another level and you have also cemented the relationship between India and Uganda. This relationship is between people and people which is very very key,” he said
He also also credited the Ministry of Gender and the UNCC for the wonderful diplomatic engagement with other countries.
Speaking on the same occasion, Robert Musiitwa, the Public Relations Officer at UNCC urged the Ministry of tourism to front Culture as a tourist attraction because it’s uniqueness can foster unity, end wars and also end the climate change challenges evolving everyday.
“I am also calling upon people in the tourism sector that if they can only give Culture priority, it’s the only thing that can create uniqueness in our country because other things can be found anywhere, animals can be found anywhere, the only thing that can make us unique is our Culture and if we can only put it the forefront, it will also increase the revenue in this country for example the karamajongs can not be found anywhere else in the world. They are only found in Uganda and if we can put that at the forefront, then we will be good to go as a country.” He said
Juliet Nuwamanya also a board member at UNCC and the director of Kiconco Cultural Dance troupe expressed satisfaction of the treatment they received in India and how the host country promotes and respects Art.
The dances performed included Runyege, Ntogoro, Bakisimba, Muwogola, Larakaraka, Otwenge, Mwaga, Kitagururo among others while the instruments included Adungu, drums (Engalabi, Namunjoloba, Empunyi, Nankasa) flute, endager and ensasi among others.
Other countries that participated in the festival were Mali, Swaziland, Nigeria, Siliranka, Uzbekistan and Palestine.
It should also be noted that the UNCC also hosted Indian dance group Manish R. Waghmare with MJ Foundation during the second edition of the annual UNCC festival in 2019.