Uganda is the adventure hotspot of Africa. They don’t tell you this. Because this information is exclusive to only a few, who don’t want people to crowd their spaces. But it’s true, that there are mediocre events in the country that have mammoth crowds. They mostly gather the informal sector. People who can’t tell ‘you’re’ from ‘your’ or those who wouldn’t know urbanite vibes if they hit them in the face.
But if you are Urbanite living in Uganda, or any part of the world, there are events you should attend. Festivals with young people united by a vibe so vicious it transcends religion and ethnicity and blood.
Below are the 5 biggest events to attend in Uganda.
Nyege Nyege Festival
If you should attend an event in Uganda that will give you a vibe; an experience so diverse, so eclectic, you will not stay the same; then it is the Nyege Nyege Festival. The Nile Discovery Beach in Jinja where it happens is a haven for adventure to fester by each day of the 4 day festival. The people at Nyege Nyege are different. And they know it, that they are different. That they are black and white and Caucasian. But at Nyege Nyege, they are one tribe. They drink from the same blood gourd of good vibes. They dance to all nature of music, without necessarily comprehending the lyrics, or the language or the performers. They walk around looking for more adventure; something more thrilling than a puff of weed, more energetic than a B Boy and break dance competition, a drink more intoxicating and intimate than Uganda Waragi Coconut (Ug Coco,) or even more sexually arousing than kissing a sexy stranger in the rain. At Nyege Nyege, they are one religion. And they worship a good time. A great Dj. A great performer. A dance artiste who gives all. The performances are usually a carefully concocted mishmash of music; a lineup so diverse it can’t be fitted on one stage so they use 5 stages. There are performers from across the world, representing different cultures and ethnicities and musicality. Attending Nyege Nyege is, but the very epic definition of Living. If you have to attend one event before you die, it should be Nyege Nyege.
It is happening between 5th– 8th September. Details on tickets will be shared soon.
If you are an art enthusiast, and love a cocktail of adventure and art in the wild, then the Bayimba Festival is your spot. That they picked a new venue in the Lunkulu Island on Lake Victoria, was a master stroke by the proprietor Phaisal Kiweewa. Artists in their different capacities attend the show to showcase. Nyege Nyege got to the spot they are in before them, but they are a powerful replica of experience to Nyege Nyege, except with a fine touch of art in their set up. To get there, you need to branch from Mukono ‘Wantoni’ (local pronunciation of Anthony) and head past Katosi to get to the island. They have on their sleeves, a very definitive power to select timeless musical artistes that just massage the spots of the audiences. This year’s edition has the likes of Aziz Azion, Willy Mukabya, Greg Tendwa among others.
It is happening between 1st -4th August at Lunkulu Island.
Rolex Festival 18th August
You have definitely had of the rolex. Not the watch. But the chappati and eggs roll. One of the many foods that define the Ugandan Cuisine. It is a fast food, yes. But it is revered across Uganda. And the rolex, previously renowned for just the eggs and Nyanya Mbiss (raw tomatoes,) has seen many innovations. There are chicken and meat Rolexes. There are veggy Rolexes. Thus a festival to celebrate it that has, past the years, grown by leaps and bounds. So imagine so many stalls of Rolexes. Imagine performances, and Coca Cola, and a DJ set. This year’s edition moved to a new venue to accommodate the numbers. They also hiked the price. Well, a bit. But it is a different festival from the mediocrity being served.
It will be happening at Lugogo Cricket Oval on 18th August.
Blankets and Wine
The people at Nyege Nyege are not so different from those that attend Blankets and Wine. Except they carefully veil their craze with fashion. They show up in meticulously chosen fashion garb. The men, clad in brightly colored floral print shirts and shorts, look like they are headed for Coachella. The women; oh the women, they will be extra. You will see the effort. The gigantic sun glasses and big sneakers. The overtly skimpy outfits, and thighs. Brown Thighs. Chocolate thighs. Black Thighs. Thighs that fell in hydroquinone. Thighs that should never be brought out. Thighs that are a blessing to humanity. And thighs that should be fed to dogs. They bare them all, these women. They sit on their blankets and shawls and throw swigs of Bellaire at the back of their throats, careful not to smudge their lipstick. They dance like they’re royals. And they are usually a crop of pretty in different shades of skin. They attend Blankets and Wine because it is the coolest event in Kampala. Because the crème dela crème of Urbanites in Kampala attend it. The music is often nice. There is usually a good DJ on the set, and affordable liquor, and an international performance that the audience doesn’t know much about but shout and ululate to his performance anyway. There is usually a panoply of great photobooths to choose from. Many however choose the TML photo booth. It’s urbane. And goes with all clothing. Tuskerlite is the beer they do at this show. The rest is jokes.
It happens 3 times every year. There is one on 25th August. But the biggest one is the one in December.
If you are a fashion fanatic, then you should attend the SEED SHOW. The Skills Expressive Entrepreneurial Design show. Here; budding fashion designers from across Uganda showcase their works after attending the boot camp, tutored by legendary Ugandan designer Ras Kasozi. They have had slots at the Bayimba Festival and will showcase this year as well. They did great with workshops at the ASFAS, as well as Gloria Wavamuno’s Kampala Fashion Week. This year, however is their year of morphing, as they will be having an independent show in late September. If you have attended any of their fashion experiences, for their rawness, originality, or for any reason, then you know what they have prepared this time is big.