Bayimba festival ready for second round - Daily Monitor

Bayimba festival ready for second round

Friday May 22 2009


The clock is ticking, and the team behind Bayimba Festival, an initiative of Bayimba Cultural Foundation is working around the clock to see that the festival happens on 12 to 14 June. Making two years now – it is the only such arts festival the country celebrates. Bayimba is a Luganda word to mean, they sing.

While few people attended last year, the festival is steadily gaining more fans. A look at the festival programme shows that there will be quite a number of activities like live band performances, Traditional Dance, Contemporary and Modern Dance. The festival will also include contemporary art and graffiti, photography, video, theatre drama, storytelling, poetry and comedy.

Films and documentaries, fashion shows, silent disco, exhibition and sales of arts and crafts will be among the other activities. You definitely want to experience the silent disco, the concept is new here.

There will be a designated hut with 300 headphones in the room plus two deejays, one from the UK and the other from Uganda all mixing different kinds of music. So, the National Theatre which happens to be the venue will be a beehive of activity, and all of its avenues will be occupied by the festival which is free of charge.

The organisers have perhaps learnt some lessons from their previous mistakes. Moving the festival from Kyadondo Rugby Grounds to the National Theatre was a good move. Being the national cultural centre adds credibility to the cultural extravaganza.

The director of the National Theatre, Joseph Walugembe, said they were supportive of the festival. He believes that with the coming of Bayimba, at least they are making strides in seeing arts and culture entertained on the national agenda.

2009 is not a good year, though. Like any other big event that needs external funding, Bayimba too has felt the pinch of the credit crunch. It is therefore tricky, seeing that this is a festival that needs a big budget. The festival director told a press conference last week that some of their sponsors pulled out. However, he also said he is optimistic that the festival will go on because they have now resorted to plan B.

Some of the performances this year will include Enika from Tanzania, Kaz Kasozi from the UK, Masamba from Rwanda, Elemotho from Namibia, Masamba from Rwanda and our own Afrigo Band, Juliana, Blood Brothers and Maddox Sematimba. The festival grounds will also provide space to others to exhibit their creativity, e.g. arts, fashion and handcraft exhibitors, including festival creative women groups that aim at self-empowerment.

While there will be some international artistes flying in, local artistes as well will benefit from the festival. The green room for instance has been reserved for them, and in here, they will be selling and autographing their CDs.