A fun celebration of culture

Dancers perform at the Kwegonza Avenue. Photo | Andrew Kaggwa

What you need to know:

  • This has in the past resulted in events such as Bakiga Nation, Rukundo Egumeho, and of course, Kwegonza.

Culture and identity have recently become items of pride. With each passing day, curators of events and gatherings have gone past, giving people a good time to dig into their belonging.

This has in the past resulted in events such as Bakiga Nation, Rukundo Egumeho, and of course, Kwegonza.

These events bring people together mainly because of heritage, memories, and the need to connect with home, especially with a country such as Uganda, where everything almost starts and ends in Kampala.

Kwegonza Avenue is one of such events; this brings together people from Bunyoro and Tooro. Since the first edition took place in the Tooro region, some people thought it was only a Tooro affair, but with more editions that have been held, the two communities have managed to share both the stage and experience.

“This is the one place you get to be a Munyoro and speak the language easily,” said one of the revellers.

Kwegonza means enjoying in both Runyoro and Rutooro, however,  some of the revellers note that there is a slight difference in the way the two communities mention the word. Besides that, the spelling and the meaning are the same.

The festival took place at UMA Grounds in Lugogo, a rare venue for events of a kind but also a perfect one.

With almost six hours of entertainment, the show was a blend between popular culture and entertainment and ethno or traditional music.

For the bigger part of the day, the culture is alive, banana juice was served in gourds, local brew, and some people got a chance to learn how to play omweso, one of the earliest African board games there is.

The game was supposedly introduced by the Bachwezi people of the ancient Bunyoro-Kitara empire of Uganda.

However, it existed in isolation; there was not a single person to take people through the artefacts, so for revellers who were neither from the Bunyoro nor Tooro communities, there was a total lack of guidance.

The choice of artistes was great most of the time; Ruyonga, for instance, had the audience on their feet, especially when he performed Kitara, off his new album Kabalega.

But it was a little known artist, Douglas, who seemed to have the best time on stage – the only one the audience asked for an encore.

His music is in Rutooro, mainly in the Ugandan pop style, although a few of his songs are mellow and somehow soulful.

For a bigger part, the Pilsner Lager bankrolled event brought together a community of people to celebrate their heritage, language and simply have fun.

The day ended with an uninspired performance by Winnie Nwagi.