By Ivan Naijuka
The sound of the drum from all the regions of Uganda–cutting across all Ugandan cultures, could be heard kilometers away from Nkoyoyo Hall; the venue of the 2017 UCU Cultural Gala. With the hall packed to capacity with enthusiastic supporters of 14 cultural groups, it was clear that the cultural gala festivities such as cultural wear, dance, folk song and a play were popular among students.
The Acholi Cultural Group from northern Uganda emerged the best among the 14 groups that participated in the Cultural Galas finale. They scored 311 points and were closely followed by Bakonjo Cultural Group (309 points) and Nkoba-zambogo from Buganda, which scored 305 points. The cultural gala was held under the theme; “Culture as a solution to family challenges.”
A resounding ululation filled the air as the King of Tooro, His Royal Highness; Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV stood to give his speech as the guest of honor.
In his speech, King Oyo thanked UCU and her leadership for inviting and warmly welcoming him and his team. He also appreciated the UCU’s serene learning environment, “As I entered the gates of this university, I made an observation, which is important to acknowledge. The university has conducive and spacious atmosphere for learning,” he said.
He also thanked all groups that participated in the cultural gala, “I congratulate you who have represented your culture identities. You are all winners because of your courage and commitment”, he observed.
The king said that he delights in meeting and engaging with the youth given their potential, energy and being at a defining stage of their growth which needs guidance, “it’s a role am always glad to be part of.”
Preaches against HIV, cancer
He told youth to take good care of themselves and guard themselves against diseases such as HIV/Aids and cancer.
He made a case for celebrating the various cultural identities saying that it’s them that define human beings, “celebrating who we are makes other people understand us better and hence appreciate our uniqueness.”
On his part, UCU Vice Chancellor Rev. Canon. Dr. John Senyonyi thanked the king for honouring the invitation, “It is privilege for us to host you as the guest of honor when UCU is celebrating 20 years mark”, he said.
Dr. Senyonyi underscored the importance of culture and religion saying they make a complete person.