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“I Saw Things” Nyege Nyege Festival

By Diaryofamuzungu @CharlieBeau

Eating life: Nyege Nyege Festival 2018 “I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival“I saw things” Nyege Nyege Festival

PHOTOS Tweny Benjamin, Tweny Moments

"I saw things.

The 4-day fete ended last night. And I saw things. I saw music and art come together in matrimony. I saw free spirited souls, sticking their noses in the air like greyhounds, chasing for a section that had the loudest and 'lit' music. I saw a tribe of happy campers, leaving their warm beds in Uganda's capital, to sleep on small blocks of mattresses under the stewing Jinja heat.

I saw hungry entrepreneurs, predominantly young people, trying to make an extra buck. From innovative startups like Musana Carts to the famous Kyadondo Pork. I saw young creatives sell apparel to festival goers. I saw tattoo artistes trying to make ends meet an ink at a time.

I saw brands like Uganda Waragi and Coca-Cola feeding people the way Jesus would. In fact, at some point, there was no 750 ML UG - Coconut and Pineapple flavours. They were drank out. I saw business for these brands.

I saw friends from Kigali, Nairobi, South Africa, around the world. A tribe of happy souls speaking one language, wanderlusters, on a hunt for happiness. I saw friends from Tanzania who flew in with #AirTanzania2UG that's been recently launched.

I saw young DJs like Kampire Bahana making people literally go wild. I saw young photographers like Zahara Abdul and Tweny Benjamin making pictures and money.

I saw Boda Bodas ferrying people from all corners of Jinja town, a business chance that shows up once in a year - September. I saw Java House in Jinja fill up with festival goers looking for a remedy for their hangover. I saw a beeline to the Source of The Nile, local and international tourists queuing up to see River Nile head to Egypt.

I saw hotels and guest houses and lodges booked out for 4 days. I saw performances and talented artistes I would never imagine seeing. I saw a festival in its infant stage, on a runway, picking up to take to the skies. I saw a festival that will be the biggest festival in Africa. A Coachella in the making. A Tomorrowland in the oven. A Burning Man in a potter's hands.

I didn't see animals."

Thanks to Nimusiima Edward who allowed me to share his Facebook update of September 10th 2018.

In its 4th year, Nyege Nyege Festival is undoubtedly Uganda's number one party festival, with revellers coming from all over Uganda, Nairobi and beyond for the 4 day event. It caused quite a stir last week when Uganda's "Ethics and Integrity Minister" Father Lokodo wanted to cancel it. This only served to give it an even bigger (free!) publicity boost.

Over the past decade, Uganda has seen a mushrooming of arts, music and dance festivals. The mega Bayimba International Festival of the Arts is arguably Uganda's best arts festival.

Nyege Nyege stands for peace, respect and abundant joy, it stands for Africa and Africans, for underground music and musicians, it stands for fun and curiosity and strives towards inclusivity and wonder, something of a perfect world you might say, but it's only 4 days after all.

Nyege nyege can be translated as 'the urge to dance.' (Jiggy jiggy might be another term for it!)

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