Music has infinite power to reach the gap between the heart and the soul to create infinite and ineffable joy.
True to this, Uganda has proven that music and dance can unite people from all over the world, with nothing in common but the love and passion of music and dance.
The dream of Uganda spreading peace and harmony through music all over Africa was made a reality through the annual Nyege Nyege festival 2022.
“Nyege Nyege” means an irresistible urge to dance in the local Luganda language, but it may have a sexual connotation in other languages in the region.
It was founded by Arlen Dilsizian and Derek Debra in the year 2013 as a way of promoting Afropollination. In addition to organizing parties and artist residency, the founders run two record labels and a multi-day annual festival.
It has had five physical editions in Jinja, then had a two-year hiatus due to Covid and now resorted to Itanda Falls, about five times the size of the former location.
The 2022 edition took place at Itanda Falls from 16th September to 19th September. The numbers were way more than they have ever accommodated for any other edition ,those who had already confirmed attendance a week before the event were approximately 12,000 including 5,000 foreigners.
The artist’s line-up included musicians and performers from countries all across Africa and beyond, with the likes of Boutros and X-ray of Boondocks gang from Kenya.
The event was sponsored by Uganda Waragi, Trace, Coca-Cola, Talent Africa, Smirnoff, and others. Transport and accommodation were also available on the website at a fee, with options like ready erected tents and cottages.
Video footage from attendees shows there was plenty of ‘enjoyment’ as songs, dance, and plenty of alcohol intake.
The event sold out on all international tickets and surpassed the target of attendees that they had.
The festival will soon be competing against internationally recognized music and dance events that pull people from all over the world just so they can be in attendance.
Some of the international events include ‘Tomorrowland’ in Belgium and ‘Coachella’ in California.
The festival’s co-founder Derek Debru then went ahead to say, “Even though the festival was designed to stand for peace, love, and abundant joy for underground music, tourism is another beat that has been promoted in the mix of all.”
BY CATHERINE NJENGA