Nairobi News


Burundi accuses Nyege Nyege festival of ‘misusing’ sacred drums at the event

By Sylvania Ambani September 21st, 2022 2 min read

The just concluded Nyege Nyege festival continues to create a buzz on social media. This time around the organisers of the event have been put on the spot by the Burundi government for misuse of the Burundian sacred drums.

According to the Burundian Ministry of Affairs, Culture and Sports, the drums have been registered at Unesco as a world cultural heritage.

This after pictures of a half-naked woman playing the drums trended online during the four-day event. In the photo the woman is captured with one of her breast popping out of her brassiere.

“Burundi Aware of the misuse of the Burundian sacred drum, during the “Nyegenyege 2022″festival @Uganda. The Ministry in charge of culture informs national and international opinion that it will never tolerate anyone who violates Burundian Culture and customs @jumuiya @GeneralNeva,” @MINEACJSCBdi tweeted.

Also read: Kenyans na sherehe: Over 4,000 Kenyans attended Nyege Nyege festival

“The Ministry takes this opportunity to recall that the exploitation of the Burundian drum, already registered at Unesco since 2007 as World Cultural Heritage, is governed by Decree nº100/0196 of 20th/10/2017.Any offender will be prosecuted for penalties provided by law @jumuiya,” the ministry added.

Nyege Nyege festival, which took place in Uganda, was attended by more than 4,000 people. The festival, which moved to a new, larger outdoor venue this year, began in 2015 but had been on a pandemic-induced hiatus since 2020.

The event almost nearly didn’t happen when Ugandan Members of Parliament called for a ban of the event over concerns about immorality.

Also read: Nyege Nyege event organizers apologise to fans over poor accommodations

Efforts by Tourism Minister Martin Mugarra to defend the event as a tourist attraction that earns the country revenue were squashed by the House Speaker.

The Ugandan Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, however, gave it the green light for it to go on as planned. She argued that many foreign guests had already paid for tickets.

This year, the festival took place in Jinja, on the banks of the River Nile, at the Itanda Falls. The site is five times the size of the festival’s previous venue.

Also read: ‘Immoral’ Nyege Nyege festival draws sold-out crowds