Kenyans na sherehe: Over 4,000 Kenyans attended Nyege Nyege festival
More than 4,000 Kenyans attended the just concluded Nyege Nyege Festival in Uganda, this is according to Rebecca Kadaga, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs.
Ms Kadaga revealed that over 4,000 Kenyans had crossed the border by Saturday and were in Uganda for the festival.
“This event has attracted over 1,500 people from Tanzania and 500 from Rwanda. There are also many other festival goers from other East African countries. They have brought all this money here in Busoga, why can’t I support that?” she posed.
“Kampala hosts every festival from Rolex, Green Party, Roast and Rhyme, to mention but a few. No one talks about them, why are you fighting Busoga’s biggest festival and event which is on the international calendar?” Kadaga hit back at the festival’s critics.
While officiating the closing ceremony of the four-day event at Itanda falls in Jinja, Ms Kadaga urged the Ugandan government to put more effort in promoting the festival since the economy benefits from it.
“Local people have directly gained from the event through selling various items to revellers from all over the world,” she said.
Behind the barriers, the festival area was a myriad of vivid outfits, flashy sunglasses, bunny ears, neon glasses and other festival gear. If you did not bring your own, then there were enough vendors ready to sell them to you.
The seven stages were on fire from dusk till dawn, featuring some of the best and the latest of electronic and modern African music by more than 200 artistes from 30 countries and created a vibe that was irresistible.
For most Kenyans in attendance, the climax of the festival was on Thursday night when DJ Anto took over with various Kenyan hits. The mood was euphoric as Kenyans stormed the stage and danced to their knees.
The festival didn’t sleep during daytime either. The activity level was much lower, and the crowds far smaller than at night, though. Still, there was always something going on. Everywhere, the forest was buzzing with music.
Love it or hate it (and some Ugandans do), the Nyege Nyege Festival was a success by all measures. In 2018, the event attracted 5,000 visitors. But even before the 2022 figures are out, it is safe to say that attendance was massive.