Mbale City, Saturday July 1, 2023 – The city’s most awaited cultural event, the 2nd Annual Elgon Festival, kicked off yesterday Friday June 30th with a vibrant burst of colors, sounds, and flavors, captivating residents and visitors alike. The festival, which aims to celebrate diversity and foster unity among communities living around Mt. Elgon promises an enthralling experience for all participants.
The grand opening ceremony took place at the Elgon Museum and ran through the night, and today, a spectacular display of exciting festivities rent the air in the City.
The Elgon Festival offers a rich tapestry of cultural performances, showcasing the talents of local and international artists. From traditional folk dances and enthralling musical performances to spellbinding cultural acts and contemporary food exhibitions, the festival truly had something for everyone.
One of the major highlights of the event is the Cultural Parade where cultural troupes form the nine communities living around Mt. Elgon took part from the City’s Cricket ground on the Eastern side all through the main street of Mbale to Mbale Secondary School sports ground.
According to organizers, the event doubles up giving a perfect opportunity for attendees to indulge in a diverse and exotic shopping experience.
Not just a celebration of arts and crafts, the festival also features informative speeches on various cultural themes, promoting intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.
“This festival embodies the essence of our regions’ multiculturalism, where people from different backgrounds come together to celebrate their traditions and learn from each other,” said one of the Festival Coordinators, Ms. Priscilla Khainza Mung’oma, during her interview with West Media. The mission of the Elgon Festival is to preserve culture, to educate the younger generation about our cultures and overall to unify the communities. Elgon Festival is a big event and we have visitors coming in from all over the world.
She said that this festival endeavors to foster a sense of unity and respect among all communities, making the region a true example of harmony and coexistence.
She added that “we have cultural exhibitions, cultural foods, cultural dance performances; we have cultural attire showcases as well as music.”
The Annual Elgon Festival will run for three days, ending on Sunday night (actually Monday Morning), culminating into an international tourism attraction where, going forward, everyone in the world will plan and mark the event dates.
Other events lined up for Sunday evening include, Bull fighting and Cultural Fashion shows.
Authorities have taken extensive measures to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendees, with strict adherence to health protocols. Visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in the festivities while also following necessary precautions.
On the sidelines of the event, Inzu leadership held a consultative meeting where speaker after speaker called for the unity of the Bamasaaba. Among the attendees were two local area MPs Richard Wanda who also doubles up as the Bugisu MPs Caucus with 13 members, Magolo John Faith, MP for Bungokho North Constituency, Francis Wodero, the CEO and Sec – Gen of Bamasaaba Cultural Institution, Kabuchai Member of Parliament Majimbo Kalasinga, Prof. Wanjala Kere, BUCOE chair Kimilili, Centre Director for Bukusu Cultural Centre Kamukuywa, Prof. Emeritus Adrian Mukhebi among other officials.
The meeting underscored the importance of working to eliminate unhealthy competition currently witnessed in the Inzu leadership and called on the stakeholders to end differences.
They also said that Bamasaaba Cultural Institution need to come up with a framework to enhance trade among the members who are basically Bamasaaba of Kenya and Uganda.
Kitui Khwa Simiti