In 2017 Uganda is experiencing an artistic renaissance that is undeniable, you can see it through the rise of new talented voices in literature, poetry, music, photography, dance and utility arts such as culinary, fashion and furniture design.

Uganda’s youthful population is loosely 80% of the total population, a large chunk of those who are of employment age being uneducated or having only a high school education. With the job market saturated and unemployment at an all-time high, Ugandan youth have had to rely on their talents rather than their learned skills for survival, with most of them teaching themselves various disciplines via mentors and through the use of the Internet to differentiate themselves from their counterparts. Through these challenges vary, many have found an inner voice which has opened up doors for them to share local and international stages with classically trained artists in their genres and forge collaborations.

One such expression of art, empowerment and freedom is the annual Nyege Nyege International Music Festival. Nyege Nyege is a Luganda noun meaning, the feeling of a sudden uncontrollable urge to move, shake or dance. The festival returned to the source of the Nile River in Jinja, Uganda on the 1st – 3rd September 2017 for its third edition. Over  5,000 revelers descended upon Nile Discovery Beach, Njeru, Jinja for the 4 day event which featured more than 100 acts.


With a stage as colourful as the crowd, the nights were magical

 

Symbiz, the Ghetto Bass Band from Berlin-Kreuzberg, brought their DIY controllers & combined them with live vocals

 

Don’t judge me
Reniss entertained the crowd with her brand of pop music, a combination of pop and African styles called Mboko pop

 

Kongoloko stripped to the waist in the humid night air

 

Marushka brought  magic from Nairobi

 

Passion is a lifestyle
Cameroonian Hip Hop artist Jovi setting fire to the Bell stage

 

Faizal Mostrixs tribal march in Purple Haze
Cultural Paradigms were deleted and love was uploaded

 

Muthoni the Drummer Queen and her friend show off their heritage with tribal paint and accessories

 

Print was everywhere

 

As the revelers gorged themselves on music, art, neo-Ugandan culture and positive libertine vibrations, the stage was awash with local and international musicians and DJs. The weather did not comply, drumming down scattered heavy showers but that did not affect the unstoppable force of the youth.

Take a minute, breathe, and embrace the rain

 

Even the rain did not daunt revelers from taking it all in

 

Awake under the rainbow

 

Mask On. Covering the natural self to live in the now

 

Natural mystic in the air