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.
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.