By Denis Edema
Organisers of this year’s Nyege Nyege festival say nobody will access any of the venues while dressed in a suit plus necktie, gomesi, or kanzus.
A gomesi or busuuti is a colourful floor-length dress, which is the most commonly used costume for women in Buganda and Busoga, while a kanzu is a robe or tunic mostly worn by men from Bantu-speaking tribes.
This year’s edition gets underway on Thursday, and ends on Sunday, across three venues, including the Source of the Nile, Nile Park, Jinja Golf Ground and Jinja Agricultural Showground.
Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the First Deputy Premier and Minister of East African Community Affairs, will officially open the festival.
However, Ms Hellen Namutamba, the Busoga Kingdom Minister of Tourism and Heritage, says whoever plans to come to the event dressed in the aforementioned cultural and corporate dress codes will be denied access to all venues.
“We shall not allow those dressed in suits and neckties, gomesi and kanzus; please do not come for Nyege Nyege if you are putting on those types of clothes. This is not a cultural introduction or wedding,” Ms Namutamba said on Monday.
She added: “Instead, dress like one who is going to the beach because we are at the shores of Lake Victoria and River Banks.”
It has emerged that over 15 Masters of Ceremony (MCs), 30 DJs, several Tik-tok content creators, traditional dancers, local and international musicians started arriving in the country at the weekend before heading to Jinja City.
Ms Namutamba assured tourists that the government has marshaled over 200 soldiers, who will be working with the Uganda Police to oversee security at the event.
Mr Derek Debru, the co-founder of Nyege Nyege, says locals have been offered tickets at a reduced cost of Shs120,000, down from Shs200,000 per day to appreciate them for being part of the event.
He added that over 300 Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers and the Police are part of the event to ensure safety of people and property.