By Tausi Nakato
The Muslim community in Jinja City wants the Nyege Nyege music festival cancelled, saying it is “immoral”.
The annual international music festival is set to kick off on November 9 in Jinja City, with revelers each parting with Shs120,000 per day for the three-day event.
The Jinja District Khadi, Sheikh Ismail Basoga Adi, says although many Ugandans will earn from Nyege-Nyege, they are against it.
“Things that are being done in Nyege Nyege are not good, especially for the young generation. It generates a lot of money, but promotes immorality in society,” Sheikh Basoga said.
Speaking at a fundraising event for Busoga Women Muslim Daawa and Development Association in Jinja, Sheikh Basonga wondered why the event which was previously held in Buikwe District, has been taken to Jinja.
“Previously, it was organized in Buikwe District, but it will be held in the City center. I don’t know the reasons why they chose Jinja City; perhaps those who have investigated what is taking place in Nyege Nyege can testify,” he added.
Derick Debru, one of the organisers from Talent Africa, told Daily Monitor in an interview last month that the Source of River Nile, Jinja showground, Source Garden Hotel, Nile Park, and part of the Golf Course grounds had been secured to host the festival.
This is not the first time Nyege Nyege has attracted media attention.
Last year, the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, attempted to block it, directing that it be cancelled on grounds that it promotes immorality, a claim which the organisers disputed.
Despite its negative publicity, some public figures, including Jinja Resident City Commissioner Darius Nandinda, have thrown their weight behind the controversial annual music festival.
The Busoga Kingdom Minister for Tourism, Hellen Namutamba, also said earlier that the kingdom came out to support the festival because it comes with “many good things”, including stalls for local residents that will showcase Busoga culture to international participants.
The four-day Nyege festival brings together artists from across Africa to entertain around 10,000 revelers.