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EKKULA AWARDS: Bakiga Nation wins cultural event of the year accolade

Bakiga Nation’s Owen Bigombe accepts the award from Bella Wines’ MD Prudence Ukkonika Busingye at Sheraton Hotel Friday, March 29 (Photo by Abraham Mutalyebwa)

KAMPALA – Barely five years since its inception, Bakiga Nation has bagged the Cultural event of Year accolade in the just concluded Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards.

The Cultural event beat stiff competition from other events such as the renown Bayimba cultural event, Ekyoto cultural fair, Ankole cultural festival, Lango festival and Mzizi Sounds of the Nile that were nominated in the category.

Held quarterly, the cultural event is geared at promoting unity, culture, togetherness, Solidarity by Bakiga and associates through conventions, music, art, clothing and welfare.

While receiving the award, Bakiga Nation team lead, Owen Bigombe, expressed his gratitude to the event’s enthusiasts and the team for their commitment for the past five years

“….if you told us five years ago when we started, that we would make five years and even win awards, we would have perhaps said its a dream, Thank You very much.., Mwebare munonga, Rukundo Egumeho“, said Bigombe

Characterised by glamour, pomp and fine entertainment, this year’s Awards gala was held at Sheraton Kampala Hotel with Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah as the Chief Guest.

The event was hosted by Next Radio presenter, Qitiu and NBS TV anchor, Samson Kasumba.

Chief Guest, Deputy Speaker Rt Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi and Bakiga Nation’s Owen Bigombe revel in the cultural dance performance Friday, March 29 (COURTESY PHOTO)

It brought together key players and influencers within Uganda’s tourism sector, including State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi, the Chief Executive of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Lily Ajarova, the Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority Samuel Mwandha, heads of tour companies and Associations, tourism beauty queens, and guests.

RELATED: KYOO! Nolstagic sighs as Bakiga Nation thrills revellers

Oulanyah said:

The chief Guest of the awards gala, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah delivers a speech (Photo by Abraham)

“I thank the government and private players for putting resources together to see how we can improve the sector because it holds the treasure of this country and if we invest in it we don’t have to look elsewhere for assistance”.

“I want to dedicate this award to all you who have made it happen and thank you so much,” said Minister Kiwanda Suubi State Minister of Tourism.

Held under the theme ‘Celebrating Tourism in Cultural Diversity’, the Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards is geared at seeing the different cultures offer the best traditions in terms of food, entertainment, traits, norms – a boost to the industry.

BELOW IS THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS

Tourism Personality of the Year – Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi

Lifetime Tourism Achiever – Sudhir Ruparelia

Best Overall Tourism Event – Nyege Nyege Festival

Best Promotional Cultural Event – Bakiga Nation

Best Food Event – Rolex Festival

Best Domestic Airline – Aero Link

Best User-Friendly Digital Transport – SafeBoda

Best International Airline (Economy) – Ethiopian Airlines

Best International (Business) – Emirates

Best Tourism Photographer – Mathias Mugisha

Most Active Tourism Cluster – Kigezi

Most Attractive Tourism Association – Association of Uganda Tour Operators

Finest Traditional Dance Troupe – Kika Dance Troupe

Best Private Wildlife Conservation Centre – Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Exceptional Tourism Promoter on Social Media – Sarah Kagingo

Best Fashion Event – Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards

Young Tourism Achiever – Nataliey Bitature

Tourism Ambassador – Zarinah Tlale

Ugandan Cuisines Restaurant – -Shaka Zulu

Standard Service Hotel – Wash & Wills

Eco Safari Lodge – Seranada Eco Resort

New Hotel of the Year – Skyz Hotel Naguru

Service and Luxury Biz Hotel – Speke Resort Munyonyo

Fast Foods Restaurant – CafeJavas

Tour Guides – Ashley Brian, Ben, Denis Arinitwe

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