KAMPALA – The 2019 edition of the Nyege Nyege festival is slated to take place between September 5 and September 8, the event organisers have said.
The fun-filled festival, which will take place at Jinja Nile Discovery Beach, last year was in the spotlight after Ethics minister Fr Simon Lokodo attempted to block it, claiming that it was promoting immorality. However, the event went ahead uninterrupted.
The event organizer, Bob Atkins, told journalists on Wednesday in Kampala that this year’s edition comes with more exciting events such as rafting and mountain climbing.
“We are so excited for this edition; above all we are excited about the kind of results we receive from the festival annually,” he said. “We have also seen that artistes, particularly from Uganda, are benefitting from the event,” he added.
Mr Atkins revealed this year’s edition will have artistes from different countries and there will be competition for the DJs. He added that this year, MTN Nyege Nyege is partnering with European, American, Asian and African tour operators in order to reach out to new markets. Requests have poured in from artists all over the continent to attend, and by continuing to propose a Pan African line up, the festival directly advertises in new African countries, he said.
Since its inception in 2017, the festival has pushed for more regional tourism, and last year alone it attracted over 800 Kenyans and 300 Rwandese, many of whom had never come to Uganda in the past. Regional weekend getaways are becoming a trend in regional tourism, but most people tend to go to the coast of Tanzania or Kenya. MTN Nyege Nyege wants to reverse this trend and encourage people across the region to visit Uganda more often.
The festival has grown to nearly 10,000 attendees and this has brought a tremendous boost in the local economy. From casual workers to hotel owners, from rolex sellers to restaurant owners, artists, crafts sellers, cab drivers and other local entrepreneurs, Mr Atkins said everyone benefits from MTN Nyege Nyege.