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.
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.
“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