KAMPALA – The first edition of the Luo festival went down over the weekend at Hilltop Gardens in Naguru to the amusement of the revelers that turned up to enjoy and take pride in their culture.
Kicking off at 10am, the event had a play area for children, a showcase of different Luo dishes and different dances that excited the people in attendance.
There were also exhibitors who had different products from Luo on sale to promote local businesses thus enhancing their incomes. A number of comedians and musicians from Luo also took to the stage to entertain revellers.
The event that ran under the theme ‘Celebrating and embracing the vibrant spirit of Luo culture, lifestyle with Drumbeats, Music, Dance, Poems and Traditional food and drinks’ had different dances that could not keep people seated as a good number of them left their seats to join the troupe that entertained at the function with a number of dances.
Ms Grace Oloya the Chief executive officer of Lacito Enterprises, who was behind the function said they started the festival to promote the Luo culture after realizing that a number of children are not identifying with their culture.
“Ever since the war, a number of people have not gone back to our region. Through this festival, we hope to encourage people to go back and invest in our area, visit the tourism places such as Aruu falls Tororo Rocks, heritage sites like the Gipiri and Labongo site, wild life, Hots springs, Rivers, Lakes, the National game/reserve parks which are in our area.”
She explained that the festival has been a platform that has united people to sit in one place and identify with each other.
The event brought together different Luo tribes in Uganda such as Acholi Kumam, Alur, Japadhola and Langi’s to showcase the values, customs, lifestyle, music, food, literature and more. It also had attendance from Ugandans from different backgrounds promoting unity, inclusiveness and diversity.
Ms Oloya explained that the objective of celebrating the Luo culture is to preserve the Luo culture, customs, lifestyle and heritage through events to showcase these customs, through literature, poems and engaging the young population to learn and speak the Luo language. She said the Luo culture is a resource for the identity, growth and building of the Luo communities.
The Luo Festival will be an annual event with additional build up events in the different regions where the Luo live (Pakwach, Tororo, Gulu, Kitgum, Lira etc) with a final central event in Kampala as a capital city.