AMUDAT – The Commissioner of Culture and Family Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Ms. Juliana Nauma Akorio has asked the people of Karamoja to guard their culture if they are to remain relevant and be respected.
Ms Nauma made these remarks on Saturday, of September 7, during the Karamoja Cultural day which was held at Pokot Senior secondary school in Amudat district.
The celebration was attended by various tribes that make up the greater (ATEKER) they include; Iteso, Langi, Karimojong, Toposa from Southern Sudan, Turkana from Kenya and Nyangatom from Ethiopia.
According to the Commissioner, the foreign influence was affecting many cultural values of various ethnicities in Uganda and called upon the cultural leaders to remain focused and guide the younger generation to love and promote their traditional cultures.
“Let’s not accept so called dot com era to ruin our cultural values, you should know that it’s because of our culture that we have remained relevant in the whole world and that’s why our brothers and sisters from other foreign countries fly to visit us in Uganda,” she said.
She said Uganda was generating a lot of revenue from tourists who come to Uganda to visit and feel our culture.
“We need to teach our upcoming children to know how to love our traditions, cook our traditional food, dress in clothes that will not disrespect our culture so that we remain attractive,” said Ms Nauma.
Mr. Peter Sande Rusoke the Minister of Culture in Toro kingdom who also attended the Karamoja culture day celebration, hailed the Karimojong culture and also appealed to the Karimojong to maintain it.
“This is my first time to come to Karamoja and it’s not the Karamoja that I have been hearing about with so many negative things, I have fallen in love with Karamoja they are beautiful people dressed in their cultural attire,” he said.
He advised the Karimojong and Ateker cluster at large to continue embracing peace so that they can achieve development.
Every year on September 5, Karimojongs under their ethnic Ateker cluster celebrate their culture with each district taking turns to host the annual event; Next year’s event will be held in Abim district.
Each year the various tribal elders under the Ateker cluster convene to discuss pertinent issues, this year saw the elders resolve to stop conflicts within the cluster.
They also promised to get rid of isolated cases of indiscipline among their young children whom they are accusing of promoting cattle theft.