Minister Rebecca Kadaga Defends Nyege Nyege Festival Amidst Criticism


The Nyege Nyege Festival, scheduled to take place from November 9th to 12th, 2023, has come under fire from local Muslim leaders in Jinja, who have called for its prohibition. Their concerns about the festival’s moral character and impact on the younger generation have sparked a heated debate. However, former Speaker of Parliament and current Minister for East African Community Affairs, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, has taken a firm stand in support of the festival.

Sheikh Ismail Basoga Adi, the Khadi of Jinja district, recently made headlines by publicly denouncing the Nyege Nyege Festival, labeling it as “bad and immoral.” He raised concerns about the festival’s activities, particularly their impact on the moral values of the youth. Sheikh Ismail Basoga Adi expressed his reservations, stating, “The activities that take place during the Nyege Nyege festival are often considered immoral, particularly for the younger generation. Despite its financial gains, it’s not a beneficial festival.”

In response to these criticisms, Hon. Kadaga questioned the selective opposition to the Nyege Nyege Festival and wondered why similar concerns had not been raised about other festivals held throughout the country. She suggested that there might be underlying motives behind the opposition, with religion being used as a pretext. “I wonder why the Muslims have not protested against Blankets and Wine, musician battles, goat races, etc. Why haven’t Muslims in Kampala opposed the music and other festivals there? This seems to be fueled by individuals using religion as a cover,” stated Rebecca Kadaga.

The Nyege Nyege Festival, an annual cultural celebration of music, arts, and culture, is set to unfold across various venues in Jinja, including the Jinja Source of the Nile, Jinja Golf Course, and Jinja Agriculture Showgrounds in the Busoga region. The event attracts thousands of attendees from both Uganda and abroad, contributing to the local economy and showcasing the country as a vibrant cultural and hospitality destination.

Sheikh Ismail Basoga Adi’s comments sparked diverse reactions online, with netizens and former festival attendees sharing their views on the matter. As the debate intensifies, the festival’s future remains a topic of significant discussion, with Minister Rebecca Kadaga emerging as a prominent advocate for its continuation.



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