Clad in Ugandan traditional wear and yet singing Chinese music, local musicians here on Monday staged a cultural show celebrating the Spring Festival, which marks the first day of the Chinese Lunar calendar.
Using traditional Ugandan music instruments fused with modern equipment, the musicians sang songs in Chinese, sending messages of love from Africa to China and celebrating the China-Uganda cooperation. The show, which was held at the Uganda National Cultural Center in the capital Kampala, was performed in front of cameras of various media organizations from both Africa and China, with no audience in the auditorium due to strict COVID-19 restrictions.
Chairperson of the center Sam Okello Kello told this platform that the show signifies the continued growth of people-to-people relations and the need for cultural exchanges between Uganda and China.
“We, the musicians and artists of Uganda, would like to wish the people of China a very happy new year, and the best we can do is through our music,” Okello said.
National Culture Forum Chairman Daniel Kazibwe famously known as Ragga Dee chairperson of told us that such cultural performances are important in bringing people closer. “As Uganda and China are close trading partners, there is a need to deepen people-to-people relations”, he said. Okello said that culture is critical in the development of a country, just as China has shown over the decades. Noting a nation’s history, knowledge and wealth are stored in its art, Okello said, “if you want to understand people’s development process, first is to understand their art.”
Chinese culture is what has made China, which is quite advanced and developed now, he said. Okello stressed that culture should be promoted as a pillar or backbone of social development. “Africa has a lot to learn from China, just like China has a lot to learn from Africa,” he said, adding that Africa needs to look within its unique culture to offer lessons to the world. Kazibwe said Uganda’s creative and performing arts industry is being streamlined as different artists are brought together for a common cause through a government initiative.
He said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which lead to the closure of the entertainment industry has proved that it is difficult for artists to work alone and succeed. The entertainment industry was on January 24, 2022 reopened by the government after two years of closure due to the pandemic.