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When Jinja Gave In To The Urge To Dance

Jinja Gave In To The Urge To Dance

It’s almost three months since Nyege Nyege International Festival took place in Jinja; about two hours from Kampala City in the eastern region of our beautiful Uganda. Jinja, famed as the historic source of River Nile has proved to be the adrenaline capital of East Africa. There are a host of things to do while in Jinja from bungee jumping, kayaking the the Nile, white-water rafting, quad biking, mountain biking, horseback riding and so much more. However, from 16th October to 19th October 2015, we got a different kind of fix. We danced.

“Nyege Nyege” simply means “the irresistible urge to dance” in my native language, Luganda. It rained most of the duration of the festival and one would have thought it would have stopped us but boy, did we give in to the urge!

Jinja, Nyege Nyege Festival, the urge to dance
My camera worked double time to keep up with the dance…
Dancing in the rain...
Dancing in the rain…
Not sure what force was at work here; dance or the bottle?
Not sure what force was at work here; dance or the bottle?
Nyege Nyege
Nyege Nyege
And a movie was shot...
And a movie was shot…

After attending a number of huge concerts in different parts of the world; Arlen Dilsizian and Derek Debru, the brains behind the festival had the desire to see a real festival in Uganda. They saw the opportunity to showcase underground talent from across East Africa together with the chance to present cutting edge producers from Europe and the USA to an East African audience – Nyege Nyege International  Music Festival explored more than just music. It was culture, food, people, sounds, color and the resplendent River Nile.

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo: Nile Discovery Beach
Nile Discovery Beach, Jinja (ProggieUG)
Nile Discovery Beach, Jinja (ProggieUG)

The festival was held at the Nile Discovery Beach right on the source of River Nile, surrounded by over four acres of lush green tropical forests, open spaces interlaced with surrealist concrete sculptures, hidden pathways, follies and its own beach. There were over 40 acts and over 1,200 festival revelers. The festival partners Round Bob debuted their local festival booking service by supporting with logistics and tents; providing the best camping experience to most of the festival revelers.

Jinja Gave in To The Urge to Dance, Nyege Nyege, Dancing in the rain
The Camping Site at Nyege Nyege International Festival
When Jinja Gave in To The Urge to Dance
Wave your flag…
The festival revelers pretty much settled in...
The festival revelers pretty much settled in…

 

Neighbors swapping stories.
Neighbors swapping stories.
A reveler's home away from home...
A reveler’s home away from home…
The camping grounds were a huge homestead.
The camping grounds were a huge homestead.
The showers...
The showers…

The festival took place during the El Nino rains. I had a cold then, I didn’t get the chance to camp at the grounds. So my best friend and I stayed at Jinja Backpackers; five minutes (using a boda boda) from the Nile Discovery Beach.

As seen at the entrance.
As seen at the entrance.

Jinja Backpackers is a warm, modest backpackers with dorms and private rooms conveniently located next to The Bourbon Bar and the waterfront.

The Bourbon Bar Terrace and the Waterfront.
The Bourbon Bar Terrace and the Waterfront.

The night my best friend and I checked into the backpackers in dire need of warmth,  the semi finals of the Rugby World Cup were showing in the lounge. It was a full house of rugby lovers cheering on their favorite teams. It was like a different kind of party. We would have loved to join, granted neither of us really understands the game but we  needed a shower and a warm bed to close our eyes for at least twenty minutes. However, after we were shown to our dorm and took hot showers; I tucked into my warm bunk bed, closed my eyes for a few minutes and it was morning the following day. The festival was calling, again.

Jinja Backpackers Lounge
Jinja Backpackers Lounge

Jinja Backpackers 2

We hated having to leave the Jinja Backpackers so soon…

Sunday afternoon at the festival.
Sunday afternoon at the festival.
Painting at the festival...
Painting at the festival…

 

Interesting decor at the Nyege Nyege International Festival.
Interesting decor at the Nyege Nyege International Festival.

 

Soon it was food time...
Soon it was food time…
More food points...
More food points…

Nyege Nyege 21

Children played...
Children played in the mad…
The men played... I remember thinking this was my favorite sport.
The men played… I remember thinking this was my favorite sport.
Beautiful things were sold...
Beautiful things were sold…
Time came to roll up the tents...
And time came to roll up the tents…

There are so many things I am looking forward to this year and I hope that there will another Nyege Nyege International Music Festival; another chance to give into the urge to dance.

Olive Nakiyemba
I am just a simple girl with just the right dose of princess syndrome, a mad passion for the outdoors, travel, reading, writing and vintage BMW.
http://www.oleebranch.com

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