Four days away: The highly-awaited Ekyooto Ha Mpango finally happened at the weekend, and just like expected, it attracted a number of life-eaters and tourism enthusiasts. The four-day event brought back a bit of nostalgic feels as there was different fun activities lined up. Isaac Ssejjombwe were there to report a recap of it all.
Fort Portal was perhaps the busiest town in Uganda at the weekend, as droves of tourists and life-eaters made their way to the first edition of the Ekyooto Ha Mpango Festival.
The four-day event kicked off at Mucwa on Thursday, with King of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, and the Queen mother Best Kemigisa as the guests of honour.
The day’s activities included a tourism and cultural trade expo, Ekyooto high level discussions and sightseeing with guests visiting different sites such as the spectacular Sempaya female and male hot springs and boiling some eggs.
The following day started with a visit and tracking of chimpanzees in Kibaale National Park before a royal dinner gala with a fashion showcase featuring Mrs Uganda World Sylvia Namutebi Alibhai, Miss Elite Africa Judith Heard and Miss Uganda Earth Ahlam Ismail (Lamu). They displayed different outfits from wedding gowns to casual.
Saturday was the biggest day as activities started as early as 8am with adventure cycling, a marathon from the Karuzika Palace and a boat regatta which saw different teams of two being set off by the king himself at Lake Saka.
This was followed by a visit to the King Oyo farm in Bugaaki and tree planting activity in a bid to mitigate climate change challenges as well as planting fruit trees as a way of conserving the environment. The winners of the day were awarded trophies.
Nyaika Hotel was the venue for the main event which included a virtual music concert featuring artistes from Tooro region and special guest artistes, including Janzi Band, Spice Diana, Aziz Azion, Beenie Gunter, Draei Bitsc, Pearl of Africa Stars, Ayesiga Muzamil, Kigambo Araali, Sagio among others.
Home-based artistes were the first on stage and these included Ayesiga Muzamil, Kigambo Araali, Sagio Mhza, Carol Kay and Tony Blackman before Salvador introduced Janzi Band who did some covers before the main acts.
The Pearl of Africa star search finalists got a chance to showcase what they learnt from the experience but it was Carsteen Yesuanjagala who stole the show.
Performing his one song titled Your Love, he proved his vocal prowess as well as dance moves and stage presence that the audience asked him to perform again.
“But he has one song. That is the only song he has” Salvado told the audience but his assurance did not stop them from yearning for more of the gospel artiste, who returned to do the same song. This time round, receiving money from the audience. He was so good that the king applauded his performance.
Aziz Azion then took it up with Oxygen, Nkumila Omukwano and his latest Amapiano song Meketa.
Clad in a traditional white outfit, Beenie Gunter was next and did tracks Pon Mi, By Now, Olina Work and Sekkle Down among others, reminding people that he is from Kaihura Village in the same town.
As soon as he left the stage, Salvado called on a challenger in freestyle and Navio stood up. They both threw exciting lines until Spice Diana joined in. The two then left her on stage to wrap up the show.
The decision to have her as the last person to perform was a wise one as throughout her entire session, no one was left seated.
She performed Kwata Wano, Upendo, Kokonya and Body, among others, exciting even the young fans in the audience. At some point kickboxer Moses Golola joined her on stage and so did Judith Heard and Sheebah Kassami.
With the success of the first edition, the Queen mother commended Talent Africa and Aly Alibhai for a well-thought out idea and promised to offer more support for the coming editions.
Don’t want to miss out on any story? For updates on all Sqoop stories, follow this link on Telegram: https://t.me/Sqoop