Burundi’s culture ministry Sunday issued two protest tweets warning organisers of Uganda’s Nyege Nyege festival to desist violating their country’s cultural items.
In the tweet, Burundi’s Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture indicated that the offenders will be prosecuted as per law provisions.
During the Nyege Nyege festival ended Sunday, cultural performers from Burundi showcased their art and their performances attracted participation from revellers- triggering mixed reactions.
“#Burundi Aware of the misuse of the Burundian Sacred Drum, during the”Nyegenyege 2022″festival @Uganda. The Ministry in charge of Culture informs national and international opinion that it will never tolerate anyone who violates Burundian Culture and customs,” Burundian authorities said.
Further, “the Ministry takes this opportunity to recall that the exploitation of the Burundian drum, already registered at UNESCO since 2007 as World Cultural Heritage, is governed by Decree nº100/0196 of 20th/10/2017.Any offender will be prosecuted for penalties provided by law.”
The tweet attracted, mixed reactions with most people finding it rude for government to issue threats other than solutions
@mukholitreva: This is why we need to invest in proper cultural exchange discourse, this tweet comes from a very closed off institution that aims to regulate through exclusion and punishment.
@OnesmusAtukunda: Is the drum more important than people? ?Who will prosecute your government for poor governance?
The Burundian drum
It is understood that the Burundian drum called the Karyenda is the main symbol of Burundi and its Mwami (King). It is accorded a semi-divine status.
According to an article published on UNESCO website, the ritual dance of the royal drum is a spectacle combining powerful, synchronized drumming with dancing, heroic poetry and traditional songs.
The entire population of Burundi recognizes it as a fundamental part of its heritage and identity. The dance calls for at least a dozen or so drums, always in an odd number, arranged in a semicircle around a central drum.