Acholi cultural festival suspended for second year


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Acholi Cultural Festival. Photo file

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The annual Acholi cultural festival has been suspended for the second year in a row due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At this time of year, Acholi Cultural Institution held a cultural gala to showcase the beauty of Acholi culture. The event in recent years has attracted thousands of culture enthusiasts from inside and outside the Acholi sub-region.

This year would have been the fifth edition of the Acholi cultural festival.

Ambrose Olaa, Prime Minister Ker Kwaro Acholi says that due to restrictions issued by the government, the cultural institution will no longer organize the festival this year.

“Anything that brings together more than 200 people cannot be accepted, we will wait until next year,” Olaa told Uganda Radio Network in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Olaa says the cultural institution plans to hold the event early next year when the government lifts restrictions on large gatherings. He did not reveal the exact month, however.

“We haven’t met on this yet. We’re just going to meet in January to discuss it, ”Olaa said.

He notes that just like the previous festivals, many activities are already planned, including a cycling race and a football tournament among others for the fifth edition of the festival next year.

Olaa believes that the absence of the cultural festival for the second year in a row negatively impacted members of society who used it as an opportunity to learn more about their culture and appreciate the value of culture. Acholi.

Supreme Acholi Leader Rwot David Onen Acana II launched the Acholi Cultural Festival in 2017 to bring the Acholi people together to celebrate their culture and identity. At the time, Rwot Acana asked subjects to imitate Acholi cultural heritage.

The cultural institution last organized the cultural festival in the playgrounds of the Kitgum public schools in the municipality of Kitgum in December 2019.

During the event, the organizers presented various traditional Acholi dances, Acholi dishes, traditional crafts, poetry, cultural clothing, cultural cultures, Acholi badges and traditional medicines.

Large gatherings in the country have been banned by the Ministry of Health since the first outbreak of Covid-19 in the country in March 2020.

Although cases of contagion have eased in recent months, there are fears that restrictions on festivals will continue, the situation being made worse by the recent confirmation of seven cases of the new Omicron variant in the country.

Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng recently downplayed the seriousness of the new variant and asked Ugandans to stay calm. But the World Health Organization has warned that it would be a mistake to dismiss the COVID-19 strain as benign given the speed at which it is spreading.

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Darcy J. Skinner