By Dismas Nuwaine
The Acholi Association at Uganda Christian University (UCU) proudly clinched the title of overall winner in this year’s highly anticipated University Cultural Gala. With their exceptional performance and unwavering spirit, the Acholi Association showcased the rich cultural heritage of the Acholi people, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. Their dedication, talent, and vibrant cultural presentation resonated with the judges and spectators alike, earning them the prestigious honour of being crowned the champions of this year’s event. The victory not only celebrates the Acholi Association’s outstanding performance but also highlights the university’s commitment to promoting cultural diversity and unity among its student body.
After a questionable performance in last year’s edition that was largely marred by laxity, the Acholi did their homework. They came back much stronger, with better coordination and an impassioned team. This propelled them to total victory.
“The cultural exhibition was of great pride to us as Acholi students, and we also learned a lot from the other students. It was a day to savour,” said Nobert Acaye, speaker of the Acholi association. “Our organisation was very good this time around, and our vision from the very start was nothing short of victory,” continued Acaye.
The Bamasaba and the Nkombazambogo tied for second place after the two culturally rich tribes registered electrifying performances. Seizing the kumbuka, solo, and bass drums with a steady grip, the dancers stormed the stage and were nothing short of warriors; at least that’s the impression they gave with their altered appearances. The Bamasaba wowed the crowds as they performed what’s famously known as Imbalu.
Laker Gloria Mercy from the Acholi tribe emerged as the best performer of the evening. Her energetic performances and cultural sophistication illuminated her stark symbolism of strength. This made her stand out from the crowd and propelled her team to victory.
“My father can really stand tall and say, Yes, that is my girl, that is my daughter, and my cultural leaders would be very proud of me because we are being raised to be culturally grounded,” said Laker.”
The Guild president, Ddumba Timothy, was very categorical with his words as he emphasised the unity that culture has to offer.
“The exhibitions at the Cultural Gala were breathtaking. May our cultural diversity be a point of celebration rather than one of separation,” said the Ddumba in a recent tweet on his X page. The charismatic gentleman in Ddumba also went on to thank the Acholi association for pulling off the win and UCU for providing the grounds for such an event to take place.
The same sentiments were shared by Laker Mercy, who made it clear that she had to exhibit tough love to bring the group together.
“Last year, we never took it seriously, and we were disappointed. This time, it made very categorically clear that all participants should be serious, and from the word go, we had the thought that we were going to take it home,” retorted Mercy.
It was all pomp and cultural glamour that characterised the better part of the day as eight cultural institutions took part in this year’s cultural gala. These included the Acholi, Lango, Bamasaaba, Teso, and Basonga, among others.
The South Sudanese were the only international actors in the cultural gala outside of Uganda. They represented the better part of the international student community at UCU. Their showcase was a witness to the cultural semblance we have as Africans at a transnational level.
The cultural gala comes on the eve of the 25th Guild government term in office. It’s a timely reminder that they are going all the way and are not slowing down until the last bell rings.
The Guild government is organising their last activity of the month this Thursday with the Guild general assembly. In a strong show of democratic allegiance, the assembly will provide a platform for the guild officials to publicly account to the students about the operations in their ministry.