In a cold overly ventilated room which for purposes of nosiness is referred to as Nkoyoyo Hall, rhyme-less noise prevails upon the hall as the exhausted students ululate and cheer in different tongues to pollute the night air, the chief adjudicator clears his throat and with all the energy he’s preserved for the big declaration announces the winners of the day long event.
This event which is organized by the University Guild, sought to celebrate diversity in culture; a tool often used not for unity but to create disunity arising from the many differences in language, skin color, height, build and size among others.
The annual event through competitions like dancing, poetry, music and cultural mimes, momentarily isolates all distinct tribes in presentation and then just when you think its done bad re-unites them in appreciation of the cultural diversity of our great country.
This particular Saturday, 25th of October the long anticipated Uganda Christian University Cultural gala has just ended with the Basoga Cultural Association prestigiously grabbing campus bragging rights as they emerge as victors over more than fifteen cultural groups, including last year’s winners the Bakonjo.
The embraces are so many in the hall, not even a keen spectacled eye can identify the celebrating sect, this is no ordinary scenario of the triumphant tribe celebrating, the whole university fraternity cheers on for the winners; no hard feelings, claims of malpractice are all muted, congratulatory phrases make the hall stink with friendliness, its the perfect manifestation of unity, the students have risen above all sectional and private interests, to a horizon where they can appreciate the hard work of their opponents and most of all the bitter pill of defeat.
The gala much as it was a competition with a monetary reward in its simplicity and humility offered a pinch of solutions to political, social and economic issues.
For the valuable purpose of comparison, one could weigh the cultural gala on the same scale as the elections process that God willing will be manifested come 2016.
It was a race like the any other competition it came with rewards: rewards that were monetary like a political race would yet it distinctively offered a greater reward to the students: the priceless feeling of being part of something that defines you, culture.
Unlike the political races that come with heavy monetary word to be shared by winning politicians, the gala offered little to fill the tummies of participants or even their pockets yet it attracted much participation, something that the electoral process could borrow, involve more people in the democratic process.
Iin other-wards use the patriotism of citizens as a factor in their involvement in elections for better democracy in Uganda.
In relation with the electoral process the gala also involved heavy loses and disappointment while it had winners, question paused then was that, can politicians learn just a little of selflessness the sacrifice of personal egos to emulate the unity portrayed by these students who ungrudging conceded defeat with the hope of getting a better shot at success through preparation and thus went ahead to celebrate with their opponents.
Goodluck Jonathan would certainly be been proud of them.