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Akogo festival 2018 kicks off

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Akogo festival 2018 kicks off

Members of one of the traditional groups warming up for the festival

Members of one of the traditional groups warming up for the festival

Today is supposed to be a big day in Soroti town as hundreds of people from across Teso region are expected to meet for the launch of a festival that is billed as a celebration of Iteso culture and music.

Organisers of the festival dubbed Akogo festival, say that the event seeks to raise the public awareness to the richness of the Iteso culture.

Organisers of the festival say this is the third edition of the event, the earlier events having taken place in 2014 and 2017.

Polycap Angole Manase, the Project Director said they will move across the ten districts where they will organise mini competitions from which they will choose two winners who will converge at Hide Park in Soroti town on October 6, 2018 for the finals of the competition.

Themed around Akogo, a hand-held Paino, the event is meant to promote and revive Iteso culture. The Akogo is the most popular traditional music instrument among the Iteso.

“We want to bring back our lost culture. Our friends outside there are busy with their culture, but for us we were being left behind. That is why I initiated this festival.”

The 2018 edition of the festival will run as a competition between different cultural groups from ten disricts os Soroti, Amuria, Kaberamaido, Kumi, Bukedea, Serere, Ngora, Katakwi and Palisa.

The Akogo Festival is one of the projects of Iteso Cultural Union. The 2018 edition is running under the theme: “Upholding Culture and Educating People for Economic Empowerment.”

“We want to bring back our lost culture. Our friends outside there are busy with their culture but for us, we were being left behind. That is why I initiated this festival.”

Manase adds that he initiated this idea while still a student at Makerere University in 2014 and tried it out.

“I sat down and thought of promoting other cultures besides Iteso and i decided to own revive our culture by coming up with Akago festivals which worked out,” he added.

Manase noted that during the competitions, different groups shall perform the Iteso traditional using instruments such as the Akogo, Adungu, Ebuda, Ekirakira and Ajosi

Emanuel Edulu, the project coordinator of Akogo Festivals 2018 said that the 2017 edition was won by Aberila group which scooped the top prize of UGX2,5m.

This year’s winner is set to walk away with UGX3m, and the first runner up will get UGX2m, UGX1m for the third best group, while the rest of the performers will each walk away with UGX500,000.

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