Nyege Nyege: ‘An Irresistible Urge to Dance’ Born in Uganda

Nyege Nyege Festival
By Debbie Egwuogu

On my last visit to Uganda, while whitewater rafting on the River Nile, we manoeuvred through Itanda Falls and the story of “Nyege Nyege” came up. Intrigued by the sheer magnitude of the festival, I decided to do a little research on it.

Nyege Nyege is an annual music and arts festival held in Jinja, Uganda. It is known for its diverse lineup of international and local musicians, as well as its focus on showcasing African arts and culture.

The brand was founded by Arlen Dilsizian and Derek Debru. It started off as two individuals throwing parties in 2013, a record label was also birthed along the way but the first music festival was staged in 2015. It is a multi-day, multi-staged dance party and a major tourism draw card that caters to lovers of electronic dance music.

The venue of the music festival has the Nile River as its backdrop; it is held at Itanda Falls, with glampers on site, if you will. An immersive experience I must say.

Nyege Nyege Festival is known for its diverse lineup of artists and genres, with a particular emphasis on African music and culture. Some popular genres showcased at the festival include Afrobeat, Electronic music, Afro-house, hip-life, traditional African music, and more.

The festival also features a mix of local and international artists, providing a platform for both emerging and established talent. The festival’s lineup is constantly evolving, so it’s always best to check the official website or social media channels for the most up-to-date information on performing artists.

Here are a few tips if you plan to attend Nyege Nyege this year…

  1. Plan your accommodation and transportation in advance. The festival attracts a large number of attendees, so it’s important to secure your accommodation and transportation options early to ensure a comfortable stay.
  2. Explore the lineup and plan your schedule. The festival offers a wide range of performances across multiple stages, so take the time to research the artists and plan your schedule accordingly. There are also various workshops and activities to attend, so make sure to check the festival’s program beforehand.
  3. Embrace the cultural experience. The festival not only offers music but also provides a platform for showcasing African culture. Take the time to immerse yourself in the local music, art, and food to fully experience the festival’s unique atmosphere.
  4. Stay hydrated and take care of yourself. Make sure to drink plenty of water, use sunscreen, and take breaks in shaded areas to prevent dehydration and sunburn.
  5. Respect the local customs and guidelines. Nyege Nyege Festival is held in Uganda, and it’s important to be respectful of the local customs and guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the festival’s rules and regulations to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.

Overall, the festival offers a vibrant and immersive experience for music and arts enthusiasts. By planning ahead and embracing the unique cultural experience, you can optimize your festival experience and create lasting memories. Just by the way, Nyege Nyege translated to English means “horny horny,” although another translation says it means “a sudden uncontrollable urge to dance.”


*Images from NyegeNyege.com




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