ARUA/MARACHA. The West Nile region is set for its first ‘Cere’ festival, a moment of travel, dance, camping and cuisines to market the region and its potential to the outside world.
Cere is a Lugbara word for ululations mainly associated with men during times of happiness or sorrow, each man in tradition has a signature Cere that is used to communicate a message.
“We used Cere as the name of the festivity because of its importance in the Lugbara culture but unfortunately that tradition has been dying out, so we would like to bring back that identity through this festival”, explained Mr Gerrard Iga, the project head of the festival.
He said the four-day event (31st May-3rd June) at the popular Miriadua falls in Maracha district will bring together local musicians and artists, traditional dance groups, exhibitors and comedians to keep the crowd entertained.
Iga said cultural leaders will also be a major part of the arrangement to help explain some of the beliefs, cultures and traditions to the young population.
He was addressing the press on Thursday at Bamboo Village in Arua town during the official launch of the festival.
Mr Joseph Wambuzi, the director of Oasis 24/7 and Bamboo village, the main organizers of the event called the fest a selling point for the West Nile region.
“This is a big opportunity for the region of West Nile to sell itself to the rest of the world because activities like this have not been happening in the region and perhaps across the greater North, we kindly ask all our partners to embrace it because it will give the region another outlook”, Wambuzi appealed.
Mr Nelson Nahabwe, the finance administrator said besides its widely known tourist attraction, Miriadua waterfalls were chosen because of its centrality in the heart of West Nile.
Revellers are expected from across the country and beyond and will be provided camping ground, organizers revealed.
Miriadua waterfalls have in the recent past grown in stature with people from across the country visiting the site, local groups also use the falls for different recreational activities.
Mr Dominic Padre, the sales and marketing manager said local communities were being sensitized in preparation for the fest so that they can benefit from the same.
He said all clearances from security and national environmental management authority (NEMA) had been done for the event that is expected to host more than 3000 people during the four days.
The West Nile tourism and hospitality industry despite its great potential and confluence with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan is still at an infant stage.