Muslims in Jinja City are expressing their concerns about the upcoming Nyege Nyege music festival, stating that they find it “immoral.”
The international event is scheduled to begin on November 9th in Jinja City, with attendees paying a daily entry fee of Shs120,000 for the three-day event.
The Jinja District Khadi, Sheikh Ismail Basoga Adi, expressed his opinion that although many people will benefit financially from Nyege Nyege, their religion opposes it.
Sheikh Basoga said, “The activities at Nyege Nyege are not suitable, especially for young people. While it generates significant revenue, it promotes immorality in society.”
He made these remarks during a fundraising event for the Busoga Women Muslim Daawa and Development Association in Jinja City.
Sheikh Basoga also noted that Nyege Nyege used to be held in more remote locations, but it has now been extended to the city center.
Previously, the festival was organized in Buikwe District, but it will now be held in Jinja City. The reasons for this change in location are not clear.
Derick Debru, one of the organizers from Talent Africa, confirmed that several venues in Jinja, including the Source of River Nile, Jinja showground, Source Garden Hotel, Nile Park, and part of the Golf Course grounds, have been secured for the 2023 festival.
During an interview, the Busoga Kingdom Minister for Tourism, Ms. Hellen Namutamba, expressed her support for the festival, citing its positive impact, including the opportunity for locals to showcase Busoga culture to international participants.
This is not the first time Nyege Nyege has faced criticism. Last year, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms. Anita Among, called for the festival’s cancellation, claiming it promotes immorality, a claim disputed by the organizers during a recent press conference.
Despite the controversy, some public figures, including East African Affairs Minister Rebecca Kadaga and Jinja Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Darius Nandinda, have expressed their support for the annual music festival.
Nandinda, who also oversees security, emphasized that all security agencies will be involved to enhance safety during the festival.
The Nyege Nyege festival brings together artists from across Africa to entertain thousands of local and foreign party-goers.