The upcoming Nyege Nyege music festival in Jinja City has sparked controversy within the local Muslim community, leading to calls for its cancellation due to concerns about its perceived immorality.
The annual international music festival, scheduled to begin on November 9 in Jinja City, requires revelers to pay Shs120,000 per day for the three-day event.
Jinja District Khadi, Sheikh Ismail Basoga Adi, expressed the community’s reservations about the event. He stated that although many Ugandans would benefit economically from Nyege Nyege, they stand firmly against it.
“Sheikh Basoga said, “The activities at Nyege Nyege are concerning, especially for the younger generation. It generates significant revenue but, in our view, promotes immorality in society.”
Speaking at a fundraising event for the Busoga Women Muslim Daawa and Development Association in Jinja, Sheikh Basonga questioned the decision to move to Jinja City.
“Previously, it was organized out of the city center, but now it will be held in the city center. I don’t understand why they chose Jinja City; perhaps those who have investigated what happens at Nyege Nyege can provide some insight,” he added.
Derick Debru, one of the organizers from Talent Africa, previously confirmed that several locations in Jinja, including the Source of River Nile, Jinja showground, Source Garden Hotel, Nile Park, and parts of the Golf Course grounds, had been secured to host the festival.
This isn’t the first time Nyege Nyege has faced controversy. Last year, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among attempted to have the festival canceled, citing concerns about immorality, a claim disputed by the organizers.
Despite its notoriety, some public figures, including Jinja Resident City Commissioner Darius Nandinda, have expressed support for the controversial annual music festival.
Hellen Namutamba, the Busoga Kingdom Minister for Tourism, previously highlighted that the kingdom supports the festival because it brings “many positive aspects,” including stalls showcasing Busoga culture to international participants.