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Fashion show, traditional dance mark the 56th Ugandan Independence Day

Fashion show, traditional dance mark the 56th Ugandan Independence Day


One felt as though one was in Uganda. When the Ugandans in Qatar gathered to celebrate their 56th Independence Day last Friday, the venue turned into a miniature Uganda.
The occasion featured a number of activities including traditional dance and music performances, fashion show and artistes showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Uganda.
The Independence Day was organised by the Ugandan Community in Qatar (UGACOQ) as Uganda has no embassy here. Besides Ugandans, expatriates from Kenya, Nigeria, Australia, Morocco, United Kingdom and some other countries also attended the event.
It was a virtual riot of colours there as Ugandan attires worn on different occasions, such as wedding and other festivities, were on full display.
The fashion show was directed by Ugandan model/actor Yiiye Mackaay who recently participated in the Asian Fashion Week and sashayed down the ramp alongside renowned models from the United Kingdom, Russia, USA and Bulgaria and other nations at the Mall of Qatar.
"I showcased different attires, not only by African designers but others as well. I feel happy today to have showcased the Ugandan designs here," he said.
Dressed in typical Ugandan costume, artistes performed the Ugandan traditional folk dances called Bakisimba (Kiganda dance). In addition, Qatar- based Ugandan musicians, Hamart and Slash also entertained the crowd. There was also a performance from an Indian artiste, Paul.
Speaking at the event, UGACOQ Chairperson Aliguma Saul Rayan encouraged the Ugandans to keep themselves engaged and share opportunities with fellow countrymen so as to build a vibrant community here that not only loves one another but also grows together.
"I would like to urge you not only to adjust with the Qatari culture but also learn from other people's culture," he said.
UGACOQ Vice Chairperson Muganzi Aiden talked about the challenges they face in the absence of an embassy in Qatar and said the Ugandans need to unite under one body to form a stronger bond and broaden their opportunities."We have to come together as Ugandans and Africans with a common vision. We are aiming to develop networks."
UGACOQ Secretary Martha Anyait said that the UGACOQ Women Empowerment Group programme would share solutions and ideas on how to develop themselves and the community as a whole.
Peter Mujjuzi who was the event's guest of honour encouraged the UGACOQ leadership to develop a comprehensive plan on how the organisation can help SACCO (savings and credit cooperative organisation the community is planning to launch in Qatar) to benefit the Ugandans.
Pan-Africanist Nigerian expatriate Ashika Akabusi congratulated Uganda on its Independence Day and recalled how it had gained freedom a few days after Nigeria."When you are united, you can achieve a lot together."
An official from the Kenyan embassy praised the Ugandans for being united and overcoming the difficulties they face without the presence of an embassy here. He talked about the commitment to keep on supporting Ugandans under the East African Treaty, with consular services they need.

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