Sounds of various Acholi cultural dances characterized by drumming, blowing flutes,harps, horns and hitting calabashes, among others has dominated Gulu town by press time.
The joyful celebrants marched on Gulu Town Streets to mark the beginning of the 2nd edition of Acholi cultural festival 2018.
The celebrations started on Thursday morning with processions across town flagged off by cultural chiefs across Acholi districts from Paramount Cultural palace located in Kanyagoga in Bardege division to Kaunda grounds in Gulu town.
Charles Odora Oryem, the chairman organizing committee while speaking at the Palace at the start of the procession, says people should enjoy the event peacefully to cause unity, networking and capacity building among themselves.
He said he is happy that all the eight district of Acholi including Kitgum, Agago, Lamwo, Pader, Amuru, Nwoya, Omoro, and Gulu are well represented.
“I am really happy and grateful that this year’s celebration has taken shape and is ongoing and everyone is welcome with representation from all the eight district of Acholi,” Odora said.
The 2017 celebration was graced by President Museveni, and for this year, the King Solomon Agutamba Iguru of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom will be the Chief Guest.
But in case president Museveni comes, Acholi leader says he will be honored as Fountain of Honor.
He noted that all cultural chiefs from the neighboring district of Acholi are expected to turn up for the festival. He confirmed the coming of Alur King, Rwoth Obimo Philip Olarker Rauni III.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Promoting Acholi Cultural Heritage For Greater Productivity”.
According to Odora, Ker Kwaro Acholi will use the moment to impart skills and talents from its successful people so that it can be employed to leverage productivity among different sectors including agriculture, arts, music and drama, education, politics that Acholi people occupies.
“There are those who have succeeded in farming, art and crafts, traditional dances, businesses, and so we have to talk to people including farmers so that they know how to increase on production and productivity,” Mr. Odora revealed.
“This is the opportunity to expose Acholi people with unique traditions from various areas of Agago, Atiak, Lamwo, Omoro among others to unite and share ideas and heritage,” he added.
The event was flagged off by chiefs from various chiefdom across Acholi districts; Rwot Alaro Samson , Cwa East, Kitgum, Rwot Odoch Abongomach, Lagoro chiefdom in Kitgum, Rwot Odokonyero Alex Paicho chiefdom in Gulu, Rwot Ongwom Kasimiro of Patongo chiefdom in Agago, Rwot Anywar Samuel of Pagoli chiefdom, and Rwot Kikwera-Nono Lawrence of Madi Opei in Kitgum district.
Cwa East Chief, Rwot Alaro advices the participants to ensure total peace and vigilance on their safety during the celebration.
Meanwhile, Rwot Anywar of Pagoli chiefdom urges the celebrants to celebrate the tradition with so much happiness and beauty that the institution is endowed with, arguing that many time Acholi people has resorted to celebrating political parties instead of their culture.
Much as the celebration vividly started at a low gear with few celebrants compared to 2017 event, Mr. Odora is hopefully expecting more arrivals from different parts of the world including Acholi from South Sudan, and Diaspora.
“This is yet a half of the celebrants and many more are still on the way, and arrangement is in place to welcome them and by December 15th the number will triple,” hopeful Odora said.