By Titus Kakembo
Come Sunday evening and one would be excused to take a second look at their own complexion in the mirror to confirm their colour. This is after it dawns on you that, without a visa to UK or USA, you are sandwiched in a sea of Europeans, hearing "wao" exclamations and foreign accents.
This left me wondering if Ndere troupe cultural centre management has bothered to attract nationals to restore their pride in their cultures. Or have they gone out to the countryside to perform.
Located in Kisasi, guests are fast and furiously treated to music, dance, drama and oral literature.
Echoing The Heart Beat of Africa of the 1970s, which was the brain child of celebrated song bird Okot P’Bitek, Ndere troupe has gone a step further to construct a theatre where all its activities take place.
The gardens are well manicured with lots of trees teaming with birds, lizards, insects and monkeys.
“Vibrant,” “exhilarating" and "amazing” was the chorus I heard roll off the lips of an impressed audience as they showcased different cultural dance styles.
Practically the breath of the audience was taken away. While there, I had my pride in our culture restored by the director, Steven Rwangyenzi.
For those cultural tourists without the time or cash, here you get an eagle’s eye view of more than 60 different dress codes, a diversity of dance strokes, cuisines and languages.
Comical Rwangyenzi cracks the audience’s ribs with laughter when he recounts the difficulties brought to Africa by colonialism.
“One old man returned home only to be told he could not have conjugal rights with his wife,” narrates Rwangyezi. “The problem was that a half of their property fell in DR Congo and a portion in Uganda.
So he needed to apply for visa to get to where his wife was!”
The audience is heard complaining about the Almighty toppling all the small gods that used to be in charge of romance, wealth, good luck, thunder, rain and fire.
“The Almighty has his hands full,” said John Kintu in the excited audience. “Specialisation eases service delivery. That is why people are resorting to worshiping wealth instead of God. They argue that when you have money you dash to a supermarket and purchase what you want not having to wait till eternity.”
For more than 25 years, Ndere has been the cultural ambassador of Uganda.
This oral literature punctuates vigorous dance strokes comprising Rarakaraka, Nankasa, Kadodi and Entole.
Most of the dances exhibit erotic movements around the waistline and in the face.
As the moon and the stars shine in the sky, guests dine and wine as if there is no tomorrow. The costumes are beautiful and colourful.
Every first Friday of the month, this is an ideal destination for a cultural night where you may stumble into Kabaka Mutebi, Rwakirabasaijja Oyo Nyimba, Rwot Onen Ocan or Otekat.
Entry fee is sh20,000 and a beer goes for sh5000. Dinner is also served at affordable rates.
Fill in your Name and Email Address to receive a Free Newsletter
Ndere centre, where African culture is very alive