By Vision Reporter
Uganda’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in conjunction with the Uganda American Association of Greater New York (UAAGNY) community commemorated the 50th anniversary of independence in a memorable string of events.
The celebration took place on October 6, 2012 at The Visitation Parish Hall in the Bronx, NY. Ugandans turned up in large numbers with their families, many of whom spotted t-shirts and lapel pins with the official Uganda@50 logo. Others opted to dress up in the national colors; black, yellow and red.
According to a statement issued by the Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations, celebrants were addressed by the Charge d’Affaires, Arthur Kafeero and the outgoing and in-coming chairman of UAAGNY, Pius Bugembe and John Nebaza respectively.
“Kafeero said that the 50th anniversary was a momentous event for the country which was on a firm foundation, where everyone had a duty and responsibility to contribute to its fundamental transformation in the next 50 years.”
On dee-day, October 9, 2012 the official celebration was at Uganda House on the East side of Manhattan, just across the street from the United Nations. Invited guests included representatives of the 193 UN member states, the UN Secretary-General and several members of the UN Secretariat, as well as a number of Ugandan Community representatives.
MPs Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Jacob Opolot (Pallisa), Ignatius Besisira (Buyaga East) and Naome Kaabule (Luuka Woman) attended. The celebrants were entertained by Anna Nyakana with songs from her debut album, “Anna Nyakaana.” Nyakana born of a Ugandan father and Moldavian mother is a Stamford Connecticut based singer and songwriter.
Kafeero, reminded Ugandans that each one has a role to play in making a difference, no matter who they are or where they are, the statement said.
“He informed the UN community that Uganda remained fully committed to her continued engagement and contribution to the United Nations, working with all countries to address common challenges for a peaceful and prosperous future for all,” the statement quoted Kafeero as saying.
“He offered congratulations on the achievement of such an important milestone and wished all Ugandans a happy future, particularly in the next 50 years."
Earlier on October 4, the Ugandans attended a healing and deliverance service at St. Angela Merici Church in the Bronx borough of New York where Rev. Fr. Dr. John Baptist Bashobora was the main celebrant.
The following day, the embassy in conjunction youth and students from Kids for Uganda (KFU), a students’ club at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, organized a fashion show highlighting Uganda's traditional dresses.
Hand woven scarves and shawls, made at Aunt Mary Word of Life School of Sheema district were also displayed. One of the highlights of the fashion show was Ugandan fashion designer Solome Katongole, whose style is, “a fusion of western with the traditional” wear.
Originally a biologist, Katongole migrated to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer and graduated from the acclaimed Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She is now based in Columbia Maryland.