Opinion
Cultural Institutions need to be self-sustaining
Publish Date: Feb 11, 2014
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By Samuel Ochieng

Having cultural institutions is a very welcome idea given their contribution to preservation of various cultures and socioeconomic developments.

However, various kingdoms across the country are financially limping, for instance in Tororo we are culturally governed by two cultural kings and these include Papa Osuban Emorimor and Tieng Adhola.

While I subscribe to Emorimor cultural kingdom, I am really dismayed by the way the kingdom is being run. Indeed the kingdom is financially constrained.  I do not believe whether there is   any fundraising strategy in place or even an annual work plan.

Communities are not mobilised for kingdom activities. The last time I saw some activity is when we crossed with the Emorimor to Kenya in  early 2000 while he was visiting his subjects there.

Indeed his visit to Teso District in Kenya was like Jesus triumphant entry to Jerusalem as his subjects lined for a 15 kilometre distance from Malaba border town to Amagoro the District Headquarters. This signifies that the community is much more interested to participate in kingdom activities.

I have been following how Buganda Kingdom runs its affairs and I am really impressed with the performance of its leaders in initiating and executing kingdom projects. Currently, the Kingdom prime minister is conducting massive fundraising campaign.

Interesting projects like Kisaakate, distribution of coffee seedlings and other farm inputs, end of year festival (Enkuuka), cultural competitions, the diaspora wing and various kingdom investment projects are some of the impressive initiatives that other kingdoms need to emulate. 

While in our Teso cultural institution, just like others, despite having various investment opportunities, little has been done to strengthen the kingdom. 

The last time I saw the Emorimor was around October 2013 while in Mulago Hospital where I had gone to see a sick daughter to my elder sister. He was on a wheelchair and had gone for medical review.

I was not impressed by the kind of clothes he was clad on; they were much degrading and not befitting of a high profile person of his calibre.

I chose to shy away from greeting my king and I could not tell my friends who were in my company either, while I was coming to reality that at this point my kingdom needed revamping, I began remembering of  the news in the media on how Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi II had been flown out for treatment some time back.

Indeed, besides relying on the kingdom resources on the Emorimor treatment really there are well established Iteso both in Uganda and abroad who can foot his medical bills in a very sophisticated and equipped hospital oversees.

I strongly believe the team handling affairs of our cultural institutions are not doing enough to develop these institutions; it is now time for our cultural heads to measure performance of their ministers and appoint people who can do the work for the kingdoms. 

Can we have a learning tour to Mengo and borrow the best practices; I believe Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga, a very welcoming person with a reputable experience, will be there for you.

Additionally, the cultural institutions should set up a resource mobilisation units with professionals in fundraising to mobilise resources for their respective developments.

The writer is fundraising and marketing consultant,

Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda

 

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