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Acholi Cultural Festival Suspended Over Covid-19

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Ambrose Olaa, the Acholi Premier told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Monday that this year’s event has been called off in conformity with the ban of public gatherings by the Health Ministry.
A dance troupe performs the Acholi traditional Otole dance while during the Acholi cultural Festival in Gulu.

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The Acholi Cultural Institution has suspended the fourth edition of the Annual Acholi cultural festival because of the coronavirus pandemic. The festival was launched by the Acholi Paramount Chief, David Onen Acana II in 2017 to bring together the Acholi people to celebrate their culture and identity.

Since its inauguration, the prestigious cultural gala has been graced by thousands of people from different walks of life within Acholi and outside the region. Ambrose Olaa, the Acholi Premier told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Monday that this year’s event has been called off in conformity with the ban of public gatherings by the Health Ministry.

Olaa says the festival is suspended until the health situation in the country permits large gatherings.

 

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He, however, notes that the cultural institution along with its partners will continue planning for the gala in 2021. This year’s festival was slated to be held in Kitgum district for the second year in a row.

The District hosted the third edition of the cultural festival last year under the theme “My heritage, My strength.” Alex Oyet, the Coordinator Acholi Cultural Institution in-charge of East Acholi says they are looking at the next year if the situation normalizes to hold the festival.

“We needed to have started preparation for this festival early this year but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the plans couldn’t go on. Festivals entail dances, singing and most of the dances are done in groups, which become a health risk,” Oyet told URN in an interview.  

The annual cultural festival entails showcasing the variety of traditional dishes, regalia, dances, folklore, dressing, songs, housing and history of the Acholi people. The Ministry of Health has maintained the ban on large gatherings since March this year to curb the spread of the deadly contagion.

The country is currently experiencing a surge in Covid-19 community transmission cases with cumulative confirmed cases hitting 27,532 and 221 death cases registered as per data provided by the Ministry of Health on Sunday.