It was fun and happiness as Kampala Iteso and non Iteso communities enjoyed live music and dance during the official launch the third editions of Akogo festival at Lugogo UMA show grounds in Kampala on Saturday.
The unique and special sound music from the ‘Akogo’ instrument left many revelers mesmerized and yarning for more.
Akogo is a hand-held Piano that is played using two thumbs. It is the most popular traditional music instrument among the Iteso.
According to the organizers of the festival, this is the second edition in Kampala and the third edition for the Teso Sub region of the event, after the earlier successful events that took place in 2017 and 2018.
The launch featured performances from different Akogo groups from Katakwi, Amuria and Kumi districts under the Theme: Celebrating Iteso culture for mindset transformation in greening Teso.
The performances started at around 2:00pm and ended at around 11:00pm. At around 7:00am, excited revelers stormed the grounds and danced on the tunes of the magic instrument. “Now I am home I can feel the real music, this is what I have been missing” one of the reveler said.
Atude Patrick the original composer and singer of the famous ‘Emali’ song told this newspaper that Akogo is an instrument that should be highly loved and respected by everyone irrespective of Iteso or other tribes.
“Whenever I touch the instrument I feel when all my pain is relieved. I therefore call upon each and every one to embrace it because it produces unique music” he said
While launching the festival, the Minister of Internal affairs Gen. Abubakar JJ Odong called upon all Itesot community across the globe to embrace, love and revive their culture through supporting Akogo cultural dance festivals as one of the ways through which they shall create unity and prosperity amongst themselves.
“Akogo is a strong instrument in our culture, it defines who we are. It is therefore an obligatory task for every Iteso to understand and love Akogo such that we can revive our lost culture” he said
The Minister’s call was mainly targeting Itesot youth especially those who hail in urban areas like Kampala and other places in the world, who he said have been over taken by modern day culture.
“Songs like Emali was first played in 1962 with Akogo but up to date whenever it is played you see people enjoying it because of its value that is attached to it by Akogo” he said
Odong noted that after the launch the celebrations are going to be moved to different places across Teso Sub region. “We expect the youth to embrace this because it is their culture”
This annual festival officially started in 2017, under the management of five Principal Directors, Edulu Emanuel, Polycap Engole Manase, Adaku Peter, Ann Odoi and Hannington Partrick Owere.
“People have overwhelmingly welcomed the event and as far as cultural revival is concerned, everything is moving on well” he added
Edulu Emanuel one of the Directors said that this year Akogo shall be moved to eleven different districts of Palisa, Bukedea, Kumi, Ngora, Katakwi, Amuria, Serere, Tororo, Kaberamaido, Kaberabyong and Soroti. “This year, each district shall host Akogo festival day of culture” he said
Edulu added that after the dstrict perfomances, the final celebrations dubbed ‘Akogo festival after party’ shall be celebrated from Kampala on 7th December 2019.