The 4-day fete ended last night. And I saw things. I saw music and art come together in matrimony. I saw free spirited souls, sticking their noses in the air like greyhounds, chasing for a section that had the loudest and ‘lit’ music. I saw a tribe of happy campers, leaving their warm beds in the Uganda’s capital, to sleep on small blocks of mattresses under the stewing Jinja heat.
I saw hungry entrepreneurs, predominantly young people, trying to make an extra buck. From innovative startups like Musana Carts to the famous Kyadondo Pork. I saw young creatives sell apparel to festival goers. I saw tattoo artistes trying to make ends meet an ink at a time.
I saw brands like Uganda Waragi and Coca-Cola feeding people the way Jesus would. In fact, at some point, there was no 750ML UG - Coconut and Pineapple flavours. They were drank out. I saw business for these brands.
I saw friends from Kigali, Nairobi, South Africa, around the world. A tribe of happy souls speaking one language, wanderlusters, on a hunt for happiness. I saw friends from Tanzania who flew in with #AirTanzania2UGthat’s been recently launched.
I saw young DJs like Kampire Bahana making people literally go wild. I saw young photographers like Zahara Abdul and Tweny Benjamin making pictures and money.
I saw Boda Bodas ferrying people from all corners of Jinja town, a business chance that shows up once in a year - September. I saw Java House in Jinja fill up with festival goers looking for a remedy for their hangover. I saw a beeline to the Source of The Nile, local and international tourists queuing up to see R. Nile head to Egypt.
I saw hotels and guest houses and lodges booked out for 4 days. I saw performances and talented artistes I would never imagine seeing. I saw a festival in its infant stage, on a runway, picking up to take to the skies. I saw a festival that will be the biggest festival in Africa. A Coachella in the making.
A Tomorrowland in the oven. A Burning Man in a potter’s hands.
I didn’t see animals.