Over 150 Rwandan artists will take part in the regional Arts and Cultural extravaganza dubbed Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni festival (JAMAFEST) in Kampala, Uganda from September 7-14.
The third edition of the festival will be held under the theme ‘Culture and the Creative Industries: the Engine for Unity and Employment Creation. The objective of the festival is to promote regional socio-cultural integration through arts and culture. It also aims at fostering the economic development of the EAC through creating a market for cultural goods and services, as well as promote arts and culture as a tool of communication in branding the bloc.
The carnival will be held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, where the main stage for the cultural performances, the exhibition and market place will be placed. Other venues are Uganda National Cultural Centre, where special shows including a film festival, comedy and drama will be staged. The cultural fashion show will take place at Hotel Africana.
Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi and the host Uganda will showcase their troupers in music, dance, comedy, poetry, storytelling, drama, acrobatics, and carnival march. Rwanda will be represented by artists from different fields like plastic arts (painting, ceramics and crafts), fashion and dance by students from Nyundo School of Music and national ballet Urukerereza, among others.
According to Jacques Nzabonimpa, the director of Culture at Rwanda Academy for Languages and Culture (RALC), the festival will be an opportunity to learn from other countries through arts and culture.
“Jamafest is about exchanging cultural values among the East African communities, and to boost cultural tourism in the EAC, while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development,” said Nzabonimpa.
“So, what our artists will not only showcase the uniqueness of the Rwandan culture, but will also learn from other artists in terms of market and quality for our products,” he added.
The first edition Jamafest was held in February 2013 in Kigali, under the theme “Fostering the East African Community Integration through Cultural Industries.”