The much anticipated first ever Dragon Boat festival in Uganda didn’t live up to it’s perfect billing as organizers failed to match the hype that came with advertising the festival with a superb and excellent event on Sunday at the Lake Side Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC, also popularly known as Entebbe zoo). Revelers who turned up at the Lake side Entebbe zoo in sizeable numbers shifted their attention to a host of musicians including Eddy Kenzo, Rema Namakula, Phina Masanyalaze, Rockie’s Troupe and several artistes from the Golden Band who spiced up the day after the Dragon Boat racing Competitions proved to be less interesting and dull.
Drama ensued during the awarding of prizes as Mayuge landing site Boat Racing team scuffled with their sponsor fast forwarding and shipping company limited. Umpire Robert Kanusu and his technical team came under sharp criticism for the various irregularities that marred the competitions and the prize giving criteria. Uganda Kickboxing star Moses Golola was glued to his seat for the better part of the event and didn’t showcase his boat rowing skills as had been anticipated.
Nonetheless, Uganda made a significant stride in hosting the festival and since the Vice President Edward Ssekandi who was Chief Guest officially declared the Dragon Boat Festival an annual event, organizers, the China Africa Friendship Association Uganda (CAFAU) have learnt their lessons and we hope next year’s event will be much better.
Other guests who graced the Dragon Boat festival included Minister of state for Tourism Hon. Kiwanda Ssubi, Uganda’s Ambassador to China Hon. Crispus Kiyonga, Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Mayor Vincent Kayanja DePaul, Hon. Rose Tumusiime, officials from the Chinese mission in Uganda and Chinese Community in Uganda.