This article takes you on a journey through the unforgettable moments of the event, highlighting the vibrant colours, dancing performances, and warm messages of the unit that left a lasting impression on all participants.
A cultural gala is a dynamic and impactful event that serves as a catalyst for promoting society by fostering a sense of unity and harmony. The IUEA cultural gala 2023 brought together student communities from 12 African countries, including Uganda, DR Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Burundi, Liberia, Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Eritrea. Although IUEA as a vibrant community of over 42 countries around the world which.
To kick off the event, students representing various African countries showcased their national pride through a spectacular presentation of their respective anthems. The air was filled with the beats and rhythms that are emblematic of the rich cultural heritage setting the tone for an unforgettable event.
Invited Guests of Honour
IUEA Cultural Gala this season was graced by the presence of the distinguished Guest of Honour, Ambassador Joseph Tonye Brown. Ambassador Brown is a renowned concept developer, Goodwill Cultural Ambassador to the African Union Commission, and the esteemed Ambassador of Burundi in Uganda. Ambassador Epiphanie Kabushemeye was also present at the occasion.
The judges of the IUEA Cultural Gala 2023
The panel of judges for the IUEA Cultural Gala 2023 featured distinguished personalities, including;
- Mme Sarah Namulindo (head judge); is an accomplished trainer and performer with a distinguished career. She has taught in Denmark on an exchange program with Makerere University and performed extensively with the Afrigo Band, Uganda’s leading live band, in several international concerts. Sarah has also spent twenty years performing in the USA with various dance and music companies.
- Mr Idro Taban Jr; is a big Chef, Founder & CEO of the restaurant “Idro street food” and Taban Invest Group.
- Ms Tsapwe Victoria Fox; She is an Entrepreneur and CEO at VFox crochets
- Ms Esther Mwajuma; is a finance specialist consultant and a certified financial literacy trainer by the Bank of Uganda. She is the Team Lead at Financial Education Academy, as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Family Uplift Uganda. Additionally, Ms Mwajuma is a YALI fellow and a fellow of The African Civic Engagement Academy of The University of Georgia.
As the judges arrived, they were immediately welcomed by the irresistible aromas of various foods being prepared by the talented students. The tables were adorned with an array of dishes representing different regions of the continent. The judges had the opportunity to savour the diverse flavours and textures and also learn about the unique ingredients and cooking techniques incorporated in each dish.
The stage was ablaze with a vibrant display of fashions, as the students showcased their traditional garments. The rich hues, intricate patterns, and bold motifs embodied the distinct heritage and cultural identity of each nation. The audience was captivated by the dynamic and expressive fashion show, which celebrated the diverse tapestry of African fashion.
One of the most noteworthy moments at the Gala was the captivating performance of poems and plays by students. Among the participants, Somalia’s community stood out by its unique approach of bringing a live camel and cow on stage, which made it an unforgettable experience. This was the first time in the history of the IUEA Gala that such a bold move had been made, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. Through these performances, attendees were given the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse experiences and perspectives of people from around the world
As the night wore on, the activities kicked into high gear with a series of captivating music and dance performances that showcased the dynamic and vibrant rhythms of Africa. The audience was treated to an array of traditional dances hailing from each of the 12 different participants’ countries. The students, decked out in eye-catching costumes, moved gracefully to the infectious beat of the drums and other instruments, transporting the audience into a world of culture and music.
The ambience was electric as students presented the splendour and variety of Africa’s cultural heritage, while simultaneously honouring their own unique identities and traditions. The event served as a compelling reminder of the significance of cultural exchange and the crucial role that universities play in promoting a deeper understanding and respect for the various cultures that make our global community. This celebration of diversity showcased the power of unity and emphasised the importance of recognising and appreciating the richness of our differences.
“It’s not only important that we teach our students the bits and bites and the knowledge that is necessary to forge a better 4th industry revolution but also to let them know who they are and where they are coming from, to let them know that the rich culture we have in Africa is a source of pride and unity.”– Said Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa, Vice Chancellor at IUEA
The Winner of the IUEA Cultural Gala 2023
After a highly competitive event filled with impressive performances, the judges declared South Sudan the overall winner of the IUEA Cultural Gala 2023. With careful observation of all performances by each country’s representatives, they found them to be commendable.
The judges also recognized the efforts of the 1st runners-up, DR Congo, which previously won the IUEA Cultural Gala 2022, and the 2nd runners-up, Liberia, which was impressive considering their small number. The judges awarded them trophies respectively, and the other participants’ teams were given certificates to acknowledge their participation in the event. They left a lasting impression on both the judges and the audience.
Overall, the Cultural Gala at IUEA was a truly unforgettable experience, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate and honour the richness and diversity of African culture. Through the delectable African food, stunning fashion, mesmerising music, and captivating dance performances, it was truly a joyous occasion that fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of Africa and served as a powerful reminder of the importance of embracing diversity and promoting cultural exchange.