KING OYO: ROYAL RWENZORI MOUNTAIN EXPEDITION PREMIERED AT IUEA

IUEA was honoured to host the capital city premiere of the King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain Expedition short-film with his majesty, King Oyo himself in attendance.
His Majesty Rukirabasaija Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, the King of Uganda's great Tooro Kingdom attends the capital city premiere of King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain Expedition at IUEA escorted by an entourage and the IUEA Resident Director, Ambassador Hassan Alwi.

On the 24th of November, 2023, the International University of East Africa (IUEA) hosted the capital city premiere of “King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain Expedition”. This exclusive event was graced by dignitaries, including His Majesty the King, the Minister of Tourism and other high-ranking officials from the Tooro Kingdom. IUEA students were also privileged to attend this highly exclusive premiere that combined culture, adventure and environmental awareness. This blog will guide you through some of the memorable moments from the launch.

His Majesty the King of Tooro, King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru takes a commemorative photo with the IUEA Resident Director, Ambassador Hassan Alwi.

What is “King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain Expedition”?

King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain Expedition is a short film documenting the ascent of His Majesty Rukirabasaija Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, the King of Tooro kingdom, to the summit of Uganda’s highest peak atop Mountain Rwenzori. This enormous mountain is 5,100 metres (16,700 feet) tall, making it the third highest peak in the entirety of Africa. Those who have watched the film have commended its uncensored depiction of the impacts of climate change, Africa’s natural beauty and African culture. After being screened in the King’s homeland, IUEA was honoured to be chosen for the capital city premiere.

The film had its original premiere in California in 2022 and has gone on to win several prestigious international awards. Some of the most recent include:

  • The Gold Award at the New York Festival 2023
  • Third place in the Tourism Product Category of the World Tourism Film Awards 2023 in Valencia, Spain 
A procession of traditional dancers marks His Majesty the King’s arrival at the capital city premiere of King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain Expedition at IUEA.

What happened during the film’s capital city premiere?

The capital city premiere was a celebration of Tooro culture, commencing with the anthems of East Africa, Uganda, and the Tooro Kingdom. This was followed by traditional dancers showcasing their mesmerising skills and a local singer serenading the audience with a melodious vocal performance. This gave the event an atmosphere that reinforced the film’s roots in the rich heritage of the Tooro Kingdom.

IUEA’s acclaimed Vice Chancellor, Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa announced the university’s plans to collaborate with the Kingdom of Tooro in Agriculture and Tourism. IUEA will be partnering with the Tooro Kingdom to launch the university’s award-winning Agri-Fintech initiative, EsusFarm in the region, with plans already in place to set up offices as early as 2024 to monitor the project along with other future collaborations. In addition, IUEA has plans to establish a tourism school, similar to the one already in Jinja, to provide a world-class practical learning experience to the people of Tooro.

IUEA’s acclaimed Vice Chancellor, Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa gladly announces IUEA’s planned collaborations with the Tooro Kingdom at the capital city premiere.

Does IUEA have a Tourism programme?

Benefiting most from this event were the students of IUEA’s internationally accredited Tourism and Hospitality Management programme. This was certainly an insightful experience that allowed them to appreciate the different avenues that exist within Uganda’s Tourism sector. In addition, IUEA’s collaboration with the Tooro kingdom allows for potential internship and employment opportunities for students to enrich their careers. This enables IUEA to further deliver on the promise of providing a world-class practical learning experience.

Miss IUEA, Ililta Nezerab Masalab greats His Majesty, the King of Tooro in the manner of the people of Tooro as His Majesty enters the IUEA auditorium.

What has King Oyo accomplished so far during his reign?

The Minister of Tourism for the Tooro Kingdom, Hon. Joan Kantu Else listed a few of King Oyo’s many notable achievements. She explained that reaching the Margherita peak is one in a long line of the King’s many notable achievements, some of which are in:

  • Youth Engagement: Inspiring the youth through his words and actions.
  • Agriculture: Creating a grand and innovative agricultural demonstration farm for people to witness and learn.
  • Tourism: Creating and successfully launching the groundbreaking ‘Ekyooto Ha Mpango’, a cultural festival celebrating the kingdom of Tooro’s deep culture and history, and fostering dialogue for the introduction of culture and local communities into the modern business environment. 
His Majesty Rukirabasaija Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV addresses the audience, recounting his experience during the expedition and explaining the importance of the short film.

What impact did the short-film have on the IUEA community?

At 7.30 pm, the audience was enthralled by an expertly directed and well-edited visual masterpiece. The film’s brisk pace kept the audience captivated, laughing at the comedic moments and applauding the triumphs. The moments of silence were saved for the film’s depiction of the heartbreaking reality of what climate change has brought upon Uganda’s natural wonders and communities. IUEA students shared some of their thoughts after the premiere.

“The exemplary role by the King will be key in improving the climatic conditions in the region. The King’s simplicity, social bond and cooperation with the hike team was a great force towards achieving his dream of reaching the Rwenzori peak.”

– Said the IUEA Student Guild President, Yak Haile after attending the capital city premiere.

“It is a beautiful and inspiring film that reminds us of the importance of protecting our planet.”

– Said the Mr. IUEA second runner up, Robel Hagos after attending the film premiere.

“Captivating and eye-opening, the King Oyo Royal Expedition documentary on climate change premiered with impactful storytelling and compelling visuals. A powerful call to action, urging us all to be stewards of our planet. It was downright inspiring and adventure-filled.”

– Said Najibah Sanusi Suleiman, an IUEA student studying Computer Science.

Even students who were not able to attend the premiere are excited to watch the film thanks to the overwhelmingly positive word of mouth spread around campus.

I’m so pumped to hear that the movie was absolutely incredible! It’s awesome how it showcases the stunning beauty of Uganda’s tourism. I can only imagine how amazing it must have been to watch a movie acted and premiered by the King of Tooro region. It’s fantastic that this movie will give the world a glimpse into Uganda’s endless beauty. And you know what makes big premieres even better? The electrifying atmosphere, the red carpet glamour, and the excitement buzzing in the air! Can’t wait to experience it myself someday!

– Said Jed Shammah Kaweesi, a student at the IUEA.
The newly crowned Mr. IUEA, Mr. Michael Junior Musimenta and the second runner-up for Mr. IUEA 2023, Mr. Robel Hagos attend the capital city premiere of King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain Expedition at IUEA.

The capital city premiere of King Oyo: Royal Rwenzori Mountain expedition was a grand testament to the everlasting beauty of the Tooro Kingdom and the need to address the pressing issue of climate change. King Oyo’s exemplary leadership has inspired a generation that not only values the environment and culture but also takes on the responsibility of inspiring others to do the same. IUEA was honoured to be the showground for this incredible film and is eager to continue changing the world alongside the Kingdom of Tooro.

His Excellency Xavier Sticker, the France Ambassador to Uganda, His Majesty the King of Tooro Kingdom, his excellency Fatih Ak, the Turkish Ambassador to Uganda and Ambassador Neil Holder, King Oyo’s Special Envoy came together for a picture after the premiere at IUEA.

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