Over the past ten years, Bayimba Foundation has not only transformed the arts and culture contemporary scene, but has also given it a face with the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts.
Starting with an audience of less than 20 people in 2008, the festival has steadily grown into one of Uganda’s most anticipated events each year.
Next week, the festival will be celebrating its 10th edition at the National theatre. Happening for three days, the festival will be celebrating a milestone that has seen them try to fit world or contemporary music on the same stage with the mainstream pop art.
This was almost impossible in 2008 when they started. Speaking to The Observer in 2015, Faisal Kiwewa, director of Bayimba Foundation, said they were proud of what the festival had created, especially on the music platform as a whole.
“With our festival only curating live performances, we challenged mainstream artistes to try it out,” he said. “It makes us happy that today almost every one of them wants to have a live show when they organize concerts.”
Happening from September 22 to 24, the festival intends to celebrate a journey of the past 10 editions. In fact, the festival’s publicist Philip Masembe says this year will have some of the festival’s first supporters back.
For instance, the stage backdrop will be designed by Xenson Ssenkaaba, who designed the first edition’s backdrop.
“Some of these artists have not only been with us throughout the years, but they have also grown with us,” Masembe says.
Purcussion Discussion Africa will be performing on Saturday at the mainstage. The cultural music and dance company will be joined by both artistes like Cindy, Mariam Ndagire, Jose Chameleone, Maurice Kirya and Bobi Wine, the headlining act.
This year, the festival will as well feature poetry, dance, theatre and fashion with people like Gloria Wavamunno, poet Peter Kagayi and Linda Nabasa showcasing.
Just like the old days, the festival will host a silent disco that will be headlined by DJ Rachel.
First published in The Observer