By Fred Kiva
KAMPALA. The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities will soon be changing name to Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage.
Tourism State Minister Godfrey Kiwanda said the renaming is in government recognition of cultural heritage and its commitment to supporting initiatives towards cultural heritage preservation.
“In the next few weeks we shall unveil our new name,” he said.
The Minister was on Thursday evening officiating at the 3rd Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) National Heritage Awards, held at Mayor’s Parlour in Kampala. During the ceremony, six individuals and institutions were awarded for their outstanding contribution in preserving and promoting cultural heritage.
Kiwanda hailed CCFU for the initiative saying it will go a long way in inducing other Ugandans to preserve and conserve cultural heritage. The Minister said culture creates identity and binds people together. He pledged government efforts to support such initiatives meant to preserve and promote Uganda’s cultural heritage.
“Our heritage is at risk, this is a very big contribution to our heritage because it’s a thank you,” Kiwanda said. He added, “Culture and heritage preservation must be central in the government development agenda.”
Emily Drani, the CCFU Executive Director said the National Heritage Awards were initiated with the objective of nurturing role models for other Ugandans to emulate and also encourage people to take responsibility of preserving their culture.
She revealed that the heritage champions were determined through a nomination and jury process manned by various experts. “It was not CCFU that determined the winners,” She emphasized.
Six heritage champions awarded
The champions were recognized for their efforts in preserving both tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
Among the intangible cultural heritage champions is renowned Bakisimba dancer Annet Nandujja, Taga Nuwagaba who was awarded for his creative art after making compilation of Bunyoro and Buganda totems.
Others are Journalist Robert Rukahemura who was recognized for preserving “Empako” through forest planting after he named his private forest Apuuli at his home in Kiryanga, Kagadi district and Reverend Father Richard Kayaga who was awarded for his efforts in preserving Lusoga language.
On tangible heritage preservation, the Mugula family was awarded for protection and preservation of Entebe Za Mugula, while Vila Maria Catholic church was awarded for preserving the over 100year old church building in Masaka. The church was built in 1872. The champions were given a plaque and two million shillings each.