Ndere Cultural Centre – Uganda’s Cultural Melting Pot

Uganda is home to over 56 different tribes belonging to different ethnic groups such as the Bantu, the Nilotics, and the Hamites. Each Ugandan tribe boasts a rich culture unique to its people, and these have been passed over from generation to generation in form of food, song, folklore, dress and dance among others. For centuries, Ugandan culture has thrived and been avidly celebrated.

Religion for the most part classified the culture of most Ugandan tribes as evil resulting to its neglect by the people which nearly eroded the culture except for a few that kept holding unto it especially in the rural areas. In the towns, it was very difficult but thanks to Stephen Rwangyezi, a talented flute player who got an idea of setting up a home for African culture and named it Ndere Cultural Centre.

“Endere” means “flute” in most Bantu languages, and the versatility of the melodious instrument is what the Cultural Centre identifies with. Ndere Cultural Centre is synonymous with traditional Ugandan dance, traditional song and cuisine from different parts of the country. Every Wednesday, Friday or Sunday evening, the 700 setter Ndere amphitheater is filled with patrons. The stage is teemed with skilled traditional dancers in traditional dance apparel beautifully gyrating, moving, shuffling, gesturing and stamping to the melodious tune of the vocalists, drummers and instrument players in the background.

The whole experience is tailored to elaborately offer one a feel of day to day life in the ancient Ugandan society. From the famous Mwaga Imbalu initiation dance from Bugisu, the Amagunjju Buganda royal dance, the Ekitaguriro harvest dance from Ankole, to the Lakararaka, Acholi courtship dance among others you will be wowed and fully immersed in the experience, given the dexterity and imagery with which these dances and songs are presented. Harvests, war, marriage, love, festivities and different moods are presented in a way that even one who doesn’t understand the local languages is not left out on the experience.

In between performances, Stephen Rwangyezi, an enthusiastic and fantastic storyteller engages the audience with Ugandan traditional folktales and stories, something he does with evident passion. At a fee, one also gets to indulge in the variant Ugandan cuisine from the different parts of the country such as banana leaf steamed matooke, Atapa – millet bread enjoyed by numerous tribes among other delectable traditional foods and sauces.

Ndere Cultural Centre also offers dance and instrument classes to those who would love to practically carry their experience with them back home at a fee. They also offer cooking classes for those interested in learning how to make some of Ugandan foods or just for sheer fun of it. It is an experience not worth missing!

Uganda is home to over 56 different tribes belonging to different ethnic groups such as the Bantu, the Nilotics, and the Hamites. Each Ugandan tribe boasts a rich culture unique to its people, and these have been passed over from generation to generation in form of food, song, folklore, dress and dance among others. For centuries, Ugandan culture has thrived and been avidly celebrated.

Religion for the most part classified the culture of most Ugandan tribes as evil resulting to its neglect by the people which nearly eroded the culture except for a few that kept holding unto it especially in the rural areas. In the towns, it was very difficult but thanks to Stephen Rwangyezi, a talented flute player who got an idea of setting up a home for African culture and named it Ndere Cultural Centre.

“Endere” means “flute” in most Bantu languages, and the versatility of the melodious instrument is what the Cultural Centre identifies with. Ndere Cultural Centre is synonymous with traditional Ugandan dance, traditional song and cuisine from different parts of the country. Every Wednesday, Friday or Sunday evening, the 700 setter Ndere amphitheater is filled with patrons. The stage is teemed with skilled traditional dancers in traditional dance apparel beautifully gyrating, moving, shuffling, gesturing and stamping to the melodious tune of the vocalists, drummers and instrument players in the background.

The whole experience is tailored to elaborately offer one a feel of day to day life in the ancient Ugandan society. From the famous Mwaga Imbalu initiation dance from Bugisu, the Amagunjju Buganda royal dance, the Ekitaguriro harvest dance from Ankole, to the Lakararaka, Acholi courtship dance among others you will be wowed and fully immersed in the experience, given the dexterity and imagery with which these dances and songs are presented. Harvests, war, marriage, love, festivities and different moods are presented in a way that even one who doesn’t understand the local languages is not left out on the experience.

In between performances, Stephen Rwangyezi, an enthusiastic and fantastic storyteller engages the audience with Ugandan traditional folktales and stories, something he does with evident passion. At a fee, one also gets to indulge in the variant Ugandan cuisine from the different parts of the country such as banana leaf steamed matooke, Atapa – millet bread enjoyed by numerous tribes among other delectable traditional foods and sauces.

Ndere Cultural Centre also offers dance and instrument classes to those who would love to practically carry their experience with them back home at a fee. They also offer cooking classes for those interested in learning how to make some of Ugandan foods or just for sheer fun of it. It is an experience not worth missing!

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