Daily Monitor ~ Uganda diaspora crowns 2012 with 2nd Social Networking Event, Dinner & Awards

Posted January 1, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Events ~ 4,149 views


By Ivan Okuda, Monitor ~ Ugandans living and working abroad have all reasons to fly down to Uganda and wrap up the year here, if the Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking Gala held at Kampala Serena Hotel last week on Sunday is anything to go by.

Coming as a climax of a rather “serious and business centred” annual government organised Home is Best festival, the gala lived up to its unwritten rule of, “laid back, relax, laugh and network,” as stressed by the night’s emcee, Issac Rucci who kept the audience cheerful and bubbly despite what some called “recycled jokes.”

From the casual and exotic fashion trends that ruled the night, nice décor punctuated with good lighting, to the cocktail, dinner and free flow of drinks, every moment gave the revellers, “the feel of being at home, without missing outside countries” as US-based singer Lady Zani, one of the performers, told the Daily Monitor.

The event recognised and rewarded Ugandans abroad for flying Uganda’s flag high. It gave them a pat for their input as the second leading contributor to the national treasury. From their amazing success stories, the gala proved Ugandans working abroad are not exactly up to kyeyo (odd jobs) as many of us want to think.

“They do a lot. We have many of them investing in vital sectors like education, energy, health and even supporting their families here,” said Dr Maggie Kigozi, the patron of Ugandans in the Diaspora.

Despite attracting high profile figures like Tullow Oil Uganda president Elly Karuhanga and International Criminal Court judge, Julia Sebutinde, Stephen Kiprotich remained the man of the night, with several standing ovations as he received his Ugandan Diaspora Life Time Achievement award for winning gold in the London Marathon. Other awardees were Makerere University’s Prof. Mahmood Mamdani in recognition of his global scholarly excellence.

Francis Ssenoga, the president Uganda North American Association, was also honoured, in celebration of Unaa’s silver jubilee as the pioneer institution in uniting Ugandans abroad.

Others were John “The Beast” Mugabi, a legendary Ugandan boxer and first African to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Jackson Kaguri Twesigye, for giving back to Uganda through the Nyaka Orphans Project and winning 2012 CNN Hero award.

The night also rewarded the arts scene with Phad and Xena Mutumba collecting an award for their role in helping to start the first Nile Diaspora Film Festival in Uganda.

Event organiser, Ronnie Mayanja lived up to his promise of, “a better and more thrilling gala than last year’s,” as performance after performance left people yearning for more. The crowd’s favourite hip hop sensation, Navio stirred the crowd as his mother, Dr Kigozi joined other dignitaries in shaking to every lyric of his songs. The performers’ line up gave the audience a buffet of sorts with Ndere Troupe, gospel singer Exodus, Michael Ross, and US-based rappers, Batabazi who literally brought the house down.

The gala was wrapped up with an after party at Guvnor.

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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