On 6th December 2018 at the Uganda National Museum, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) awarded 14 winners of the 2018 National Heritage Competition. This was the 8th Annual National Youth Heritage Competition organized by CCFU under its Heritage Education Programme which aims at involving young people in preserving and promoting their cultures as well as appreciating and respecting cultural diversity. More than 160 people, including representatives from Government, secondary schools, cultural heritage promoters and the media graced the occasion.
The 2018 Youth Heritage Competition
In the National Heritage Competition, young people below 20 years were invited to draw or paint something that demonstrates beauty from their respective cultures, explain how they are performed and their significance in their communities. Of the 251 entries received from different parts of the country, fourteen winners were selected by a panel of cultural heritage experts. Entries were assessed on the criteria of adherence to instructions, originality, artistic and creative skills, innovation as well as regional and gender representation.
The 13 best entries were used to design the 2019 National Heritage Calendar which was also launched on the same day.
The 2018 Youth Heritage Awards Ceremony
Officiating at the function, Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare, Associate Professor of Drama at Makerere University stressing the value of identity – ‘…young people should strive to maintain their positive cultural identity in different spaces for personal growth and influence their communities positively...’. Dr. Taga Nuwagaba, an artist and National Heritage Awardee, presented his notable publication – 'Totems of Uganda, Buganda Edition’ to every School that produced a winner in the competition.
Call to action
As pressures to modernize every aspect of development in our country increase, we place the responsibility of transmission and preservation of our cultural values and identity on young people who are the future custodians of our heritage. We call upon all stakeholders to embrace cultural heritage education in schools.
To date, CCFU supports over 140 school cultural heritage clubs across the country in partnership with community museums and has engaged the National Curriculum Development Centre to incorporate cultural heritage in the revised secondary school curriculum. The Foundation also implements a Cultural Entrepreneurship Project for youth which demonstrates how young people can make money using cultural resources. CCFU has received support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to initiate a degree programme on cultural heritage studies in selected Ugandan Universities.