The 3rd National Cultural Heritage Awards – 2018

The 3rd Cultural Heritage Awarding ceremony.

On 24th May 2018 at the Mayor’s Parlour, KCCA Premises, Kampala, more than 160 people including representatives of government, civil society, cultural heritage enthusiasts, the media and well wishers gathered to witness the 2018 National Cultural Heritage Awarding ceremony. The Heritage Awards aims at raising awareness about the importance of safeguarding national cultural heritage for future generations by recognizing the outstanding contribution made by individuals, families and institutions to preserve and promote this important heritage.

The Chief Guest, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda, the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, together with the Secretary General for the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO recognized the outstanding contribution of the Mugula Family and the Catholic Diocese of Masaka, for preserving and promoting tangible cultural heritage; and Rev. Fr. Richard Kayaga Gonzaga, Ms Annet Nandujja, Mr. Taga Nuwagaba and Mr. Robert Rukahemura Akiiki for preserving and promoting intangible cultural heritage. See summary of their contribution to the preservation and promotion of Uganda’s cultural heritage.

The Chief Guest emphasized the need to place cultural heritage – and culture in general – to the centre of Government’s development agenda and in determining the country’s development objectives. To emphasise the value of heritage promotion, Hon. Kiwanda  highlighted that his line Ministry will change its name to ‘Ministry of Toursim, Wildlife and Heritage’

‘… thank you so much especially for recognizing what we do in the field of culture. I am looking for a special place to properly hang my Award. I did not know anyone would notice my effort in my lifetime. I mean it because whenever culture is raised as a topic, people take a walk or wear an impatient expression to switch to something else. Only if they knew how hurt i get every time they do that… ’ – Taga Nuwagaba, 2018 Heritage Prize winner

Call for nominations and the criteria for selection

Early this year, a public call was circulated seeking nominations of individuals, groups or organisations that have made outstanding contributions to preserving and promoting Uganda’s heritage – whether built, natural or intangible. Over 90 entries were received out of which 15 made it to the long list which was assessed by a panel of cultural heritage experts to select the best 6 nominees who are being awarded today. The selection criteria included evidence of consistent contribution by the awardee to the aspect for which they are being awarded, the effort to transmit the cultural aspect and its benefits to other people (especially to young people and the community), a first-time national recognition and award and the aspects’ reflection of the diversity of Uganda’s cultural heritage.

Why the Heritage Awards?

The National Heritage Awards responds to the urgent need to preserve and promote Uganda’s rapidly vanishing cultural heritage. It is with much concern that we continue to witness neglect and demolition of our valued cultural heritage properties across the country in the name of “development” as well as the disappearance of valued intangible cultural heritage.This situation is largely attributed to a lack of heritage education, insufficient political will demonstrated by the non-existence of a substantive heritage development body (such as a Ministry of Culture), resulting in limited investment in national heritage development and promotion.

Call for action!

We all have the responsibility to define what aspects of our heritage should be preserved and passed on to future generations.  Uganda’s diverse cultural heritage, if harnessed, has the potential to become a vehicle for nation building, empowerment, national identity, as well as economic development, through  fostering mutual respect and social cohesion; promoting cultural entrepreneurship and cultural tourism cohesion. Let us jointly celebrate each and every effort to promote and preserve our national heritage!

Background

In 2013, CCFU initiated the National Heritage Awards to recognise individuals and Organisations for their excellent contribution to preserving and promoting our heritage – whether build, natural or intangible. During the 13th International Conference of National Trusts in Entebbe, the first National Heritage Award ceremony was held followed by the 2nd National Heritage awards held in 2016 as CCFU marked 10 years of existence.

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