THE FIRST PART AND THE CURTAIN RAISING

The day was punctuated by the sounds of the Kampala Youth Brassband that started marching around the Nsambaya neighbourhood to remind everyone that the day that Radio Sapientia had been announcing and talking about daily for two full weeks had finally arrived. Meantime the Undugu Family members were putting the final touches and decorations on the numerous white tents  that had already changed the Nsambya play grounds into a marvelous venue for a Family banquet to which every one had been invited.

By Eleven o’clock everything was ready for everyone to enjoy one way or another including an exhibition of garments, audio music tapes, DVDs, t-shirts, soaps, magazines as well as other products from the activities and woks that UNDUGU Family pioneers do together to celebrate their identity as brothers and sisters or as a family for unity and Peace in East Africa. 

Those people who arrived early enough got a special treat in the form of curtain raising variety entertainment from some of the 950 UNDUGU Family members who had come from different parts of East Africa.

However by one o’clock p.m. more 1000 chairs under the different tents were occupied and while about 2000 more people from all walks of life were outside the tents doing every thing possible to get a good and close view of the lively and colorful breathtaking presentations that kept everybody’s eyes and ears glued to the stage. The presentations included most of all songs, cultural and creative dances from different parts of Uganda, Mwanza and Nairobi.

THE 10TH CELEBRATION WAS ONE OF THOSE MIRACLES THAT UNITY DOES!

UNDUGU Family marked its 10th Year since it was born in Tanzania in 1996 with a big public rally for unity and peace in which all people of good will including groUps from Tanzania and Kenya participated. Radio Sapientia did commendable work to make the function very successful by giving UNDUGU Family a one-hour free airtime to talk about it and by way of announcing the invitation to the public daily for two weeks. Uganda Broadcasting Corporation TV (UBC) made it very fruitful by broadcasting a news summary of it and a ten minutes documentary of the event. New Vision newspaper also did commendable work by publishing a very good inspiring documentary of it in their Sunday Magazine on 26th August 2006.

The Function took place at Nsambya Catholic Church football field in Kampala on Saturday, July 8th, 2006 from morning to evening. 

It was as expected by many, packed with variety of very high quality presentations and entertainment from different parts of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya – all geared towards unity and peace in our region.

A number of representatives from Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, the government of Uganda, NGOs  and religious communities in Uganda were  there including Hon. Rukia Nakadama the State Minister for Gender, Labor and Social Development who was also the Guest of Honor.

The General Animator giving out his speech at the venue
The Animator delivering the Anniversary message

Undugu Family Tanzania women at the exhibition tent
Undugu Family Tanzania women at the exhibition tent

Undugu is everything for us!

Undugu or our relationship as brothers and sisters is everything to us even though we live in a world where money, power or honour is everthing to many people.

Undugu is our HOPE and STRENGTH because united we stand but devided we fall or slughter one another for food, power or honour.

UNDUGU is our PEACE because without a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood among us we cannot be united and where there is no unity there is no peace.

UNDUGU is our PROSPERITY because where there is no peace there is no lasting progress or prosperity.

UNDUGU is our JOY because our greatest joy is in celebrating our identity as brothers and sisters in everything that we do. A world in which UNDUGU spirit is absent is like hell.

CUTTING THE ANNIVERSARY CAKE FOR UNITY AND PEACE

After her speech, the Guest of honor joined the rest of the UNDUGU Family in cutting and sharing the Anniversary cake for unity and peace. UNDUGU Family is already used to using the cutting and sharing the cake together as a way of celebrating their unity and their desire to see the whole world seat and eat together as one big blessed family without discriminating anyone on the basis of tribe, color race, religion or social status. The cake was followed by a big banquet that included eating and drinking together as brothers and sisters and in which all the more than 3000 people participated fully.

Before her departure, the Guest of Honor visited the exhibition tent where she bought items worth 100,000/= Ugandan Shillings as a way of supporting the activities of UNDUGU Family.

The General Animator receiving a piece of cake

MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL ANIMATOR OF UNDUGU FAMILY

The Animator of the UNDUGU Family in General (Br. Stephen Msele) also presented a special message for the day in which he reminded the participants that we were gathered to celebrate the birth of a cultural revolution but which was still in the making.

A Cultural Revolution in the Making
Bother Msele recalled the fact that the pioneers of UNDUGU Family had been working tirelessly for the last 10 years towards a new generation of people with a new heart, a new conscience or a new consciousness of who they are, that is, people who would make our universal brotherhood, sisterhood or familyhood the reason for doing anything and the standard measure of what is good and what is bad.

Peace as pre-requisite for Sustainable Development

He also pointed out that the pioneers of the Undugu Family like many other stake-holders in search of sustainable development are aware that much of the poverty, disease and ignorance are fueled by lack of peace in our country in Africa and the world as a whole.

Unity as an important condition for Peace.
The peace we need so much for sustainable development, Msele said, is a rare commodity even in our world and a lot of money is already been spent to battle it out wherever it is as a result of divisions among us – divisions often times based on clan, tribe, nation or religion. UNDUGU Family like many other stake-holders and our government is aware that united we stand but divided we fall. The Genocide in Rwanda that gave the pioneers of UNDUGU Family the reason to start off this movement is a great lesson to the world and us all about the fact that unity is life and division is death. The genocide should always remind us that the rule of the jungle – survival of the fittest can only lead us to the grave. We either learn to survive together or perish.

The Need for Inclusive Brotherhood and Sisterhood based on Equality     

The genocide in Rwanda like that of Bosnia should constantly remind us that the only option we have if we want to survive and prosper is to accept one another as our brothers and sisters with equal dignity, opportunity and responsibility for our well-being even if they happen to belong to a different clan, tribe, race, church or religion. Msele thanked all the UNDUGU Family pioneers for making it their consuming purpose to remind us of this truth about our identity as brothers and sisters with the same dignity, opportunity and responsibility for our well-being.

The Need for a cultural revolution

He then went on to point out that the divisions, the inequality and the culture of violence that we are talking about and which are dealing a lot of suffering to many of our brothers and sisters in different corners of our country and the world are very much enshrined in our different cultures including, our way of speaking, relating, working for survival, leading and even worshiping. The obvious example for this is the situation of women and the tribal divisions in our society. The inequality and the divisions are passed on from one generation to other through some of our very cherished traditions, beliefs, words, values and ways of doing things. This implies that what we really need in order to be united, peaceful and happily prosperous nothing less than a cultural revolution in our ways of seeing ourselves, in our ways of speaking, respecting one another, in our ways of speaking about God and even of worshiping God. We thank the UNDUGU Family for pioneering towards this culture revolution.

The need for a popular Movement

According to Brother Msele, a cultural revolution cannot succeed as a one-man show or a government show. It requires everyone to be involved as much as everyone is involved in perpetuating a culture of inequality or violence. Since we are all stakeholder in the promotion of the culture of inequality and violence for instance against women and children, we have to also be stakeholders in the promotion of a culture of equality and peace if we are to succeed. It is especially for this contribution towards a popular movement for a culture of peace that we must thank the pioneers of UNDUGU Family for. As we can see for ourselves today, the movement gets everyone involved even the little babies and the grand mothers.

The need for a shift in our Cultural and Spiritual Paradigms

He also reminded participants the celebration was calling each one of us in his or her capacity to make this revolution a happy and fruitful END. We need each one of us to make a shift in the way we understand our-selves in relationship to one another and in relationship to God. We need to make a shift in the way we see our identity, our dignity, opportunities and responsibilities towards our common well being. The UNDUGU Family has already paved the way for us by reminding us that we are all sons and daughters of God, begotten not made or created. We are all born as brothers and sisters, to be brothers and sisters and to live forever as one big, blessed joyful Family with God as our Common Parent and source of all Goodness. We share the same origin, same nature, same dignity same glory, same heritage and destiny. This is the truth that the pioneers of UNDUGU Family have been striving to celebrate for the last ten years and which they are inviting all of us to celebrate in our different capacities in our words, in our way of greeting one another, in our way of praying, our way of worshiping, in our way of doing politics in our way of doing business, in our way of marrying one another and indeed in all our ways. As the pioneers of UNDUGU Family have reminded us, this is not a small matter, it is now a matter of life and death because if we do not accept one another as brothers and sisters on the basis of equality we shall not only wish each other death but we may end up slaughtering one another as it happened in Rwanda and as it is still happening in some parts of our country, our continent and our world. 

Food For thought for everyone!

According to Brother Msele, this is a shift that is a wonderful food for thought for everyone especially for us leaders, parents, educators, politicians and spiritual leaders. Everyone is left with good homework and good question to answer for one’s own well being and pleasure but also for the sake of the well being and pleasure of us all. Who do you say you are? Who do you say your neighbor is? Who do you say God is? Who do you say we are. Each one of us has to answer this questions authentically without just relying blindly on what has been passed on to us so that we may have a new generation with a new consciousness and a new conscience, with a new heart and new guts that can give it the courage to take the risks involved in living and working with one another as brothers and sisters instead of working towards eliminating one another as a result of fear or mistrust or struggle for power and survival against one another

 

Undugu Family Jinja branch Youth entertaining at the venue

Undugu Family Jinja branch Youth entertaining at the venue

UFCA Cultural Troupe at the venue

Undugu Family Tanzania at the exhibition tent

Chairperson of Undugu Family Uganda

UFCA Cultural Troupe at the anniversary celebrations

Victorious Stars at the venue

Undugu Family Kenya Youth at K.K. Beach Gaba