Celebrating the woman in style
This Women’s Day, the ladies took the celebrations to the outdoors, and to a whole new level. From the artistic flair of the Celebrating Womanhood Italian festival at the National Theatre to the enthusiasm at the International Women’s Day festival in the Sheraton gardens, the glitz and pomp inspired and connected the women in attendance.
The Italian festival kicked off the celebration with Fine art exhibitions and a discourse on the shared history of Uganda and Italy which, according to Italian Embassy Media Programme Manager Marco Ballerin, is unique because it is not that of colonialism but rather of true friendship. As Italians liaised with Ugandans, Tshila stroked their hearts with her powerful voice – doing Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry, Revolution and Redemption Song.
A poem, The Cradle, recited by a member of FEMRITE, left the crowd reflective of the women who “multitask” – raising kids and a family and being the family’s fortress.At Sheraton hotel, female musicians like Kushe showcased their talents for the very first time. It was hard not to fall in love with Kushe’s Mayanja as she crooned about the highs of falling totally and uncontrollably in love. Then there was Dorothy, with her heavy fringe and powerful voice and guitar strings, accompanied by the acoustic beats of Qwela band.
Suzan Kerunen got the house dancing to her Alur songs. They needed no interpreter to tell she was singing about dreams (Leki) – big dreams for the women and girls of Uganda. And little Flower was living this dream. The nine-year-old rapper’s voice rang with meaning. Infusing the crowd with endless energy and a wicked sense of humour, emcee of the night Cotilda from Fun Factory said it was all about grooming the younger generation into future human rights activists.
It was also about getting temporary tattoos, buying scented candles, eating candy and sharing ice cream… The women and few men who came to support their cause, then settled by the Sheraton fountain for the crowning fashion show. The models, all beautiful in their unique shapes and sizes, showed off clothes from different designers, including Sylvia Owori and Stella Atal. Also, the girls from the Uganda Rugby Cranes team strutted their toned bodies on the catwalk, alongside professional models.
“I think you now know that if you want good legs, you must play rugby,” Cotilda remarked, right after she had taken a jibe at local musicians who prefer light skinned girls in their music videos, saying she had tried in vain to feature in one because of her dark skin: “Whenever the camera reached my thighs, the director yelled ‘Cut! Tell that girl to take off her black leggings’.”