Known for its special treatment of various illnesses, traditional medicine will be on show at this year’s regional arts and culture festival due next month. The event, Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni festival (JAMAFEST), will run from August 2 to August 9 in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
It will run under the theme “Unleashing economic potential of cultural and creative industries in the EAC.” It is an annual event staged on a rotational basis with the East African Community and organized by the regional secretariat.
Aimed at uniting East African cultural practitioners and administrators, the festival is touted as the perfect opportunity to share and celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage and current practices in the region. Rukia Nakadama, Uganda’s minister of state for gender and cultural affairs, told a press conference mid-this week that Uganda be represented by 100 participants drawn from the arts and creative industries, MPs, media, private sector, schools, and higher institutions of learning.
“These will among others, showcase music dance, drama, acrobatics, traditional medicine, design, fashion, body adornment, food, literary works, traditional and children games,” she told journalists at the Media Centre. When asked why traditional medicine stood out, the minister said it has for a long time been used by many Ugandans to cure a variety of illnesses.
“Traditional medicine is a combination of plant materials that contain active ingredients in their crude form and is a suitable alternative for conventional medicine as long as it cures an ailment,” Nakadama said. She credited traditional medicine for treatment of pregnancy-related illnesses.
“There shall be sale of Ugandan products and services, and this will generate revenue to the country. Also, the information and knowledge shared at the festival is meant to enhance competence among the exhibitors. According to a report on health care released by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative in 2010, about 80% of Ugandans depend on traditional healers and herbalists.
Published Jul 10, 2015. By Clare Muhindo
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