It is close to Spring in North America and Ugandans here just like their American counterparts start preparations to enjoy the Summer weather which starts in June and ends in mid-September, incidentally, the Summer opens up the annual Convention gatherings where Ugandans gather in multitudes to engage, hold discussions and make merry.
The biggest of such gatherings have for time immemorial been dominated by the rivalry of the old guard UNAA and UNAA Causes.
This rivalry has been standing for a decade and the fires did not even flicker during the peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is because each organization is not willing to cede market share to their competition and indeed these bitter rivals continued business as usual during the pandemic.
With the new year before us now, these big boys have organized conventions for the summer and as usual on the same dates. UNAA will host theirs in San Francisco while UNAA Causes (heads) to Las Vegas.
Despite the fact that these two rivals have eaten up the attention and market, it has not stopped the emergency of new groups trying to upstage the status quo.
Among these is the National Unity Platform (NUP) diaspora convention which heads to a second-year running having launched in Boston last September.
The NUP diaspora under the flagship of the Opposition NUP is holding its second annual retreat in Los Angeles in Mid August this year.
Meanwhile, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) diaspora convention has also picked up steam and will hold its debut convention in Toronto in early July at the same time as the Uganda Diaspora Convention which will occur in the same state.
Another convention to look out for is the Bunyoro-Kitara, which is launching its first-ever Convention in Maryland at the beginning of July.
Bamasaba, Toro also have events at the end of May in Dallas and Washington DC respectively.
Interestingly former UNAA alternatives of Banyakigezi and Twegaitte International have not revealed their Convention plans this year, while the Bi-annual Buganda Bumu returns in Seattle for 2023.
To the surprise of many, another group is making an audacious entry into the gathering business, led by Issa Kawooya, a Los Angeles-based Uber driver. His recently launched Uganda American Entertainment is promising its first gathering also in Los Angeles, two weeks immediately after the NUP Retreat and on the same weekend with the traditional Labor Day Weekend powerhouses of UNAA and UNAA Causes.
With a traditional shift from all other Convention planners, Uganda American Entertainment appears to have no experienced Convention planners.
However, this does not take away the fact that we need to question: “Why are there too many Ugandan gatherings in North America now?”
Former UNAA President, Frank Musisi’s AUA has not announced its Convention plans while former UNAA Vice President Mr. Julius Muwulya is believed to have launched an Organization as an alternative to the status quo but its Convention status is yet to be announced.
The LUO Community has also released flyers promoting an upcoming Convention in Canada in the Summer.
The question is as puzzling as the mushrooming groups that are setting up conventions one after the other.