The corporate world should support the preservation of Ugandan culture

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The corporate world should support the preservation of Ugandan culture
Anthony Tenywa.

By Anthony Tenywa

We all have an identity that we front whenever we are in new circles. It can either help you to stand out or fit in but it all comes from a certain culture that speaks the language we understand, dresses the way we think is decent and even eats the same food that we have grown to like and believe will help us develop in one way or another.

We find ourselves thriving from these cultural aspects, since they are integral to who we are.

When people get involved in accidents and unfortunately get amnesia, they tend to forget their names, work they do and family members they have lived with all their lives. But things that never change include; the color of their skin, their accents and languages because that is who we are.

This is why it is very important to treat culture with the respect that it deserves and see to it that it stands strong amidst the waves of erosion that want to wipe it out today.

In a study that was conducted by the United Nations in 2015, it was concluded that culture’s contributions had to be recognised while emphasizing the sustainable developments that can still come with it if strongly embraced and it also went further to define culture as a versatile force that contributes to sustainable development, shapes history, and fosters renaissance.

One of the special things Africans have is the uniqueness of what we believe in, what shapes us and gives us an identity that understands morals and their importance in shaping a better world.

Today, what we hold dear to us, has been diluted; we have allowed ourselves the freedom to simply copy and paste what other continents dictate as right and we sit back ashamed and afraid of what is to come.

So in an era where cultural erosion is a growing concern, the social cultural events such as Batooro Kwegonza, Bakiga Nation, Kadoodi festivals from the Bamasaba, amongst others have attracted revellers and played a crucial role in redefining the social-cultural communities. These initiatives have not only fostered cultural preservation but have also bridged the gap between the middle class, A-listers and revellers working in corporate organizations and their cultural roots.

By providing platforms for cultural expression and engagement, these initiatives have enabled corporate employees to fully participate in cultural activities, thereby strengthening their cultural identity.

There’s a lot of beautiful history you find when you read about the Buganda kingdom, the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom, the Ankole kingdom, the Busoga kingdom, Tooro Kingdom and even all the chiefdoms that still stand till today. Enhancing this culture and building it takes a village that includes individuals, families and even the corporate world that brings together so many people from across the spread.

In Uganda, there is growing synergy between cultural communities and corporate entities especially in ensuring that cultural identities remain vibrant and relevant in today's rapidly changing world.

Some corporate entities have come up to support cultural communities through various partnerships that promote great cultural visibility and education to inspire more Ugandans and well-wishers to take part in culture preservation and promotion.

These events have allowed people from diverse cultures to enjoy and learn while appreciating different cultural aspects of other regions. These events show case merchandise that help amplify their identity across the cultural divide. I hold dearly the t-shirt that I bought during the 2022 edition of the Bakiga nation because I

participated in the celebration of their culture.

Roke Telkom, an indigenous company in Uganda alongside other corporate companies has for many years, supported cultural communities like the Bakiga Nation, Kwegonza and Kadodi campaigns.

Other companies like Airtel have supported the annual Airtel Kabaka Birthday Run, and other causes that have a

cultural leaning. These companies that mainly include Nile breweries, MTN, Stanbic Bank, Centenary bank have understood that by promoting cultural visibility and education, they are not only preserving heritage but also fostering a sense of pride and belonging among their employees.

This synergy between cultural communities and corporate entities is crucial for preserving cultural heritage, fostering community pride, and ensuring that cultural identities remain vibrant and relevant in today's rapidly changing world.

So, the question here is, how can more corporations or institutions support the preservation of our culture?

Well, first and foremost, financial support that can be rendered through sponsorships and donations to go a long way in organising events and preserving the heritage many people hold dear.

Secondly, some of the other aid that can be offered can come through skills and expertise in terms of marketing, technology which are delivered through volunteer programs. And still in line with volunteering, cultural institutions have set up a lot of learning structures like schools, vocational institutes, among others which corporate institutions can support with scholastic materials like books, pens, bags and other personal amenities like sanitary towels for the girls, mattresses and personal hygiene necessities as well.

At the end of the day, culture shapes our identity. When you have lost everything and don’t know where to begin from; our roots and culture are all we have and so it is important that we feel the obligation and responsibility to revive and promote our heritage.

By supporting cultural leaning initiatives, corporations not only enhance their social responsibility credentials but also foster a more inclusive and culturally rich environment for their employees.

The author is the Public WIFI Manager, Roke Telkom.

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