Kampala — About 40,000 people from western Uganda turned up for the Ekinihiro kya Radio West at Mbarara Boma Grounds on Saturday. Women and men, young and old, trooped to the grounds from early morning for the radio's 11th anniversary celebrations.
They were treated to a string of sterling performances by local artistes.
"We have never seen such an event in Mbarara. It's as if we have the Pope here," said Tumwebaze Eliphazi, one of the revellers. The Police said the event took place without major incidents.
"The security was fine. The function went on peacefully and we didn't register any crime," said Police district commander Vincent Irama.
Cultural entertainment, including traditional dance and songs, first whetted the appetite of the crowd.
Among the local artistes who performed up to late at night were Bobi Wine, Megga Dee, Butcherman, Raba Daba of the Mukayamu fame and Ragga Dee.
Nkore Kakyenkye group won the cultural competition, beating groups drawn from 10 districts in south-western region. It was rewarded with sh500,000 cash.
Runners-up Ibanda Youth Actors and Nyangi bagged sh300,000 and sh200,000 respectively.
Others walked away with Zain phones and T-Shirts of Igongo Cultural Centre.
Vision Group boss Robert Kabushenga in his speech thanked the cultural groups for loving their culture and the crowd for supporting Radio West.
He assured them that before the end of the month, Vision Group will start a television station in the region, named TV West.
The event was organised by Vision Group in partnership with Zain telecom, Uganda Breweries and Igongo Cultural Centre.
Radio West started in 1999 and went on air on April 10. It was bought by Vision Group two years ago.