The Ndote family has promoted and preserved Kisoga traditional music by making, playing and training the youth to play traditional musical instruments through six generations. This year, they are the winners of the National Heritage Award.
The family belongs to the Baise Kaziba clan of the Basoga, and lives in Kalalu village, Bugweri County in Iganga district in eastern Uganda.
Headed by Mukisa Charles Ndote, they make drums, xylophones, fiddles, the thumb piano, flutes, shakers, lyres, harps and panpipes. They also make costumes. Some instruments are made from rare tree species they have planted.
This indigenous skill and knowledge began with Musembya Kaziba, who passed it on to his son Birizika Kaziba, then to Nandala Birizika Kaziba, and now to Mukisa Charles Ndote.
The family has also trained other community members, school music teachers and pupils on how to play, make, maintain and repair the instruments.
The Ndote family, Richard Atya, and Albert Ssempeke and family were recognised in the Intangible Cultural Heritage category of the awards organised by the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda on June 17, at the Nommo Gallery in Kampala. They each won a cash prize worth Ush2 million ($587).
CCFU held the first edition of the National Heritage Awards in 2013. The organisation recognises the contribution of individuals, groups, families and organisations in promoting and preserving Uganda's tangible and intangible heritage.
Alur cultural heritage
Atya, the founder of the Nebbi Cultural Troupe, was nominated for his contribution to the preservation of the Alur cultural heritage.
Formed in 1993 in Nebbi district in northern Uganda, the troupe initially focused on using music, dance and drama to entertain and promote the local Alur culture. The troupe won the 2007 Northern Uganda Social Action Fund Traditional Media Award.
The late Ssempeke and family were nominated for their illustrious contribution to the preservation and promotion of the traditions of Kiganda music.