Vegan food festival article by Nabaasa Innocent
THE FESTIVAL THAT WAS!
On the 9th of June 2019, a day that doubles as our Heroes Day public holiday, Uganda hosted the first-ever Vegan Festival at Kabira Country Club. The Brand Ambassadors 256-organised event was a great success, seeing as it was being staged for the very first time. Over 500 vegans and non-vegans turned up on the day, to have a taste of vegan dishes made in Uganda.
Despite the heavy rains that persisted for most of the day, people from different origins and backgrounds endured the inclement weather, and from what we have seen from the photos taken, the visitors certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. Delicious vegan meals, ranging from barbecue, burgers, paratha, roasted pumpkins, potatoes, juices and cocktails are just some examples of what was enjoyed by the revelers.
According to Nabaasa Innocent, the brains behind the Vegan Festival, the inspiration to organize such an event resulted from renewed global concern about healthy eating habits that many have previously taken for granted, possibly putting life at stake. Innocent further states that this improved lifestyle is aimed at promoting compassion towards the animals we eat and protection of the environment. The event wasn’t just for adults but for the kids as well, who had their own, fully-equipped play station. According to Innocent, this festival will now become an annual event and the future plan is to make it an East African Vegan festival too, in the next three years.
WHY WE ORGANISED THIS VEGAN FOOD FESTIVAL ?
Annually over 100,000 lose their lives to non-communicable diseases, which is estimated to be 35% of the total annual deaths occurring in the country, according to UNCDA. In line with the Ministry of Health objective of “Focusing on prevention through creating awareness of the risk factors and advising people to adjust their lifestyles”, Brand Ambassadors 256, thought it pertinent to organize this Festival.
Vegan dietary habits are gaining more and more fans the world over and a number of similar food festivals have been staged elsewhere; they too have attracted thousands of revelers. We believe this is evidence that, globally, more and more people are appreciating this lifestyle. According to Nabaasa, the aim is to introduce this plant-based diet to Ugandans, thus avoiding all animal foods such as meat and dairy products, among others.
A vegan diet is richly diverse and comprises all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses, all of which can be prepared in endless combinations that ensure no-one is ever bored with his or her meals. These can range from curries to cakes, pastries to pizzas, all made with the best, plant-sourced ingredients. his Festival will continue to provide a large-scale event that allows vegans to celebrate in an atmosphere of music, cooking and the very best vegan products. However, the Festival also recognizes and will continue to address issues that impact upon animal welfare, human health and the environment.
WHO IS A VEGAN?
So, to summarize, this new festival is aimed at creating awareness in people about the environment, animal rights protection, health and veganism. The overall aim is to serve everyone who may be interested in these subject areas and to collaborate with other vegan and vegetarian organizations.
The Brand Ambassadors 256 organized event was proudly sponsored by Kabira Country Club, Pepsi, Smile Telecom, NTV Uganda, Arirang Hotel and Restaurant, Chocolate Safaris, The Ruparelia Foundation and Cafe Javas.