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Bollywood stars marvel at Uganda’s tourist attractions

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The delegation from India and local tour guides pose for a photo during Gorilla tracking in Bwindi

The delegation from India and local tour guides pose for a photo during Gorilla tracking in Bwindi

By Our Reporter

Having successfully completed an eight-day tour of Uganda, a delegation from India comprising Bollywood stars and members of Travel Agents of India (TAFI) has today, Monday March 4, 2019 flown out, full of praise for the country’s rich and numerous attractions.

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The group, led by Bharat Dabholkar, a distinguished film director, actor, writer and advertising guru, arrived in the country on Wednesday February 28, 2019 and almost immediately flew out to Kidepo National Park.

The team started off with a game drive and sight-seeing, giving them just a glimpse of the diverse wildlife in Uganda before proceeding to meet the Karimojong in their indigenous homesteads, the Manyatta. The team also went gorilla tracking at Bwindi, visited Queen Elizabeth National Park and also enjoyed a boat ride on the Kazinga Channel, among other activities.
As they concluded their Ugandan visit, the team met President Yoweri Museveni yesterday at State House Nakasero where they discussed several issues.

The President urged them to encourage more tourists from India to come and experience the beauty of Uganda. He also said that linkages between India and Uganda have the potential to boost trade and investment.

Dabholkar, who has directed and starred in over 17 Bollywood films promised the President that they would promote Uganda as a tourist destination for Indians and also as a location for filmng Bollywood movies where Ugandans will participate.

He also stated that they will bring big film tourists to Uganda saying that film tourism will be a big deal.

Asked how his Uganda visit was, Dabholkar couldn’t hide his excitement, saying he would gladly jump onto another opportunity to visit Uganda.
“We came to Uganda to also experience the numerous stories we had been told about this place (Uganda) and to be honest, this is an extremely beautiful country. There’s a lot for one to take in here and I think I would need another trip to experience more of this,” he said.

Dabholkar was particularly excited about the Gorilla tracking experience and the Manyatta cultural attributes. He noted, “Niche tourism with special package like the Gorilla tracking is very easy to sell and for our team this is a take home package for all.”

Other members of the delegation included; Shobanadri Yarlagadda, lead producer of Baahubali, a famous trilogy in Bollywood cinema, accompanied by his spouse Lakshmi Yarlagadda and Prasad Devinemi who helped co-producer the same film.

Others were Bharat Shah, Chairman of TAFI, Pradeep Lulla, Vice President of TAFI, Aditi Bhende, National General Secretary of TAFI and Ramji Natarajan, Chairman of Travel Masters India Corporation.

Also in the team was Veena Patel Sandeed, owner of Veena Travel, a Mumbai-based Indian tour company specializing in budget travel packages, Karad Anand, Head of Relationships and Supplier Management of Cox and Kings, a famous global travel agency with an Indian base.

Sumit Chaturvedi, an Executive Producer at India’s World Is One News (WION) global channel who was part of the delegation disclosed that most of the footage attained from the visit will be featured in a televised program offering, which will be free advertising for Uganda tourism industry.

Grace Akello, the Uganda High Commissioner to India, while welcoming the delegation to Uganda, stated that the visit aimed at unmasking Uganda’s tourism potential, opening up the space for newer opportunities and for the film stars onboard to spot out potential sites for possible film shoots. “This visit paves way for the possibility of local film makers working with this world-class film giant in southern Asia, to promote Uganda,” Akello said.

Uganda has in recent years become a haven for the production of internationally acclaimed movies. Hollywood blockbusters such as Queen of Katwe, The last King of Scotland, Victory at Entebbe, 7 Days in Entebbe, Mississipi Masala starring Denzel Washington, are some of the movies to have featured Uganda.

Adding Bollywood onto that portfolio would be a huge steal given the global appeal this burgeoning Asian movie industry has gained.

The team’s visit was as a result of cooperation between Uganda’s Mission in New Delhi with government tourism agencies; Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wild Life Authority; as well as the private sector.

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Celebrity Gossip

Song alert: Beckie 256 returns in double release

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Singer Beckie 256 has a had a come back after some time in the chill zone. The female singer has released two songs that could see her retain her spot on the dance floor making her fans and music lovers fall prey.

Ogamba Otya and Sikuwalana are the two latest releases from Beckie 256. While Sikuwalana is a duo featuring producer and singet Daddy Andre, Ogamba Otya is a single and Beckie 256 will make you grooves to this.

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Watch Ogamba Otya lyrics here https://youtu.be/z-kvIw1KKtQ

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I want to be like Eddy Kenzo, Ethiopia’s Tomy Plus breaks into East Africa

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Not so often do we have artistes from the horn of Africa penetrate into East Africa, after Eritrean singer Sammy is Tomy Plus who has gone against all odds to break into the very competitive East African music industry. Tomy Plus despite his short stay in the industry is impressively amazing as two of his many songs “She don’t like” and “Zena Larigat” are enjoying Massive airplay in Uganda and East Africa, not something easy.

Tomy Plus is greatly aided by his dancing talent exhibited in his videos and makes them appealing to his fans. Tomy is slowly gaining favour and following into East Africa and Uganda particularly.

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Who is Tomy Plus?

Tomy Plus real name Tomas Hailu is Ethopian aged 27 and is both a singer and dancer. His singing career started three years ago and has since done so many songs but most notably She don’t like and Zena Larigat that were done in Uganda.

He has been in Uganda three times on mission to connect with East African Countries musically as well as promoting Ethiopian Music Industry.

Tomy Plus started as a cultural dancer. He’s currently doing modern dance while singing.

He’s inspired by Chris Brown and Eddy Kenzo in Uganda.

He has performed on many big concerts in Ethiopia among them is Habesha in Ethiopia which he shared same stage with Eddy Kenzo.

Watch some of his videos here:

Zena Lagarit: https://youtu.be/iWfvQUn5vw8

Tiwejina: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8iKh2pOStNo

She don’t like: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hYrZS9JQxWQ

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Weasel Now Dating Miss Rwanda; Opening Borders of Love

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By Staff Writer

Weasel Manizo is finally happy once again and deeply in love. Even more interesting, he is now dating Miss Rwanda 2014, Teta Sandra.

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The two love birds can’t help but display public affection. The two currently live together and Weasel is even penning a love song inspired by Teta.

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