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New Year’s Eve:  How to navigate the muted celebrations  

by Editorial Team
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By Alex Balimwikungu

A nightclub played loud music, a vehicle hooted incessantly and people chatted animatedly during the countdown to the New Year. At midnight, fireworks lit the city’s skyline, creating a beautiful pattern that brought cheers to thousands of residents.

That feels like long ago. With COVID-19 restrictions, we have had no public end-year concerts, parties and the pattern is the same this year. There will be no fireworks at this year’s New Year’s Eve countdown celebration in Uganda to minimise crowds and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that fireworks displays to usher in the New Year have been banned again this year. In that respect, he also said there shall be no overnight prayers. This means that anyone with big plans for New Year’s Eve is facing hard choices.

Ugandans have a pattern. Over the years, they throng the village at Christmas like they are beating a deadline.  Many, however, make it to major towns to usher in the New Year. By then, many have blown all their money in the village showing off and come to town to be part of the madness and pray for a new and prosperous New Year.

Seeing that these trips to prayer places like Bukalango or Sheraton Hotel’s two-year parties are outlawed, there is no need to fret. It has been a hard year.  What can someone do under the circumstances?

Stay in the village

Chilling with the big boys has become the rage in town after that Amapiano remix featuring Goyar Menor & Nektunez.  It is everyone’s dream to chill with the Big Boys as we usher in the new year. The Big Boys you see on TikTok are an illusion. They have blown their bu-moneys and even as they enter the New Year, many are banking on memories. If 2021 was an illusion, 2022 is a stark reality.

If you went to the village for Christmas, you are better off staying there way into the New Year and saving that ka-money!  With school re-opening just a week away, it will be better if you postponed enjoyments just for the sake of saving school fees. It has been two long years. You can imagine the relief of your kids bidding you farewell as you cart them off to boarding school.

 Create your own fireworks

Why ask the Police for permission to pop fireworks when we can do it ourselves?  Yes, you… you reading this.. You too can explode!  With Bonfire Night upon us, 31st December is all about bangs and explosions – even in the bedroom.

How about creating some sparks between you and your partner in the bedroom? Grab your partner for some explosive action and you will thank me later.

Prior to the pandemic, you were busy and may have overlooked your sex life, but with the focused time together, maybe it’s time to explore.  Sex at the dawn of the New Year should be behaviour that bonds you closer, not drives you apart in 2022.

 Tune into a virtual event

At the dawn of the total lockdown in 2021 with no semblance of entertainment, we turned to local TV for entertainment. True to form, a fresh crop of entertainers held us spell bound on the silver screen till late in the night.

Whether it was Etania Mutoni’s gyrations, Crysto Panda’s braggadocio or DJ Shiru’s mixes, they had us like dogs on a leash. With total lockdown lifted, these guys no longer have cultic status. However, they likely to come in handy on  December 31 and it will be fun watching the countdown on TV.  First, it is safe. Second, chances of bumping into the Omicron variant are slim. Let us not get started on the burglaries that happen at the dawn of the New Year.

With the ban on night church congregations, some churches in Kampala are opting for virtual New Year’s Eve services as the number of coronavirus cases are on the rise — again.  It wouldn’t hurt to be part  of the congregation virtually/God is Omnipresent!




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