The 9th German Language Festival took place on Sunday 2nd July 2017. In attendance were 11 schools with around 400 students and teachers both from Kampala and neighbouring districts. The festival was hosted at Nabisunsa Girls’ School, which organized the festival in cooperation with Goethe-Zentrum Kampala/Ugandan German Cultural Society and the help of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The event was opened with both the Ugandan and German national anthems which served to create an atmosphere of cultural exchange and friendship. This festival was attended by the acting Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Petra Kochendörfer and the Guest of Honour from the Ministry of Education & Sports, Commissioner Alfred Kyaka.
The Guests of Honor and the acting German Ambassador participated in tree planting with the trees meant to serve as a reminder of the presence of the German language in Uganda and recognize Ugandan-German relations.
The highlight of the festival was the Rap Battle between the schools – refrains of various performances had to be in German though the stanzas could be in any other language of choice. As a result, performances were vibrant and captivating and displayed the students’ language abilities and diverse cultural backgrounds.
However, at the festival’s heart were the students’ presentations. From Senior One up to Senior Six, the students had the opportunity to showcase their German language skills in friendly competitions. The presentations started off with a Chain Poetry Slam of the poem “Wir brauchen Menschen” by the Senior Ones, accompanied by other performances. The Senior Twos followed with a parody of Angela Merkel which had them reading a speech they had never practiced before. The Senior Threes did a lively Chain Poetry Slam of the poem “Menschen wie wir”, again expressing creativity by their mode of presentation. The Senior Four students presented a contemporary dance representing hospitality and it was set to either German music or music of their choice. Each dance was a unique representation of culture and creativity. The Senior Five and Six students acted out skits portraying hospitality. The skits showed their German language ability and the perception of what hospitality means not only in their respective cultures but also on an intercultural basis.
The annual festival is a great way for the students to demonstrate their German language skills; furthermore, it is an opportunity to gain more intercultural knowledge and competencies, both skills that are rooted in the heart of foreign language education.