KAMPALA – American actress Shadina Blunt, a cherished cast member of the popular reality TV show Real Housewives of Atlanta has narrated having an unforgettable experience in Uganda.
The actress took to social media (Instagram) praising the hospitality of the Ugandans and the captivating landscapes of Pearl of Africa and in the process discovering ancestral links.
”Going to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa was a wonderful unforgettable experience. The experience I had with the people, true culture, dancing, and the food, was all so authentic and powerful,” Ms. Blunt posted.
She went ahead to tell the world how refreshed and blessed she was on the Ugandan trip including cultural links.
“I started my trip off with my wonderful Ugandan host family that completed the ceremony to give me my Ugandan name. They call me Niarubi Evering ( presence of cool or calm water). Then we proceeded to pray and focus on our blessings. Afterward, we celebrated with dancing and sharing of food. I felt new, refreshed and blessed by God.”
As an integral part of this groundbreaking campaign, Shadina underwent a profound cultural rebirth and naming ceremony, meticulously organized by revered cultural institutions across Uganda.
The pinnacle of her pilgrimage unfolded against the backdrop of the majestic Kagulu Rock, perched an awe-inspiring 3500ft above sea level, where the captivating Busoga cultural naming ceremony took place.
“Next I climbed Kagulu Rock and walked down with the king. Afterward, we had a wonderful ceremony with over 6,000 people for the king to address his people and announce our names for final approval. Thank you to His Excellency The President, The Busoga King, The Chief, the Minister of Tourism, The Ambassadors, and Prime Ministers for your approval of me receiving my birthright. The VIP service was exceptional.”
With a personal invitation extended by H.E President Museveni, Shadina’s journey was made possible by officials from the office of the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs.
Isaac Kigozi, the Head of Trade and Investment in the Office of the President noted that President Museveni’s visionary initiative seeks to reignite the flame of remembrance within historical diasporas, urging them to return to their roots, explore Africa’s cultural riches and contribute to its vibrant tapestry of growth and progress.
Guided by Hon. Hellenah Namutamba the Minister of Tourism in Busoga Kingdom, Shadina was bestowed with the name Nairubi Evelyn, a title that received the resounding approval of His Majesty William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV, the esteemed King of Busoga.
“In addition to our efforts, the Busoga kingdom is actively working on similar initiatives to foster cultural and spiritual connections for African Americans. Their commitment to preserving and promoting cultural heritage is commendable, and we are grateful for their collaboration in this endeavour,” Namutamba said.
Inspired by her own journey, Shadina has become a passionate advocate for encouraging more African Americans to undertake their own birthright expeditions to Africa.
She firmly believes that by reconnecting with their ancestral homeland, African Americans can unlock a wealth of cultural knowledge, strengthen their sense of identity, and forge lasting bonds with their African brothers and sisters.
Furthermore, Shadina emphasizes the importance of investing in the preservation and promotion of African culture.
She believes that by supporting local artisans, musicians, and cultural institutions, African Americans can contribute to the preservation and revitalization of Africa’s rich heritage.
“Our African heritage is a source of strength and resilience. It is time for us to reclaim our roots, celebrate our shared history, and build bridges that will span across continents. Let us come together, African Americans and Africans, to create a future where our cultural legacies thrive and our collective voices are heard.”
Shadina’s journey to Uganda serves as a powerful reminder that the quest for cultural reclamation knows no boundaries. It is a journey that beckons every African American to explore their own roots, discover their unique connections to the African continent, and contribute to the vibrant tapestry of African culture. Together, we can forge a path towards unity, understanding, and a brighter future for all.