Guest of Honour - The High Commissioner of Uganda to the UK Professor Joyce Kakuramatsi Kikafunda
Her Excellency Professor Joyce Kikafunda is one of the few female Professors in Uganda. She worked at Makerere University for over 20 years. She obtained her first degree from Makerere University, Masters degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and PhD from the University of Reading , United Kingdom. She is well known for establishing the first ever Department of Food Science and Technology at Makerere University which strategically develops human capacity to add value to Uganda’s vast Agricultural produce. She has received many Leadership Awards among which are: USAID Award in recognition of her research efforts to reduce Hunger and Malnutrition (2006); President Yoweri Museveni’s Award for Excellent Leadership (2009); New Vision’s Women Achier of the Year Award (2009) and Gender Equality Award (2010). She served on the Board of Uganda National Bureau of Standards for 8 years and for 6 years, was the only African on the Board of International Rice Research Institute based in the Philippines.
In 2012, Prof. Kikafunda was appointed by His Excellency the President to be Uganda's Ambassador to United Kingdom and Ireland. For two consecutive years (2014 and 2015), Ambassador Kikafunda was voted by Uganda Investment Authority as the Second Best Ambassador of the Year in promoting Commercial Diplomacy, of which Investment, Tourism Promotion and Diaspora issues are a big part.
VJOJ is a UK-based Ugandan artist, singer/DJ/VJ/video director and audio producer. VJOJ’s career has evolved from Sunday evening karaoke appearances into a consistent recording artist. But if VJOJ is to achieve his dream of getting his music to different corners of the world there is still a lot to be done. For now, with over 14,000 likes on his Facebook page, he is, arguably, one of the most popular Ugandan artists in UK if not the Diaspora.
2016 saw him extend his publicity lead against other UK Ugandan based artist when against all odds he put on an album launch concert in London accompanied by the legendary Congolese artist Awilo Longomba and a live band. 2016 proved to be the year for VJOJ as he scooped the Best Video Producer award at the BEFFTA’s.
Record Heads are a trio singing group a Soul/Rock/Pop/RnB sound. Their musical sound has an organic feel as they believe that live instruments is the only one true way to create magic, which has been lost over the years in the music industry. Members are cousins Jay, Emp and family friend Ty who formed in mid 2010. Their musical sound has been influenced by artists such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Prince, Beatles, Miguel and James Brown. They have performed all over London and some parts of the UK. RecordHeads are currently working on music that will go towards their EP and plan to release it soon by the end of the year.
BRENDA BIRUNGI (Lady Unchained)
Brenda was convicted of GBH in 2009. She began writing poetry in prison and on release in 2010 started volunteering for the charity Body and Soul. She now runs her own mentoring poetry programme, Unchainedpoetry. Brenda was also a Miss Uganda UK Finalist in 2014 in which she was awarded the Peoples Queen.
Shannan tasmin lubega is a 22 year old Female, R&B singer/songwriter. shannan was born and raised in North London to parents originating from Uganda & St Vincent Growing up in musical family shannan quickly found her passion for singing and through her joint love of poetry and creative writing she had started writing lyrics at the tender age of 6.
Shannan works with a talent quest company called SABA UK Unsigned that has been the biggest platform in the UK for unsigned artists since 1999. she is constantly exposed to raw unsigned talent and networking /working with some of the best in the industry so passion and inspiration comes every day. Miss Lubega was also a Miss Uganda UK 2013 Finalist in which she was awarded the Miss Congeniality prize.