Ugandas four-day annual festival called Nyege Nyege is starting September 6th and ends September 9th in the eastern region of Jinja along the shores of River Nile.

The festival attracts thousands of people both local and foreign to be part of the "collective madness".

The annual music and arts festival aims at promoting the pan-African sound.

What does Nyege Nyege mean?

The meaning of 'Nyege Nyege' has been up for discussion for quite some time now. While it means feeling horny in Swahili -- it has a different connotation in some Ugandan local languages.

'Nyege Nyege' refers to the 'irresistible urge to dance' in Luganda, the most widely spoken language in Uganda - 'ekyinyegenyege'.

In the Runyankole, a commonly spoken language in western Uganda, the word is used t refer to a courtship dance - 'Runyege'.

Organisers say Nyege Nyege stands for "peace, respect and abundant joy".

How it started

The festival was founded by Arlen Disizilan and Derek Debru with an aim of showcasing the exciting transformations in contemporary African music.

"The first time we heard the word was from a friend in Uganda. It was a Friday afternoon and we were setting up for a party that evening. We set up the sound system and the DJ played this Owiny Sigoma Band track we hadn’t heard before. Our friend said, “Hey I’m feeling ki nyege nyege.” I asked what that meant and a few people got into the conversation, explaining that this is when you feel you want to dance," Derek explains to Music Africa.

He adds that: “We found out that Nyege Nyege also had sexual connotations for some, especially in Swahili. So for once, Uganda was going to have the upper hand in appropriating the meaning of a word. We thought it was a double meaning worthy to play around with and it just sounded so perfect, so we went for it!”

A slow but promising start

Nyege Nyege festival started in 2015. The idea evolved from a group of talented underground musicians and "all of a sudden things started to look like a festival," Derek says.

Its first edition was scheduled for 16 to 18th October in 2015 -- just a bad time because of the rainy weather. It rained for three days, the entire festival period -- sinking the organisers in losses.

Despite the bad weather and other unforeseen issues, Nyege Nyege attracted over 1,200 festival goers that year.

Fast forward

The festival was moved to September for its second edition after organisers factored in many things, including the weather.

The number more than doubled in 2016 attracted over 4,000 people -- even as far as Asia -- in Jinja, home to the source of River Nile. Over 200 artists from over 30 countries performed at the festival in 2016.

In 2017, the festival attracted over 7,000 people. Over 300 artists from over 30 countries performed at different stages.

Controversy and why a Ugandan minister wants to ban Nyege Nyege festival

Nyege Nyege festival goers on Tuesday were outraged by the comments made by Uganda's ethics minister.

Simon Lokodo issued an abrupt statement requesting the internal affairs ministry to stop the festival from happening.

The minister alleges that he has received "credible information that the purpose of the festival is to recruit young people into homosexuality and LGBT movement".

"I wanted Nyege Nyege cancelled last year but they escaped. Ministry Foreign Affairs is not aware of their activities and this should be a security issue," he told reporters in Kampala.

What is the government saying?

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo tweeted on Tuesday Nyege Nyege organizers should go ahead with preparations.

He revealed that there will be a further review meeting involving all stake holders on Wednesday, a day before the festival officially starts.

If cancelled, total losses of a minimum UGX2.9bn will be registered.