June is recognized globally as World Music Month with Thursday June 21st as the designated date to commemorate the day. But if we are to go by the ageless words of Berthold Aneurbach’s ageless words of wisdom which assert that “music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”, then a sonic weekend stay at Speke Resort Munyonyo – right on the shores of Africa’s largest fresh water lake – could be just what the doctor ordered.
Friday is a good day to kick it all off at the Lake Terrace, a patio-like extension to the haute cuisine Nyanja Restaurant eatery. Right there under the evening stars, a live band rings off a string of hits that stretch from Top 40 global playlists to timeless classics with a sprinkling of Ugandan pop songs. On the weekend I was there – in the company of mostly Millennial friends lost in Kim Kardashian banter against the backdrop of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande cover songs – the band threw in a Sade classic (Sweetest Taboo) that had me clapping away to its delightfully complex drum pattern. That song was the perfect dessert to all that meticulous stripping away of “flesh” from bone having stuffed myself with the grilled Tilapia from the restaurant’s palate-teasing a la carte menu.
Waking up with the chirping birds on Saturday morning for anyone that is in tune with nature is quite a good idea for anyone looking for tranquillity from all that loud car honking on your weekday work commute. The resort offers a forest walk-like experience that is quite divine and therapeutic for those that love to soak up the sun at dawn. While the health freaks in our posse opted to hit the gym to break a sweat, I was coaxed into being the camera person for a “daughter of Eve” that had me appreciate the noise-cancelling headset-free pleasures like the sound of waves washing up on the lakeshore in what should be a patented Ugandan tourist treat. Believe you, me, it was quite a spiritual experience quite in tune with Lake Victoria’s original Luganda name.
Sundays also offer the perfect sonic antidote to anyone dreading the Monday blues. Right by the lake, in a picnic set up at sundown, complete with an African textile and curios market, Ugandan songbird Jemimah Sanyu, who also goes by the Stage Gladiator moniker, literally sets the stage alight with her gladiatorial antics with her Unit 446 Band in tow. And much to the revellers’ delight, she does take birthday requests. But rather than sing some mundane birthday anthem, she’ll break into a high-energy “happy birthday dear Annetti (dear Annetti) happy birthday dear Annetti” chorus to a pulsating “Kwasa Kwasa” beat. Do be a good sport and save some cake for the visibly hardworking band that plays more impromptu audience requests than rehearsed material.
The ultimate Speke Resort Munyonyo weekend sonic therapy for the month of June though will be the annual Jazz Safari come Saturday 30th. If it were up to me, I’d christen it the jazz-on-the-lake weekend. Acclaimed Cameroonian-born US-based bassist Richard Bona is the headlining act this year. So rather than be gridlocked what with everyone hastily exiting the concert venue, a night stay at the resort after all that partying to the purring of the bass guitar and African-tinged jazz sounds may work better. Best of all, the Jazz Safari kicks off as early 2pm, which means you can check in quite early and enjoy a full board treat that comes with three square meals (lunch, dinner and Sunday breakfast), a dip in the Olympic-sized swimming pool, breaking a sweat in the gym or burning off all that fat in the steam & sauna topped off with a 30-minute boat ride at sunset all complimentary. With the latter, you’ll be guaranteed to dock back ashore just before Richard Bona hits the stage. Whether you are riding solo or hanging out with bae, the resort’s signature Deluxe Room complete with a garden-and-Lake-Victoria-balcony view comes highly recommended. Check out the room rates here; https://www.spekeresort.com
And who knows, just before you check out on Sunday morning you could run into the Jazz Safari headliner himself at the breakfast buffet table, a rare treat that could yield a selfie or an autograph with the star of the previous night. There just may be no better way to end the first half of the year while welcoming the second half of the year all in one weekend.
Text: Moses Serugo (firstname.lastname@example.org, +256-751-094719)
You can also contact reservations at Speke Resort Munyonyo via;
Tel: +256 414 227 111 or +256 417 716 000
Fax: +256 312 227 110 or +256 417 716 350
Mob: +256 (0) 752 711 714 (Duty Manager)