The Ugandan film industry is slowly, but steadily growing. Commonly referred to as Ugawood as derived from the word Hollywood just like Bollywood and Nollywood.
Uganda National Cultural Centre being Uganda’s statutory body that was established to promote Art and Culture decided to host Ugandan Hollywood star Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine
Ntare is one of Uganda’s most celebrated international actors and has featured in a number of Hollywood films and TV shows such as Blood Diamond (2006), 40 (2009), Queen of Katwe (2016) and currently, The Chi.
Ntare is in Uganda on holiday and to launch “Hollywood Goes Back to the Source project,” an end-of-year campaign aimed at promoting Uganda’s tourism, culture, and opportunities.
The campaign will also invite American celebrities and influencers to Uganda’s destination sites.
During his visit at the National theatre, he took a tour to the auditorium, art gallery, ICT room, dance studio among other places.
“I always come back to National Theatre every time I come home and sing hymns to how National theatre blessed and nurtured me. I wanted these ‘folks’ (friends from the west) to discover the beauties of Uganda, many of my friends have never been to places like Moroto, Gulu and more so the pearl of Africa.”
While sharing about his life and struggles Ntare to narrated on how he borrowed 10,000 dollars to produce his first play “Biro” which introduced him to the movie world.
“I borrowed 10,000 dollars which I paid in two weeks, mini DVD tape and only four lights I managed to stage my play in the auditorium, the play was a one man show about a “veteran soldier who contracted the virus.”
“It was a unique Ugandan story so I had to first premiere it in Uganda yet my agent was not in favour of me deciding to do so asking why Uganda? I chose the NRM day January 26th and I knew that it would be popular because it was a national day.”
“BBC also did a feature of the play which added more fame to my play. I later got a call from a theatre in London because of the play.” Ntare said.
He narrated about the movie world, culture and his new role as Goodwill cultural ambassador of Uganda.
Robert Musiitwa the Public Relations Manager UNCC said Ntare started his first project at the National Theatre so it was just appropriate for him to come back and visit.
“In 2002 when he started out he began his story from National theatre with the play “biro”, since he has different connections we can also benefit from that and share various cultural views and create a platform to network with different agencies.”
“He also got the chance to meet people he worked with back then and shared memories.”
Ntare also issued a challenge to whoever would come up with the best short film of unique stories about Uganda for 5-10minutes and put a prize of 1000dollars. He added “I want to inspire you guys to create your own pieces, creativity comes from the greatest restrictions and it will always find a way to make things work.”