Hollywood-based American-Ugandan Ntare Guma Mwine is using his end of year holiday to promote Uganda’s rich tourism offers especially among his peers in the movie industry.
In a campaign they’ve dubbed: ‘Hollywood goes back to the Source Project’, Mwine, 52, who is an American born to Ugandan parents, chose Uganda as the place to call home about.
For Uganda, the campaign seeks to invite American celebrities and influencers to tour the country’s tourism destinations.
Along with a couple of friends, Mwine is going around the country to explore Uganda’s beauty which includes the natural fauna and flora as well as Uganda’s rich cultural heritage.
Mwine truly believes Uganda is home and has not only frequented the country but has done several acting projects in Uganda including staging his very first play Biiro.
Biiro premiered at the National Theatre in 2002.
Since then, Mwine’s acting star has risen including landing major roles in blockbusters such as the 2006 political war thriller film that featured Leonardo DiCaprio. He also featured in Queen of Katwe (2016) and most recently The Chi.
Mwine spoke with passion about the National Theatre as a place that nurtured him.
He said: “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 Mwine narrated 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, to produce a 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 26 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 recalls.
The Public Relations Manager of the National Theatre Robert Musiitwa UNCC expressed gratitude that Mwine remembers the National Theatre as an important springboard for his acting career .
Musiitwa said: “In 2002 when he started out he began his story from National theatre, since he has different connections we can also benefit from that and share various cultural views and create a platform to network.”
To inspire upcoming Ugandan actors and movie makers, Mwine says he is staking 1000 US dollars to any person who would come up with the best short film (5-10 minutes) on unique stories about Uganda.
He said: “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.”