The immediate former director of the Uganda National Cultural Centre – popularly known as the The National Theatre Joseph Walugembe has died. But close friends say that while he was alive, his body should not be brought to the National Theatre, a place he presided over for many years.
Sources have told The Sunrise that Walugembe collapsed and died while at his home in Namungoona, a Kampala suburb. It is suspected that Walugembe died from Heart Attack.
The current Director of the National Theatre Francis Ojede announced: “With deep sorrow we announce the death of Mr Joseph Walugembe who was an iconic figure in art and he will be missed so much.”
While speaking to The Sunrise Ojede louded Walugembe’s contribution to the Development of Art at the Theatre in Uganda calling him an Iconic Figure in the Theatre industry.
“The entire Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) board and management is greatly indebted for Walugembe’s great contribution to the development of art and the National Theatre may his soul rest in peace,” Ojede.
Although Walugembe was an acclaimed figure in the art industry, his reign was rocked by great controversy that saw him leave the place in hand-cuffs after he fouled the law.
Walugembe served as acting director of the National Theatre from 2003 and 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, he was elevated to full Director.
A number of artists accused Walugembe of mismanaging the National Theatre and caused the exodus of many artists from the home of Uganda’s most iconic Theatre.
The National Theatre management says that it will not organise requiem proceedings for the late Walugembe, but instead will offer a casket for his body.
Walugembe died at the age of 58. He was well known among stage artists for his special skill and talents in play writing, acting and directing.