Players in the arts domain that are struggling to find a footing in the midst of the COVID turbulence, have a reason to continue believing in their craft.
The ray of hope comes from the words of the First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Uganda, Tomoko Ohyama, who paid a courtesy call to artists at their home at the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC).
Ohyama made the pledge after she heard the cries of the Executive Director of UNCC Francis Ojede who described how adversely affected the arts industry has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ojede said: “Our sector is among the worst hit by the pandemic and among the first to be locked down. We had to think out of the box and as such we created virtual platforms to keep in touch with our audiences,” he said.
In response, Ohyama pledged that she will prioritize the strengthening of good ties between Uganda’s arts industry and that of Japan.
Japan’s return to UNCC is welcome news for the industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept artists out of business for now seven months.
About a decade ago, the Embassy of Japan fully equipped the recording studio of UNCC, on top of donating expensive stage lighting equipment. Advancements in technology have however since rendered the Japanese obsolete.
The pledge by Ohyama was therefore greeted with a lot of enthusiasm considering that beneficial past relationship.
Ojede took his guest on a guided tour of UNCC which started with the auditorium, Audio/visual studio, National Arts & Cultural Crafts Association of Uganda (NACCAU) and Nommo Gallery.
In appreciation of the visit, UNCC’s Ojede, donated a piece of batik art painted by the world renowned Ugandan batik artist Nuwa Wamala Nnyanzi who is also the Vice Chairperson of NACCAU.