It all starts from home before it goes anywhere else, and remember to think globally, act locally – these were some of the encouraging words Hollywood actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine shared with fellow Ugandan artistes during his visit.
Ntare is an American stage and film actor, playwright, photographer, documentarian and activists, popular for roles in films like Queen of Katwe, 40, Blood Diamond among others. And though he was born and raised in United States of American (USA), both Ntare’s parents are Ugandans.
As the saying goes ‘East or West home is the best’ Ntare recently came back home to carry out several projects with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), where he took off some time to meet and share some encouraging words with his fellow artistes.
During a meeting organized by Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) , Ntare revealed to artistes how he used the National Theatre to make his Hollywood dream come true, a dream that most Ugandan artistes are yearning to achieve.
He said that in 2002, he comeback to Uganda and held a one man’s show dubbed Biro, a stage play that had a unique Ugandan story that went viral across the globe thus opening international doors for him.
Biro was about an HIV positive Ugandan former rebel soldier who entered USA illegally for treatment. And to get wider press coverage for his play, he chose to premier it on January 26 2003, a day that National Resistance Movement (NRM) celebrates its liberation.
This strategy paid well for him as his play did not only receive a local recognition but it also featured on international media stations like BBC, CBN, and premiered in different States like London, Texas, New York among others and from then his stardom became much bigger.
“When I came back to Uganda for my show, I worked with several Ugandans who helped me to pull off my one man show. I remember the stage wasn’t that nice like the one you have now, we had only four lights working, the cameras weren’t so good, but that didn’t stop me from staging a piece that made me international,” he said.
He then advised local film makers not to give excuses of ‘I don’t have the best camera’, ‘we have poor equipment’; ‘the theatre is so local’ among other excuses, since Hollywood can as well find them there.
According to Robert Musiitwa, The Public Relations Officer UNCC, they invited Ntare to National theatre to share his inspirational message with local talents because, he is somewhere many artistes want to reach.
Musiitwa said that when they heard that Ntare was visiting the country to work on some projects with UTB, they saw it as an opportunity to work with him too.
“Ntare works with a big team of professionals like artistes, camera operators, directors among others and we saw it as an opportunity to have him come here with his team to share thoughts, experience and ideas with artists. I believe some artists will tap into that opportunity to reach were Ntare is.”
Currently, Ntare has already started working with artistes after setting a 5-minute film competition which aims at telling a unique story about Uganda. He set a grand cash prize of $1,000 (about Shs3.7 millions) for the lucky winner of this competition.
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