By Mike Ssegawa
After quitting radio a couple of years ago, veteran dramatist Charles James Ssenkubuge Siasa is kiss GOOD BYE to the STAGE too. So sad.
Siasa is not an ordinary dramatist. He, together with Aloysius Matovu Joy and Benon Kibuuka, have been at the heart of Uganda’s theatre for the last three decades. No group has been as consistent and committed as them, may be Ebonies.
Ssenkubuge, a serious joker, who once stood for president of Uganda before he dropped out of the race, has had a large life on and off stage. And going by his looks and age, everyone wonders why he is in hurry to call it quits.
On Friday (July 2, 2017) however, will be the last day Charles James Ssenkubuge Siasa is performing on stage. The man is retiring. It is strange.
Whereas no one can attest to the fact that this is the last time this man will stand on stage since this is what has defined his life, it will always be a pleasure to see this confident and experience Siasa going about his craft.
Siasa is most likely ending his journey as a dramatist for godly things. He for sometime had been concentrating on preaching the gospel, and building his brand as pastor, a man of God. And that is why he left radio, where he had a morning show called Binsangawano on Bukoto based Radio Simba owned by Elvis Sekyanzi.
And it should have been despicable for such a towering theatre man to lie low and leave without a big announcement.
In that respect, his friends and mentees have organized a play where he will feature called BONGO munsi ya BONGO. The play will take place at Club Obligato.
And Charles is coming with some of the biggest names in theatre including Alex Mukulu and Mariam Ndagire and Siasa’s group where he is also a director, Bakayimbira. Whereas Mukulu is Siasa contemporary, Mariam on the other hand is like a student of Siasa.
Before Uganda’s theatre went to television, these are some of the biggest names that made people line up at Pride Theatre or of recent Bat Valley to watch plays. Siasa and his colleagues enjoyed massive star power, something few of the people that replaced them will ever enjoy.
Later Bakayimbira lost Pride Theatre largely due to poor management, just as they lost their school, Pride Academy which was a promising school in the 1990s.
For you to watch Charles James Ssenkubuge Siasa for the last time on stage, you will part with Sh20,000 and Sh100,000 for the VIP seats.
Who is Charles James Ssenkubuge?
Charles James Senkubuge, 54, is a comedian and artist whose political career as a presidential candidate took the country by surprise in 2001. He was then only 38. He however pulled out of the race in just one month citing insecurity on his person. He is arguably Uganda’s most experienced playwright. He is married with children. Siasa works at Salt Media who run a christian radio and television owned by controversial Pastor Bugingo. He has been the Chairman and CEO of BAKAYIMBIRA DRAMACTORS. Siasa studied Philosophy and literature at Makerere University.