KAMPALA

Local theatre may collapse if government does not intervene and promote industry. 

According to the Ebonies director, Mr Sam Bagenda alias Bossa, Uganda risks losing the industry to established foreign actors.

“We are better actors than Nigerians but government has not supported us. Parliament should allocate funds to promote local theatre and film industry. These ventures are very expensive but we get very little out of it. We have Nigerian and Indian movies that have flooded the market. Some years back when we would stage shows, tickets would sell out days before we went on stage. But today, things are not okay,” he said.

Members of the Ebonies pose for a photograph at the group's 'home' at theatre Labonita

Several drama groups have collapsed and the few existing ones are not very active, Mr Bagenda said.

Speaking to journalists to announce the upcoming Ebonies’ tenth anniversary to be presided over Kabaka Ronald Mutebi, Mr Bagenda said if adequately funded, local theatre can grab African film market and in return contribute significantly to Uganda’s foreign exchange income.  

Kira Municipality Member of Parliament, Semuju Nganda, however advised actors to advocate for cheaper loans.

“Government only funds public institutions, they should instead request for lowering the cost of financial services but not handouts. I do not believe in hand outs,” he told Daily Monitor on telephone.

Artistes attached to the Ebonies take a selfie.

Ms Fauzia Nakiboneka , an actress with the group, said during the anniversary, they are premiering a new play named latavia.

“It is all about social issues we encounter in our day-to-day life. We are talking about corruption, greed and unethical behaviors in our society. We are going into a three weeks retreat so that we can fine tune the play,” she added.

Theatre La Bonita, manager Mr Thomas Lalji said entrance fee for premiering is Shs50,000.

“As we celebrate ten years, we are proud to have our own home but the few people who at some time turn to watch our plays are disappointing,” Mr Bagenda noted.

wouma@ug.nationmedia.com