Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I am NOT my hair!!

Many of us go through transformations at some point in our lives, some of us more than others. When this happens in my life, I refer to it as 'going through a transition'. Yes, I have been through it. It was in 2008 December that I decided to cut off my hair and start growing dreadlocks... some people thought me insane but then the look grew on them and now they do not want me to cut my dreads off. ;) I am powerless without the dreads & will lose my super natural strength once they are cut off. Hee hee hee heeee...
Anyway, a friend of mine recently decided to SHAVE off all his hair.... You may know him; popular guy, plays the guitar, has a soulful voice and a strong persona that you may mistake him for having a big ego but it is not bad. His name is Maurice Kirya. Some of you may say "WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WAS HE THINKING??!!"Don't ask me, I do not know but here are my guesses:
1. Too tired of his hair and the heat was not helping the situation so he thought what better way than to shave it all off.
2. Had an outbreak of lice. (boo ha ha ha ha ha ha!)
3. Undergoing chemotherapy (doubt it!)
4. Got a big time film role and is required to be bald. (Hey, why not take the dollars, the hair will grow back anyway.)
5. Became a monk
6. A new look for his 2O12 album
7. Starting a new chapter in his life so this is his way of shedding off the past. (THIS MUST BE IT!)

Although it may take you a few seconds or a minute to recognize Maurice Kirya now, I personally like the new look and it has given him a strong masculine edge like that of Michael Jordan, Common, or Djimon Hounsou-- unlike the "too cute" Afro style he had before. Who comes to mind now when I see Maurice? Um, let me see... ..... Ah, yes! Boris Kodjoe--NOT that they look alike, don't get me wrong, but the facial features stand out the same way.
Lots of personalities have shaved off their hair at some point and still looked good; Lenny Kravitz, Brian McKnight, Tyrese, Bruce Willis... the list is endless.
So which look did you prefer? I do not mind either as long as he keeps making great music. He is not his hair and neither are you. It's all in the mind so you can do everything you are skilled/talented at with or without your hair! This does not mean go and do something drastic to your hair like Britney Spears did. ;)


Saturday, December 24, 2011


It is said that Christmas is a time for giving and sharing. I believe it is.
There is an air of excitement around me.... Xmas carols playing around the city, decorations in place, people shopping gifts and all.....
While I was doing my radio show a few weeks ago at Radiocity 97fm, members of Swangz Avenue (one of the best music production houses in Uganda) came to meet with my bosses about something. Later on, my colleague and I in the studio received a mention we had to read out on air and I was touched.
Swangz Avenue artists and friends compiled a special 9-track Christmas album titled Do They Know its Xmas and after I listened to it just today, (yes today, Xmas Eve, because I finally had some "me time") I felt compelled to share this with you.  
The album is being given away free of charge in exchange for a non-monetary donation in the form of clothes, shoes, warm beddings or foods that don't spoil easily.
Swangz Avenue did this as a way of reaching out and blessing the less privileged children in our community and it is an effort of theirs to brighten these children's Xmas through combination of music, clothes and food.
I find this a wonderful way of sharing and giving. My favourite songs on this album are: Joy in the Silent Night (Brian Mugenyi), Mary Did You Know (Pragmo), Oh Holy Night (Michael Ouma), Ho Ho We should all be Singing (Richy) and The King is Born Today (Benon & Vamposs).
Find out which are your favorites. Get your own copy of this Xmas album by simply donating something for the less privileged children now.
You can take your donations to Radiocity 97fm situated in Bugolobi on  Jilak House, Spring Road Tel: +256-312-970000.
OR at Tuskys Kitintale, Tuskys Ntinda, Tuskys Makerere and Uchumi supermarket.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Love Life, Love Music!!!

There is a new sound in town. If you haven't heard it yet, you should. It's Radiocity 97FM with a swanky slogan 'Love Life, Love Music'. There is less talk and more music, lots of infotainment and you get to request all your favourite songs. Click on the link http://www.facebook.com/pages/Radiocity-97FM/191506874203527& join the Radiocity family to be a part of all their phone topics via Facebook. Radiocity 97FM, where the fun is!!! 
Check out the website too www.radiocity.ug
I host a show dubbed THE JAM every Monday to Friday with Hakeem the Dream from 3pm-7pm. 

JUL/AUG issue of African Woman UG

Get yourself a copy of the latest African Woman magazine & enjoy news about the world, fashion, trends, style & much more! Also get to read articles written by Cleopatra Koheirwe and learn how to love your body no matter the shape. Join the facebook page of African woman Magazine http://www.facebook.com/africanwomanmag and also check out the website www.africanwomanmagazine.net You can also follow African Woman magazine on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/africanwomanmag 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wats happening to Uganda?

I am not happy about our situation in Uganda, politically and economically. Well, everyone around the world is going through a financial crisis or has felt its pinch but now, what is happening in Uganda is that we cannot even do a peaceful demonstration to let our voice be heard. If u dare, u will be bombarded with tear gas, police all over the place and their "S.W.A.T." team ready to tackle any one with something to say.
Is this what our country has come to? We can't speak or walk for a cause affecting us all? I thought that they (police) being aware of how far UG has come politically, they would be more careful how they handled issues but no, i think history is about to repeat itself.
Watching the news on TV was really upsetting as I saw unarmed civilians and a few MPs being manhandled or forced to enter the police tracks. Some individuals like Besigye were carried and thrown into the truck then carried out again and dragged into a police station, for what? For walking to work. U might be wondering what I am talking about but to make it clear, MPs and representatives of the opposition decided to do a "WALK TO WORK' peaceful demonstration with the aim of drawing attention to the increase of fuel prices. We believe our government can do anything so we expect them to give heed and help us the civilians. It is not that I support any of the parties that demostrated but this cause is universal and called for. The fuel prices are unbearable.
Such political figures who risk their lives to help put across the issues affecting all of us are the people we need to represent us unlike most of the MPs in government who simply drive posh cars, grow big bellies, sign up to posh clubs and ignore all that is happening around them. Simply selfish!! As long as they are well off, who cares, right? C'mon! Seriously?? We the civilians care! We pay taxes and we need to be protected from all this otherwise a layman will not be able to survive in this country anymore. Fuel is not the only commodity that has gone up, even a simple big loaf of bread is now close to USH 3000, sugar, rice et cetera. Our dear Ugandan government, we need u to hear us out, we need u to show u are on our side not against us otherwise with the news we watch, we might lose faith in u and doubt where your loyalty lies. U seem to be biased and we are starting to see through u.
Go on and make us proud to be Ugandan again! We still have faith in you.
Below are some links but you can google for more news on this Walk to Work demonstration and what happened.

Monday, February 7, 2011


      A friend and fellow actor Nick Mutuma inspired me to write this after I read his post on acting. Over and over again, I have received emails and texts and met people who tell me they too are interested in acting. This warms my heart but the funny thing is that they think I can make their dreams come true. The fact is that I cannot. IT STARTS WITH YOU! I never had it easy getting to where I am and I did not get favors either. I am where I am due to hard work and determination. I acted in theatre while at Namasagali College in Uganda and that is where I was sighted by the Obsessions (a then popular music,dance & drama group) and was asked to join. I watched them for a year and joined in 2001 then all I wanted to be stating unfolding from then on. We don’t have acting agents here yet and it will take a long time before that starts I guess. Acting agents sight talent and make you a star, if I may easily put it-- or at least they should. 
I   If you know you have something you really want to do, go for it and try to make it happen. 

       It is not easy and it is not a by-the-way. 
  It is a profession, a job in which you have to put your time, effort and commitment.  In a feature film, documentary
 or TV series, there are timelines which are things in the
 script that determine time of day, date and weather. There are day scenes, night scenes, rainy scenes and so on depending on what is in the script and this cannot all be shot after 5pm like the young woman above hoped.  
 That is why actors/actresses spend more time on the set working!
  • Acting takes patience! It can be monotonous and strenuous because you act for hours and hours and may repeat the same scene more than once in order for the Director of Photography-D.O.P. (locally known to many as the camera man, but in film, this is his title which comes with a lot of professionalism and experience) to take shots of the scene in different angles if one camera is beng used. If they are different cameras avaialble, still you will do more than one shoot of a scene.
  • Acting needs time: If you will not commit to the time schedule, then do not waste yours and anyone else's time by taking on a project you will not be able to be on time for or complete!
  • Acting requires discipline. Know your lines and the story of your character so you are on cue while acting and in sync with your co-actor. Keep time. Respect your fellow cast and the crew. Respect yourself too. Avoid alcohol or partying if you know you are to be on set the next day because this will show on camera, and it might affect your performance and professionalism.

  • Acting opportunities in Uganda are still minimal so the projects are seasonal but the industry is slowly growing. The filmmakers we have invest a lot into a project and sometimes are lucky if they are funded by a sponsor production house abroad or a local company. You as an actor should make your payment negotiations with the people concerned before you take up a role. If you are not comfortable doing it, then don't because you will waste everyone's (cast & crew) time including yours. 

  • Acting is a talent, it should come naturally and if you really feel that you can do it, watch a lot of films, documentaries and biographies to learn more about the actors/actresses' experiences, acting and anything to do with this field. 

  • Maintain a good working relationship with directors, co-actors and everyone on cast and crew team because our film industry is small and word goes around first if you are a real pain in everyone's a**. I am not saying suck up, No! Let your voice be heard but do it in a professional manner. 
  • What you should do to get started:

 §Research: Read Newspapers, magazines and watch film programmes that host actors and film makers. Look out for anything that talks about film as you could find some useful information. Research the acting techniques {Meisner, method acting etc}, watch clips of how to do them on You tube. Also take part in plays & have people who will be honest with you assess your performance.
 §  Notice boards: Always check the notice boards especially at the National Theatre for any info to do with film or theatre auditions. The more acting experience you have on your CV, the better for a film career.
§  Attend film premieres and film festivals: Here you will get to mix and mingle with film makers, actors/actresses and you might get an opportunity to hear of a new project that you could audition for. Film festivals are usually free. In Uganda, we have the Amakula film Festival, Maisha Film Festival and the German-French Film festival so far. 
      Premieres most times are invite-only and/or may require you to buy tickets but the range is usually between USH 10k-30k (regular) to 50-100k (VIP) depending on the organisers. If you really want this, you will make an effort to attend. 
§  Auditions: Go for auditions. Every actor/actress should go through this before attaining any role. Don't worry, being nervous is normal. I can never get used to it. :) But give it your BEST! Ask where you do not understand. Sometimes though, an established actor/actress will be called upon and given an offer of a role in a certain production but this happens after most of his/her work has been seen by filmmakers and they know his/her potential. Auditions should be free, if you go somewhere and you are being charged a fee to audition, then that is strange.

§  Take acting classes: This is a little tricky because acting classes aren’t available in East Africa but Maisha Film Lab at the National theatre is one film company I know that helps nurture acting skills, camera, script writing and son. You can go there and find out more. I have not been a part of Maisha before but I believe they can help get you started. There’s a lot you can get off the internet too but be careful because the sources may not be so credible. 

  • Modelling agencies: These days, most production companies contact modelling agencies when they are looking for models/ actors. Unfortunately a few individuals have identified this as the new get rich quick scheme so be careful, some of them are scams or use only a handful their ‘best’ models.

  • Stay in shape or get into shape: Most of our local celebrities in East Africa gain weight after they start making bank. Nobody invests in their body, be one of the few & you will have an edge over the competition. some roles will require you to be fit and in shape so work out. ;)

  • Facebook: Where would we be without it, huh? Make use of facebook too. There are many film groups but you need to search them up and see if any info suits you.

  • I wish you all the best! :)