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Patricko Mujuuka on being shy, reserved

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He is best known by his stage name `Patricko’ under which he has traded the radio, entertainment and drama industry for almost two decades. When in character as Patricko, he is funny, loud-mouthed and showy, especially when paired up with other renowned Ugandan theatre and film personalities, Abbey Mukiibi, Leila Kayondo Kachapizo and John Segawa; his accomplices in the world of comedy. Together they do a Luganda language comedy gig called ‘Akandolindoli’ at Bat Valley Theatre in downtown Kampala. It also airs on TV.

In real life, Patricko is Patrick Mujuuka. He is a reserved father of five children and the quintessential city kid. He grew up in the Mbuya suburb of Kampala City and attended Kiswa primary school, Kyambogo College Scholol, both in the neighbourhood which boasts one of Uganda’s main army barracks and several top institutions of the Catholic Church. He says his parents, Thomas and Lovis Mujuuka, provided a modest and purposed life garnished with tough love.

“They were poor but shared the little they had with us. They also taught us basic things like respect of self and to others,” Mujuuka says fondly of parents who are both dead. He says to date that upbringing has ensured he does not smoke or drink alcohol.

Later in life, he attended Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo (currently Kyambogo University) where he attained a diploma in Electrical Engineering. Before he could do any engineering, however, theatre came calling from an unexpected direction when he snatched a chance to act with Ngoma Players in a play ‘Betrayal in the city’ by renowned Kenyan playwright Francis Imbuga. But fate was to hit twice as someone in the audience advised him to join Afri-Talent, a drama outfit at Bat valley Theatre. That was in 1997.

“I have never looked back,” Mujuuka says, ““It has turned out to be home.”

Back then, he recalls, there was stiffer competition in the arts industry than today.

“For actors and actresses, there were strong competing groups like Bakayimbira, Black Pearls, Negro Angels, Diamonds Ensemble and others,” he says, “getting a role for someone new like me required being extra passionate and active.”

He says, however, the arts industry now faces competition from outside entertainment features like TV which migrated from analogue to digital, music concerts, and even Premier League Football.

Mujuuka says he earns more from emceeing that from acting where the pay is determined by the audience.

“If the drama attracts a big audience, we earn more and the reverse is true,” he says.

A professor advised him to professionalise his acting career and he did a diploma in drama from the prestigious Makerere University Music, Dance and Drama school. Along the way he met and married Lydia Nalubega. They have three children. Then he veered into radio, first as a presenter at Radio Sapentia in 2000 and now with Buganda kingdom radio, CBS, since 2003.

He was a CBS when it was shut down by the government during the famous September 2009 `Buganda Riots’. After Patricko and other colleagues were left jobless, he, Abbey Mukiibi and John Segawa, formed ‘Akandolindoli’.

Any three things we don’t know about you?

Many people don’t know that I am reserved and shy. I am a Catholic family man who loves to be home with my children but work holds me. When my child falls sick, I prefer to take him or her to hospital myself but I am still working to balance my roles as a father, husband, and worker.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Doing what one believes in and achieving at it creates happiness. Happiness is also in a way related to material things; especially knowing that tomorrow is sorted.

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