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30 years on stage

By Agnes E. Nantaba

Andrew Benon Kibuuka is a playwright, producer, composer and artistic director of over three decades. He is also the president of Federation of Performing Artistes in Uganda (FPAU). He spoke to Agnes .E. Nantaba

Any three things we don’t know about you?

I think people know more than a lot about me having, been in the industry for more than thirty years. But I can say that I am a professional teacher of English language and Literature although I also hold a diploma in Play writing and directing.

I literally have no life outside acting because theatre is very demanding. I have never shared Eid or Christmas with my family for the last thirty years because it is the time to make some good money. But I am a loving father and husband much as my work is at the expense of my family.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

That is quite difficult to achieve because it goes beyond one individual to those around him or her. But loving, sharing and understanding brings about some level of happiness.


What is your greatest fear?

Failing to provide for my children; I work overtime to provide for them always.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I am workaholic at the expense of my family; I have failed to pull myself away from work.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

It hurts for people to think that one cannot serve without a pay.

Which living person do you most admire?

President Yoweri Museveni for his courage and tolerance; not many people can take the attacks and abuses directed at him. I also admire the Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom who has shown that it requires extra energy and ability to carry on.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My five children; I can forego anything to make sure they get want they need.

What is your current state of mind?

I am trying to get relaxed from work demands.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

The Born-again or Pentecostal pastors; If they can heal the sick, let them take it on from Mulago Hospital.

On what occasion do you lie?

If the lie would make my wife happy because she is a true replica of a good wife.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

At times I feel I am too short especially given the magnitude of responsibilities before me.

Which living person do you most despise?

Some pastors due to their actions.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

He should be loving and caring especially to his family.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

She should be loving and be in position to perform her duties and not leave everything to the helper or nanny.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I have not been keen on that.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Automatically my wife; Mary Siitah Kibuuka.

When and where were you happiest?

My wedding day on May 30, 1987; we had just left school and the economy was not doing well which made us think we could not pull it off.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I am too old for sports now although I would have loved to be a good footballer.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I could add a few more inches to my height.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being with my wife for the last 28 years and holding on to my friends for over 30 years

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

It has been fulfilling being an actor and artist so I wouldn’t mind coming back as the same person.

Where would you most like to live?

I have had an opportunity to travel the world but still believe the central region of Uganda is the best place for me to live.

What is your most treasured possession?

My children.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Losing a loved one.

What is your favorite occupation?

Being an actor

What is your most marked characteristic?

I am a fast walker.

What do you most value in your friends?

Genuineness and being straightforward.

Who are your favourite writers?

I have highly concentrated on drama writers; Charles James Senkubuge and Mariam Ndagire.

Who is your hero of fiction?

James Bond; I followed him from childhood.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

It’s an artist called Dan Zirimenya Kyesswa for his humour and stage management

Who are your heroes in real life?

President Museveni and Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi.

What is your greatest regret?

I don’t  have regrets in life.

How would you like to die?

My grandfather and father died peacefully in their sick beds so I wouldn’t mind going the same way.

What is your motto?

Go where you are needed most.

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