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Uganda’s meanest ‘mother-in-law’

Mother in law 1

With a wide smile, she embraces me like we have met before or as a friend she has not met in a long time. Sarah Ssentongo Kisauzi or Mama Nalweyiso for those who watch ‘Deception’ a TV series that airs on one of the local television stations, is nothing like the role she plays as a mean mother-in-law.

In that role she had to kill her husband, kidnap her own grandchild not just for money but to also punish her daughter-in-law who she blames for all the misfortunes the family has gone through.

In real life when we met at her spacious well-kept home that overlooks Lake Victoria in Bunga, she said her acting has led people to scorn her and complain about her to her husband. She said, however, she was inspired by the need to speak for those who cannot. She says she had a friend who was tortured by a mother-in-law for 15 years and nothing was being done about it. It was not even talked about.

“I asked for that role,” she says of her mean mother-in-law role, “ Men need to know that a lot happens when they are away from home. There is violence that is not talked about which is emotional abuse. When people watch and cry, it means the message has been received.”

Sarah Kisauzi on why people complain about her to her husband

Though she is not keen on spilling her age, Kisauzi might be one of the oldest actresses in the country. Her acting career dates back to the 1970s when she participated in the radio drama dubbed ‘Doctor Kiddugavu with Marion’ which according to her was the then talk of town as people were always eager to know what would happen next.

She acted as a nursing sister in this play which would be aired on Radio Uganda. While she would be paid by government for acting, she was at the same time a nurse at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala. She abandoned both when she married and the family moved to Ireland. While there, she ventured into fashion designing.  About five years ago, she joined Rafiki Theatre for the Oppressed “as a way of giving back to the public”.  The group’s acting is mainly on non- violence; basically telling people that conflict at any level can be solved peacefully.

She is also a counselor and motivational speaker whose platform – `Super Mamas’ focuses on women sharing their stories in order to cause change both socially and economically. Currently she boasts of a membership of 4000 women.

Kisauzi has also acted the TV drama `Because of you’ and featured in Ugandan movies like `Hearts in pieces’ and `Where we belong’. Both are by renowned Uganda actor and producer Mariam Ndagire.


Kisauzi’s lite side

Any three things we don’t know about you?

I don’t do black, red and white clothes because they don’t blend well with my skin tone. I am also too empathetic that I gave up on nursing because I couldn’t stand seeing patients in pain.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness begins with you loving yourself and wishing others well.

What is your greatest fear?

I fear aging without leaving a legacy and not being able to move because of old age.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I am annoyingly kind that sometimes my kindness is taken for granted.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

People with despising character.

Which living person do you most admire?

We are all imperfect so I don’t see a reason of admiring a person whose qualities are not 100% admirable.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I can spend on anything that makes a house a home.

What is your current state of mind?

I am excited because I am achieving what I’ve always wanted.


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