Friday , July 12 2024
Home / ARTS / The women behind Uganda’s local content appreciation revival

The women behind Uganda’s local content appreciation revival

Ndagire (middle) at a film award ceremony recently

COMMENT | AARON ORENA | The appreciation for local shows and films is currently at an all-time high. With the dominance of international shows gradually diminishing, Ugandans are cautiously learning to watch and appreciate local shows. Slowly, these shows have begun to curve out a place in popular culture.

Unknown to many, however, is the fact that behind this local content revival, are women who have overcome numerous obstacles to become respected for their contribution and impact in the film industry. These women have stretched their expertise across the entertainment landscape, taking on roles in production, directing, and writing for local dramas, films, and lately, reality TV shows.

Lately, it is not a surprise to see a female showrunner manning an entire production and doing an excellent job while at it.

Doreen Mirembe, a producer, and director of local TV drama “DamaLie” is one of the ladies who have come to the forefront in the film industry. With her production house, Amani Films, she has managed to redefine the roles that women occupied outside of acting. Through her stewardship and guidance, Damalie has started to garner attention because of the show’s precise storytelling and incisive portrayal of characters by the cast, including winning Accolades in the last close to one year.

Mariam Ndagire, a pioneer in breaking barriers for women in film, boasts a career spanning nearly three decades across various entertainment realms, including music, theatre, television, and film.

Renowned for her talents in singing, dancing, and acting, Ndagire’s varied abilities have propelled her to the vanguard of the Ugandan entertainment scene. Her latest triumph was at the 2022 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, where her film “My Husband’s Wife” clinched the title of “Best Movie – East Africa.”

Mariam’s acclaim extends continent-wide, evidenced by her selection as a jury member for the prestigious AMVCAs in 2015. Recently venturing into reality television, Ndagire produces and directs the popular wedding show “Our Perfect Wedding”. Her versatility and resilience have solidified her enduring presence in the fiercely competitive industry. Committed to nurturing the next generation, Ndagire established the Mariam Ndagire Film and Performing Arts Centre (MNFPAC), hosting annual film workshops for aspiring filmmakers with a focus on young women.

Eleanor Nabwiso is another resolute woman whose star in the Ugandan film industry continues to shine bright. Despite kick-starting her career in front of the screen, starring in the popular Ugandan show “The Hostel” in the late 2000s, Nabwiso has managed to forge an equally impressive career behind the camera.

In 2019, Eleanor’s talents behind the camera came to the fore when her film “Bed of Thorns” earned two local and one international film awards. The film, produced by an all-female crew, not only gained critical acclaim for its execution but also shattered the glass ceiling for women in the Ugandan film industry. Eleanor currently stars in the popular local telenovela called “Sanyu” as the notorious villain, Lucy and works behind the camera on the same set as the show’s casting director.

When it comes to trailblazing, Judithiana Namazzi Ndugwa seems to have engineered the ultimate niche in her delivery of reality television to the Ugandan audience. Namazzi, a recent entrant into the film and television industry, has endeared Ugandan fans to the content she produces with her blend of wit and humour that constantly leaves tongues wagging. She kick-started her career on radio as a presenter before transitioning to television in the same capacity. Eventually, she ventured into production and directing for television.

A Jack of all trades, Judithiana’s iconic voice is unmissable on every episode of “Date My Family Uganda,” a show she also directs. It is with this same daring spirit that Namazzi’s latest endeavor “Kampala Crème” seems to have struck a chord with Ugandans.

The show, which airs on MultiChoice’s Pearl Magic Prime and Pearl Magic, hit the ground running with memorable one-liners and engaging banter, firmly establishing itself as the leading program in the 08.00pm timeslot on Ugandan television every Sunday since January 2024. Scenes from the show consistently spark conversations on social media each time a new episode airs.


Aaron Orena  is a PR Practitioner with brainchildBCW.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *