This post has been sitting in my drafts since 2012. I think it is still rellevant to today.
I went to Canada in search of answers on how to make theater work and how to professionalize theater in Uganda . The clues to these answers; when they presented themselves proved more challenging for my simple mind.
While discussing film with Jono Nemethy over lunch, he enlightened me on how long it takes for one documentary to make it to the big screen. Alot of the time he added is tied up in looking for the funding to complete production and promote the documentary.
So, a documentary whose production was done in 2009 may only see the public television screen in 2011. He shared with me on how a documentary he had done in 2008 had only just paid off in 2011.But, that's the long route, Jono added for those who are keen on creating a track record of excellence.
But a tack record of excellence maybe exactly what Uganda needs right now and three months after I returned, I received great news from my writer friend Adong Judith Lucy. The funding she had asked for from STICHTING DOEN three years earlier and forgotten about had finally come through. I later auditioned for a part in the play SILENT VOICES and acted in it.
According to Adong, she wrote and wrote countless proposals to all organisations she could find that seemed open and willing to fund theater. Then she forgot about it for after loosing money a number of times after using her personal funds to produce theater, she was willing to ask and wait.
What she told me she did was to go through rigorous workshops of her script with friends, colleagues and all who could offer quality critique of her writing. Five years later, she had a script in hand and the money finally came through.
Coming from Uganda where I have seen movie concepts created on Monday,shared on Tuesday , casting done on Wednesday , shot on Thursday, editing done on friday and it is premiered on Saturday, you can imagine my anxiety when this information hit my ears.
Do I have to wait a lifetime before my dreams reach their final destination? My artistic experience has been one of building near impossible doors where none existed. In 2006, when no publisher in Uganda wanted to publish my collection of poetry whose manuscript had been edited by two professors through British Council Crossing Borders i wrote the Musical Theatre Piece Dawn Of The Pearl, based on the poetry in the collection and ended up publishing a theatre piece and a book.