Veteran Ugandan Actor Andrew Benon Kibuuka Reflects on Evolution of Entertainment Industry

Veteran Ugandan actor Andrew Benon Kibuuka reflects on 4 decades of acting, witnessing the transformation of Uganda's entertainment landscape from theatre to film and TV. He shares insights on challenges and advancements in the industry.

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Israel Ojoko
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Veteran Ugandan Actor Andrew Benon Kibuuka Reflects on Evolution of Entertainment Industry

Veteran Ugandan Actor Andrew Benon Kibuuka Reflects on Evolution of Entertainment Industry

Andrew Benon Kibuuka, a seasoned Ugandan actor with over four decades of experience, has witnessed firsthand the transformation of Uganda's entertainment landscape from the dominance of theatre in the 1980s to the rise of film and television in recent years. Kibuuka, who has appeared in over 100 productions and directed more than 150 creations, shared his insights on the challenges and improvements he has observed throughout his career.

In the early days, Kibuuka was part of the Kampala Drama Actors, later known as the Bakayimbira Drama Actors, which led the theatre scene in Uganda. "We encountered numerous obstacles in making our theatrical work accessible to the public, such as the scarcity of venues," Kibuuka recalled. He also recounted the technical struggles they encountered when attempting to film their productions for the first time.

However, over time, Kibuuka has seen significant advancements in the industry, particularly with the emergence of new systems and players like MultiChoice Uganda and M-Net. "These companies have enhanced the professionalism of the industry in terms of picture, sound, and talent," he noted. Despite these improvements, Kibuuka acknowledged that the growth of film, influenced by Nollywood, Bollywood, and Hollywood, has posed challenges for traditional theatre, which struggled to adapt.

Why this matters: The evolution of Uganda's entertainment industry reflects the global trend of shifting audience preferences and technological advancements. Understanding the challenges and opportunities faced by veteran actors like Kibuuka provides valuable insights into the cultural and economic impact of these changes on the local arts scene.

Kibuuka, who recently portrayed the character Justus Kaya in the telenovela 'Beloved,' remains optimistic about the future prospects of the industry. He believes that film will continue to grow stronger while also bringing new life to theatre. "Many successful film actors started in theatre, and the industry is progressing rapidly," Kibuuka said, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the two art forms.

Key Takeaways

  • Andrew Benon Kibuuka, a veteran Ugandan actor, reflects on 4 decades in entertainment.
  • Transition from dominance of theatre in 1980s to rise of film and TV in recent years.
  • Challenges faced by early theatre groups, but advancements with new industry players like MultiChoice.
  • Shift in audience preferences and technological advancements impact local arts scene.
  • Kibuuka optimistic about film's growth and its potential to revive traditional theatre.