You have watched the above clip on the internet and thought or still think that it is a joke? Well it is not. It is the official trailer for the first Ugandan action packed movie named Who Killed Captain Alex shot from Wakaliwood over two years ago. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Ugandan movie industry yet to take the world by storm.
Wakaliwood is home to Uganda’s (or safe to say East and Central Africa’s) finest action packed movie stars courtesy of Ramon Film Productions. The still infant slum based film industry has already gained attention from international media houses like for example Business Insider, BBC, Mail & Guardian and AFP due to their extra-ordinary passion and talent exhibited in the movies shot using less than 200 US $.
Located at a Kampala suburb Wakaliga (hence the name Wakaliwood), the team at Ramon Film Productions (RFP) is on a mission to make world blockbuster movies filmed on African soil for the African market and by Africans. In short, they are to redeem the positive Ugandan image through motion pictures on a global movie market!
To date, more than five action packed movies have been shot from Wakaliwood. Apart from Who Killed Captain Alex which was widely received and loved, other movies to have come out of Wakaliwood include Bukunja Tekunja Miti (horror movie), Tiger Mafia, The Return of Uncle Benon, Rescue Team, Tebaatusasula: EBOLA, The Crazy World and the most anticipated Operation Kakongoliro which has been termed as the Expendables version of Uganda.
People’s never ending love affair with Who Killed Captain Alex
Who Killed Captain Alex remains the most loved movie by Wakaliwood faithfuls. The synopsis of the movie which was inspired by events during Idi Amin’s regime, tells a story about a mafia leader’s brother who is captured in a shootout, prompting a revenge attack on the army camp. But when troop leader Captain Alex is killed during a raid, a violent war escalates between the two sides.
The movie was written, produced, shot and edited in one month in the year 2010. The whole plot and non stop battle between the commandos, helicopters and the mafias was all done within two hours. After that, the movie was up for sale the following day! As of today, it has over 2,368,061 views to its name on YouTube (We hope you have watched the trailer at the beginning of this article)
The Curious case of Wakaliwood
Besides Who Killed Captain Alex, the way movies are shot in Wakaliwood is quite interesting. With a low budget and few resources, the team at RFP led by Isaac Nabwana uses local ingredients like tomato sauce, cow blood, condoms, toy guns and banana fibers to depict blood and action packed graphic scenes in the movies to reflect the explosions in motion. You can think this is not cool but they bring out the best choreographed features in the movies when they are produced.
Even when they are just starting, the scripts of the movies are well written and filled with action. This is perhaps meant to capture promotions and a wide audience to gain a market for the young and ambitious movie industry located in East Africa with an aim of taking on the already existing giant movie industries like Hollywood (the western world) and Bollywood (India).
Whether they will stay around for long and gain a big following remains the question. The movie industry globally seems to be dominated by Hollywood which has consolidated its position as the best movie industry ever since it was founded by the Nestor company in October 1911. To this, Isaac Nabwana speaking to BBC recently stated that determination and focus is the only way they will make Wakaliwood the best movie industry in the world a few years to come even when they are based in a Ugandan slum.
The Impact of Wakaliwood
In Africa, the movie industry remains lagging behind on the global market. Except for Nigeria’s Nollywood, the rest of African states have not taken a keen interest in developing talents, arts, music and drama. This has made it impossible for most talents to breakthrough this ever evolving and competitive global village.
This has had a negative impact on many young people and consumers of television shows in Uganda and Africa in general. Many have adopted a lifestyle which is alien to them because of what they watch on TV. This has led to dislike of anything which is local worsened by absence of alternative local shows.
Wakaliwood therefore, might become a hub for new talents on the continent. The attention that the still infant movie industry is getting on the international scene, has already won the love and interest of the global entertainment squares even though it is yet to win confidence of the intended African audience all over the continent.
According to the Wakaliwood blog, initially Nabwana used to shoot the movies intended for his family and friends in Wakaliga. Five years later, the movies have become well received across the slums in Uganda not forgetting the international praises the films shot in a Ugandan slum are getting.
The problem that comes with Nabwana’s movies is copyright infringement. Most movies in Uganda are pirated thereby massively infringing on the intellectual property rights of such brilliant minds. According to the Wakaliwood blog, Nabwana does not even know how many copies of Who Killed captain Alex have been sold.
Conclusively, Nabwami’s movies might be ignored by upper class citizens in Uganda but the international applause that he is getting deserves mentioning. Five years from now, Wakaliwood might take over Africa’s entertainment corners if Nabwana’s online campaign to get funding so as to buy world class equipment and studio yield positive response from well wishers. From Team This Is Uganda, this is another world class positive story from Uganda!
Image Gallery of the behind scenes events in Wakaliwood (all images are by Wakaliwood)
This online talk show seeks to be the alternative voice for Ugandan youths
Equipped with a microphone, a smart phone, a computer and some Internet connection, The Zeitgeist has rolled up its sleeve to create an alternative media platform to those Ugandans that cannot be hosted on traditional media.
The zeitgeist means “the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time “The spirit behind the show and the like is because we feel the spirit of the time is to have more engaging and accountable citizenry.” Samson Tusiime said.
The live show happens every Saturday at noon via http://mixlr.com/thezeitgeist/
With an internet penetration of about 10 million Ugandans and nudged by the fact that traditional media only uses the same old people on their talk shows, Tusiime Samson together with his friends; Mujuni Raymond, Kwezi Tabaro, Colin Asiimwe, Pru Nyamishana and Benjamin Rukwengye have put their boots on to offer that much needed voice.
They believe that if only 10% of Ugandan Internet users can listen to their show, they will have a media coverage that is better than that of most media houses in Uganda.
On the show, a range of topics are covered; politics, policy, governance, entrepreneurship, arts and culture. They are careful not to host the people that have been in the mainstream media many times. Listening in to one of the shows, I was blown away by the depth with which issues were being discussed.
With the 9 talk shows so far, The Zeitgeist is quickly becoming a force to reckon with. It is highly interactive as analytics indicate that 900 listeners in August alone tuned in; with people from as far as Canada listening in. Eria, one listener who listened to the podcast from Denmark commended them on the awesome job they were doing and suggested to them what they could do better.
The Zeitgeist hopes to have a website that has an immediate transcription of the show, professional equipment that can make the work much easier, increase the frequency of the shows and partner with mainstream media platforms so as to reach to people that are not online.
In light of the fact that the dynamics of information dissemination in Uganda have changed, social media informs conversation that mainstream media pick, this initiative is timely and is an opportunity for the youth to curate meaningful conversation.
Pictorial: The clouds as they add color and beauty to Uganda from above
As the itesot proverb goes “anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor”, we believed that we are all poor for not looking at and appreciating the beauty of our skies all this time.
Uganda is beautiful from the skies. The clouds add glamour to our beautiful pearl and it took us time to compile some of the best images you will ever see showcasing this beauty. Sit back and enjoy the view of the Pearl of Africa from the clouds and sign, stamp and seal the fact that this is the most beautiful country in the world.
Pictorial: In case you missed the hero(ines) we have profiled today #HeroesDayUG
Brave men and women fought for our country and we got freedom on October 9th 1962. It is because of what they stood for that we are what we are today. We also in the same way recognize new and unsung heroes of this great country who are making a difference today, showing us the way and above all, making Uganda a better place. We have compiled a list of our hero(ines) who have contributed and achieved where most of us shy away. We begin which those who are dead and conclude with those who are still alive. We apologize for those that we have missed out but we acknowledge everyone making a difference in ensuring that Uganda is a better place. The pictures will tell the stories. Happy Heroes Day Uganda!
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