Friday, October 22, 2010

Our Uganda Friday: October 22nd 2010

by Darlyne Komukama.

This season appears to be one for culture in Kampala because there are so many interesting and wonderful things going on. I was lucky to attend some of the events.

Cooking Oil is a play written by Ugandan playwright Deborah Asiimwe who recently won the 2010 BBC African Performance Playwriting Competition. The play explores the impact of foreign aid on the developing nations that receive it by looking at a nucleus community where donated cooking oil is being sold illegally by Maria, the protagonist. The play did a good job of asking questions from all angles of the aid spectrum and is a very interesting watch that will have you thinking about it long after the curtain has gone down. The last showing is this weekend at 2.30pm and 7.00pm. Watch it if you get a chance. I also reviewed the play for the local paper here.

Salif Keita is an amazing musician and when he came to Kampala for a live performance, there was no way I was going to miss it and I am not disappointed I got to see him. The show was electrifying and Keita's songs had the crowd on their feet from the moment he stepped on the stage. He was here raising awareness on the plight of albinos in East Africa and if anyone needs proof that this condition is not a disability, Keita is the embodiment of it.

The Uganda National Contemporary Ballet is a company headed by French native Valerie Miquel and they're pretty good. This particular performance has a social message that Valerie got from a former child soldier who told her, "Go and tell the world my story so that no other children have to become child soldiers." The ballet was broken down into different segments about living in the war and losing their childhood and finally being assimilated back into civil society when they can't forget the atrocities. My favourite segment was the portrayal of the nightmares which was eerily lighted and actually quite disturbing. The UNCB can be seen again on November 17th in another production at the National Theatre.

Yesterday, the Boss Lady and I went to the Emin Pasha hotel to catch the opening of the Seventh Sense art exhibition by Ugandan artist Donald Wasswa. Wasswa is very gifted and his various art pieces inspired by the wild feature heavily elephants, giraffes, gorillas and buffaloes. They are airy and light and beautiful. He has also, ingeniously, started printing little greeting cards with pictures of his paintings on them that allow art lovers who can't afford an original painting to still enjoy the beauty.

And with that, we at Awava wish you a wonderful weekend.

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