The Kampala International Film Festival is currently being held this week at the National Theater of Uganda. I decided to attend the event today. There are also informative workshops being conducted during the film festival. I attended one of them with Fred Mutebi. It was about the business of being a creative artist. Things like getting loans, financing, marketing, promotions, and partnerships were discussed. I had the opportunity to share with those in attendance my own experiences trying to promote contemporary African artin America. It has been very frustrating. There is a lot of ignorance in America regarding the amazing creativity in Africa today. Even prestigious museums and art galleries choose not to recognize contemporary African art. Most of them consider African artifacts like masks, carvings, baskets, and pottery as art. Those items have educational, historical, and cultural value. That’s why I believe those artifacts belong in a natural history museum, not an art museum. I was able to make some new friends with my statements. I will continue to educate people in America about contemporary African art and promote the incredible creativity of my friends in Uganda.
While at the National Theater, I made a surprise visit to my friend Sam Okellowho works there. He also is the founder of a wonderful school in northern Uganda called Hope North. Sam will be traveling to the United States for a couple weeks to meet with supporters, including actor Forest Whitaker and actress Susan Sarandon. Sam was in “The Last King of Scotland” with Forest Whitaker, which earned him the Academy Award for his stunning portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Sam also told me about his new performance group called Mizizi Ensemble. I will attend one of their performances while I am here.
A couple weeks ago, a British journalist who lives in Uganda contacted me out of the blue after reading some of my articles that have been published. He learned that I was going to be in Uganda and wanted to meet me to discuss some controversial issues. Today we met for lunch in downtown Kampala at an Indian restaurant. It was like a scene out of a movie. We talked for a couple hours over Indian food and some passion fruit juice. Then we parted ways. He will be writing an expose article that will be published with the information that we discussed. I dropped a few truth bombs that may shock some people.
The pursuit of truth and justice shouldn’t be left to others.
I’m off to continue to be blessed by Africa.