By Hussein Kiganda
Actress Diana Kahunde, known for her roles in films such as Bed of Thornes, Power of Legacy, 27 Guns and The Honourables, has called upon filmmakers to do research about the history of Uganda to make movies that speak to citizens.
While narrating her tour to Mparo Tombs, a historical site in Bunyoro Kitara, Masindi district, she noted that movies that are well-researched in terms of history make one a unique and professional filmmaker.
“I encourage fellow filmmakers to do research in all possible ways; could be reading books or the internet, but I prefer going on the ground and getting all the nitty gritty information and sitting around a fireplace and getting all the raw stories and information from the elders. We need to embrace our traditions, culture, and values by making authentic stories that are true to us as Ugandans just like the Nigerian filmmakers who showed us their culture through their stories,” Kahunde advised.
During the festive season, she visited several tourist sites in Bunyoro and narrated that it was breathtaking.
King Kabalega’s story is one of the many that never ceased to amaze her as she learnt something new every time she listened to it. It was always refreshing to her, to hear that there was once an African leader strong enough to stand by his word no matter what.
The actress narrated that the caretaker of the tombs took her to the site where she saw the huge tomb of the king, his preserved spears, ancient shields, bows, and arrows, which he used to conquer many territories and the artifacts that belonged to him.
She was also led to the site where Kabalega met Sir Samuel Baker, an explorer, as well as Emin Pasha and other colonialists whose attempt to annex Bunyoro Kingdom failed. Colonialists wanted to conquer the entire Lake Victoria region to the Equatorial province of Egypt.
Kahunde is planning to make a movie out of the historical king and has already got permission from the caretakers of the place. She said she is doing this to honour him.
“In fact, I spoke to the caretaker and told him my plans of honouring the great king and apparently they’ve been looking for someone who can partner with them on the same so let’s watch out. I pray I finish the script in 2023 with the research that I have it done,” Kahunde said.
Movies with historical stories have always had high box office sales. Malaysia’s biggest movie in 2022 was Mat Kilau, directed by Syamsul Yusof. It tells the story of a great chief Muhammad Kilau bin Rasu popularly known as Mat Kilau, a folk hero from Pahang, Malaysia, who led an uprising against the British Empire from 1891-1895. The movie made over $20m in sales.
India’s historical fiction RRR also made history when it became the third biggest movie in the history of Bollywood, making huge sums of money at the box office.
If Kahunde makes her movie, it could become one of the biggest movies in Uganda.