By Henry Sekanjako
Hollywood movie stars are set to visit Uganda for a collaboration with Ugandan film makers.
Through the office of the senior presidential adviser on diaspora affairs, Uganda has established contact with powerful actors and actresses in Hollywood, to help promote the Ugandan film industry.
Isaac Kigozi, the head of trade and investment in the office of the presidential adviser on diaspora affairs, who is currently in the US, met some of the movie and film actors, producers and directors, writers, as well as marketers most of whom have committed to come to Uganda this year.
Some of the movie stars include Empire’s Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr, Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, Ava Hall and HemDee Kiwanuka, a US-based Ugandan actor and producer.
According to Kigozi, the campaign is aimed at tapping into the historical diaspora to push for the Explore Uganda – The Pearl of Africa brand that was recently launched to improve on tourism flow into the country.
“With support from Amb. Abbey Walusimbi, we are enticing Black Hollywood stars to bring their knowledge, talents and connections to Uganda and start feeling and telling Uganda’s story; this will enhance collaborations and facilitate trainings with Ugandans stars so as to boost the industry,” Kigozi said.
He added: “This campaign will support the Explore Uganda brand by utilising historical diaspora community, allowing them to return and give their point of view of Uganda which will help shade a true image of our country.”
Howard Terrence, an award-winning actor most recently known for his role in the Empire TV show, said he is thrilled about coming to East Africa and he’s seeking to leverage his knowledge and history to bridge the gap between black Americans and Ugandans.
He added that following his genealogy of the East African origin, he is fascinated about coming to the region to connect with his motherland and share knowledge with the entertainment industry in Uganda.
As a person so passionate about science and innovation, Howard expressed interest in working with Uganda’s innovators and partnering with the Ministry of Science, Technology and innovations to push through his passion.
Cuba Gooding Jr, an Oscar award-winning actor best known for his role in Men of Honor, movie noted that he is excited to visit East Africa to understand the history and be able to tell the region’s stories through movies and films.
“I have always wanted to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Game Park, Lake Victoria and the Source of the Nile; this will be an opportunity to make my dream come true,” Gooding said.
Others include; Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, a former vice-president of Alternative Programming at SYFY, NBC Universal Comcast with 20 years’ experience as Senior Network Executive.
Robyn noted that she is very eager about coming to Africa and ready to assist in pushing for the campaign of connecting black Hollywood stars to build and reconnect with motherland Uganda.
There is also Ava Hall, the brand architect and champion for African culture, who is credited for being one of the original executives to bring Afro beat music waves to US and stands as the first-ever international vice-president of programming and branding.
The trailblazing tycoon takes immense pride in bridging the gap between Africa and the diaspora and she is eager to extend such efforts to Uganda.
Hemdee Kiwanuka, a US-based Ugandan actor and producer, noted that he is already working on a movie to be filmed in Uganda and the goal is to use this as a launch point for more Hollywood productions to be done in the Pearl of Africa.