By Hussein Kiganda
Doreck Ankunda, an actress with a hearing impairment, recently made her mark by taking the lead role in the movie When You Become Me, which premiered at Arena Mall Nsambya, in Kampala on March 15, 2023.
Despite public misconceptions about people with disabilities, Doreck proved her talent and determination to succeed in the field of acting.
How did she start acting?
Doreck’s acting career started with short movies and skits as a dancer, which allowed her to make a living while pursuing her passion.
However, her big break came when she landed the lead role in the movie, When You Become Me.
According to Doreck, the producers of the movie were impressed by her talent and offered her the role after a meeting.
On set, Doreck found it easy to communicate with the cast and crew as most of them knew sign language and the ones who didn’t were taught the basics. She also had a sign language interpreter to facilitate communication between her and her hearing colleagues.
“It was not too hard for me to communicate with the directors and actors during the time that I was acting my role while using sign language. First of all, I had an acting female mate. She knows sign language. Another acting male mate knows basic sign language and also the director knows basic sign language. I trained them in basic sign language so we all had efficient communication,” she said.
“Most of all, I had my sign language interpreter who interpreted for me when I communicated with my hearing acting mates so nothing was hard for me when I acted the role in the film,” she added.
Doreck is a firm believer in the potential of people with disabilities and wants the Government to include them in its programmes. She sees the movie When You Become Me as a powerful tool to sensitise the community and raise awareness about the rights of people with disabilities.
As a disability inclusion facilitator at Light for the World, Doreck is working to encourage companies and development organisations to open doors of employment to persons with disabilities.
Besides being an actor, she is also a presenter and anchor on entertainment shows at SignTV Uganda. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in project planning and management.
“Most people have negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities so I want the Government to support us financially to play our film such that people can be sensitised about the rights of persons with disabilities in the society,” Doreck said.
Her success story is an inspiration to many and a reminder that disability is not a hindrance to achieving one’s dreams. She has proven that with determination, talent, and support, people with disabilities can excel in any field they choose.