By Hussein Kiganda
Ugandan movie Tembele premiered on Sunday at Goethe-Zentrum in Kamwokya.
During its premiere, Dialo Ssekidde, a lecturer at Kampala Film School, urged all Ugandan filmmakers to pick themes that educate Ugandans about things that are pressing their communities, as Tembele does.
“In most cases, some filmmakers choose themes without thinking of how these will impact the community. We make movies to educate and entertain our people, so it’s always good to choose the topics that are so important in changing the lives of the communities we live in. At a time when Uganda was facing challenges in mental health, Morris chose to do Tembele,” Ssekidde said.
Talking to The Kampala Sun, Morris Mugisha, the producer and director of the movie narrated that it was aimed at consoling and giving hope to those that had lost jobs, loved ones, and businesses and those who had got other mental challenges following the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“When I sat with my co-writer Ronah Ninsiima, we saw that weather and whatever was going on at a time in Uganda and the world over, especially after the covid-19 period. That trauma that came with losing jobs, loved ones, marital and financial problems. A friend in the UK had told me that many people were committing suicide and so many patients were suffering from mental illness and this was the same case here. As creative writers and storytellers, we decided to tell a story that would touch everyone’s soul,” Mugisha explained.
Mugisha added that using “Tembele” a man as a character who suffers from mental health was to tell the world that however much the public thinks a man is strong, he feels the same pain and can also be affected by mental problems.
Besides mental health, the movie portrays brotherhood, love, and hope. The character “Segi” does not give up on his friend despite all the challenges. Tembele’s wife Mawe does not give up on him no matter how he behaves. Hope comes at the end of the movie when Tembele gets a better job and Mawe is pregnant again.
The movie features Patriq Nkakalukanyi as Tembele, Ronah Ninsiima as Mawe(Tembele’s wife) and Cosmas Serubogo as Segi.
The movie rotates around Tembele, a garbage collector, who works on a truck 12 hours a day in the chaotic Kampala city.
Tembele (Patriq Nkakalukanyi) and his wife (Ronah Ninsiima) are expecting their first child together.
Little does Tembele know that the child is to die soon after birth.
The shock of the loss leaves Tembele mentally disturbed. He is in denial over the death. He still believes that his son is alive.
The next day, while other people are mourning, he goes to work happily.
When he returns home, he finds the baby’s bed smashed beyond repair.
Tembele wages a verbal battle with his friends, claiming that they do not love his newborn son.