Former National Theatre Director Passes on

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By Nakawunde Kautharah

Former National Theatre Director and Artist Joseph Walugembe is dead. He died shortly after succumbing to pressure at his home in Kampala.

“The board and management of the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) is greatly indebted for Walugembe’s contribution towards the development of art in Uganda. His death is such a huge loss to the industry.” said Francis Ojede the National theatre Director.

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Mr. Walugembe taught Music and Dance at Makerere and Namasagali Universities. Prior joining Makerere University, he taught children with special needs at the Shimon Demonstration School, where he doubled as a teacher and Deputy head.

He will be remembered for educative plays he wrote such as: Gold is always Gold, Ffe tuli Namirembe , Hopeless hope, Kyaddaake and The Personnel Officer.

The deceased acted and directed in over forty productions with varied form, style and language. He was a regular guest in International art festivals in USA, Canada, Kenya, Sudan, Libya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, North Korea, Russia and Zimbabwe.

His contribution in a multicultural theatre projects in Switzerland cannot be ignored.

He also held administrative posts in different theatre groups. Since 1989, he has been a National Adjudicator and facilitator for the Primary and Secondary Schools’ Music, Dance and Drama Festivals.

The deceased also worked on several community based theatre projects. He had a strong inclination towards Multicultural theatre.

Born January, 1958, the late is survived by six children-three of whom are girls.

In 1980 Mr. Walugembe won the National Best Actor. This award was later to help him join the UNCC as an Education Officer in 1992. Between 1999 and 2003, he served as a UNCC Production Manager.

In 2003 he was appointed acting Artistic Director until 2008 August when he was confirmed the Executive Director.

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