Longtime actor and comedian Simon Kalema has revealed why he left The Ebonies theatre group. Kalema has said that he left the Ebonies because he had had, “Enough. It was time to move on.”
Kalema is now part of Fun Factory in addition to acting in film and voice acting.
He also denied that Ebonies actors fear to leave the group because they are threatened by the proprietor lawyer John Katende.
Kalema said that many of the actors who have stayed decades with Ebonies do so because they regard the theatre group as family. Others remain with The Ebonies because they are afraid of change.
He explained that those actors who wish to leave but remain do so because, “They fear to move on from a place they have spent so long. They are afraid of starting afresh. They wonder if they will not be looked at as betraying their fellow actors?”
Other actors fear to leave the Ebonies because they wonder, “What will the people I have left behind say about me? That was my family.” However, he said those who wish to leave are free to do so and have indeed like he did.
In the same interview with NBS TV’s Uncut, Kalema hinted at what caused the split from his ex-wife Juliet Underwood. Underwood was also an actress with The Ebonies.
Their relationship, which led to two children, caught many people outside theatre circles by surprise. However, Kalema said that they had been friends for many years before they became romantically involved in 2003. They would get married in August 2009.
In 2018, after rumours of a split, Underwood confirmed them with a low-key ceremony in which she introduced a new beau to her parents. Underwood introduced Farouk Sempala to her parents as her new husband.
Kalema said the split, “Wasn’t in good faith.” He admits that he wished they had handled the split, “In a different way.”
He suggests that their marriage failed mostly because they could not agree on the roles each would play in their marriage. He said that neither of them had good mentors to teach them how to handle their marital responsibilities. Their marriage ended up a competition for dominance.
However, Kalema said that today his relationship with Underwood is cordial. He says that they keep in touch and update each other on what is going on in their lives.
Kalema says that is presently content with his life, does not regret anything he has been through in the past.