Mayiga urges Ugandan film industry: Embrace tech, produce quality amidst threats

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Mayiga urges Ugandan film industry: Embrace tech, produce quality amidst threats
Mayiga at the premiere "Romeo & Juliet" stage play, written by Alex Mukulu, at the National Theatre.

The Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga, has emphasised the importance of experienced actors in the film industry in guiding and training the younger generation in the art of theatre.

Mayiga made these remarks during the premiere of "Romeo & Juliet" stage play, written by Alex Mukulu, at the National Theatre.

He urged artists not to fear technology, assuring them that it can enhance, rather than diminish, their opportunities.

Arriving at the National Theatre around 7:00 PM to watch the stage play, which is a Ugandan adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Mayiga expressed his gratitude towards experienced performers like Mukulu.

He encouraged them to embrace emerging technologies, which have created fear among many veteran actors and resulted in reduced theatre attendance.

Addressing concerns about the decline of theatre due to the rise of the internet, the Katikkiro acknowledged the significance of new media but stressed that quality would always remain paramount to audiences.

"Actors have complained to me that people are no longer interested in going to the theatre but prefer to watch everything online. I urge them to use creativity to raise the standard of plays and support talented writers so that people will come back to the theatre to see performances," he said.

He reassured theatre enthusiasts that while the internet may offer convenience and speed, the timeless appeal of live theatre would endure.

Mayiga acknowledged the common apprehension that accompanies technological advancements, citing historical examples such as the initial resistance to inventions like cars and computers.

"The internet allows anyone to explore acting and creativity, but I want to reassure theatre enthusiasts that quality remains irreplaceable. The internet represents a new change, and people always follow change," Mayiga remarked.

However, he stressed that embracing these innovations ultimately leads to significant societal progress. He encouraged actors to adopt a similar mindset, viewing technology as a tool for advancement rather than a threat to their craft.

In particular, Mayiga highlighted the potential of social media platforms like TikTok as powerful tools for creating and promoting artistic content.

By leveraging these platforms effectively actors can reach wider audiences and attract more people to traditional venues like theatres.

However, he cautioned against relying solely on technology without maintaining a commitment to professionalism and quality in their work.

Encouraging creatives in the theatre space to continue producing high-quality pieces that entertain, inform, and educate, the Katikkiro refuted the notion portrayed in "Kulunkalu ne Kulumbisi" that the country is doomed, assuring attendees that better days are ahead.

The Uganda National Cultural Center, led by the executive director, Francis Peter Ojede, the newly-appointed board of trustees, vice-chairperson Phina Mugerwa, National Cultural Forum (NCF) chairperson Daniel Kazibwe, and several others were all present.

Ojede thanked the audience for coming to the theatre, underscoring the importance of telling our stories. He also expressed gratitude to the Katikkiro for taking the time to watch the premiere amidst his busy schedule.

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