Video: Uganda artistes protest sale of National Theatre

National Theatre

Uganda National Theatre

Ugandan artistes have protested the alleged sale of National Theatre.

Last week, it emerged that a section of the National Cultural Centre land was going to be sold to a developer.

However, some artistes are against the move, which they say will stifle art in the country and have taken their anger and disappointment to social media.

Renown dramatist Philip Luswata in a statement issued yesterday said he will stage his public protest on 31st this month against the theatre give away.

“On 31st, I commit myself to the final stand. Starting 7am in the morning until 7 in the evening, I will station myself at National Theatre Upper gate and fast, facing parliament with placards demanding management change at UNCC,” read part of his statement shared on social media.

Further, Luswata said: “I will request an opportunity for audience with the president of the Republic because this dissatisfaction is public.”

He added that if his protest does not give the desired results, then he swallow his humble pie and walk away with his tail coiled between legs,  then I will take the same route preferred by who many have struggled unsuccessfully before me.”

However, Luswata is not alone.

Renowned comedian Kansiime Anne also posted on his social media saying,

“TERRIBLE NEWS ALERT! The Uganda Cultural Center is up for sell!!!. One wonders what’s up next!”

Charlie Muvax, another fine artist who always exhibits his pieces at National Theatre posted a video on his social media wall protesting the give away.

A one Mr. Anderson also asked, “The National Theatre is older than Independent Uganda.Who is that investor who lacks respect?”

The Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) is a Ugandan statutory body that was established by the Uganda National Cultural Centre Act, a 1959 Act of Parliament(amended 1965).

Officially inaugurated on 2 December 1959, it is charged with: providing and establishing theatres and cultural centres in the country, encouraging and developing cultural and artistic activities and providing a home to societies, groups and organisations that deal in art, culture and entertainment.

The Centre has two main components: the National Theatre and the Nommo Gallery, both of which are located in central Kampala.

The Centre also offers a snack bar, which claims to offer the “best African dishes served with best spices and ambience”, and the Craft Village, where locally made handicrafts are sold.

Oversight of the UNCC is the responsibility of an eight-member Board of Trustees, appointed by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

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