The dream of my life
Slum Cinema training workshop
My name is [ firstname.lastname@example.org Frey Wamala], a Ugandan by nationality. I havhttp://static.mediamatic.nl/f/rmnj/image/682/512-500-407.jpge been in the United Kingdom since 2003 to September 2008. I left UK on deportation after proving me for having worked without a visa and overstayed. I came back to Kampala escorted by three guards on me and handcuffed as if I was such a criminal and I think this was so much a torture to my entire life. I had nothing in my pockets, however I had worked so much in the U K. Neither did I come with any clothes except the ones I had on me. Arriving at Entebbe International Airport I didn’t even have any transport to Kampala but this is where I have to thank God that I sweet-talked the taxi-driver who then favored me with a drive home.At this time I was not myself any more because I had a feeling of committing suicide since I was useless then. I thought so much that that was the end for me because I had nowhere to start from. My brother Abdul Shaqul Bamweyana felt tougher and connected me to one of his friends, Mr. Tamale Swaibu from Voice of the Disadvantaged People (VODAP), who was running a training workshop of the Slum Cinema project, teaching people how to bridge the information gap by filming and editing short documentaries.I was made to register as a member and joined there and then. After the workshop some members never came back, but I continued with the daily activities of the organization since I had nothing else to do. I kept going to the field to capture short films and made sure to capture breaking news and had them edited by myself.As if that was not enough I could go to some parts of the slum and show teaching films most especially of AIDS/HIV, I had to explain to the people whatever I had screened.This helped a lot with improving my communication skills, and self-control as far as getting out of my personal trauma. I cannot forget to say that it also helped me to learn how to handle people of different backgrounds.Working with Slum Cinema was so hectic because sometimes we could even go to the field without lunch and transport back home, yet we had to come back every other day. But I thank God we are through all that because Slum cinema has started getting payable contracts. So all this has taught me how to work in tough conditions.Since we have done a lot of documentaries, tutorials and other news stories [with Slum Cinema], I cannot forget the time we toured around Uganda with the former president of the Uganda North American Association president Lt Frank Musisi (US Army officer), making a documentary about the government’s developments to stop the war in Northern Uganda.In this project I was the cameraman, which helped a lot to know where I stand in my personality. It also sparked my ability to stand in front of very big people and handle tougher decisions. I had never stood behind a camera before, and I had never stood before people. But when I went behind the camera, I didn’t feel a problem. There was no time to think, as to wonder what had happened to me, so in that sense Slum Cinema hold me in a way that I can’t think that [committing suicide] anymore. I had to act, they kept me busy.After knowing that now I was someone who could make something on my own without being a burden to any other person, having that massive feeling that now I am somebody, then I remembered the dream of my life: I started up my own artwork project. Before going to the UK I had made art, I was a painter. I started drawing and then I started to think of the market. I chose to do abstract painting on barkcloth, to promote the barkcloth in Uganda, for other Ugandans and internationally. Thinking of the market, I thought my production is probably low, so I thought of engaging people in. But then I thought that engaging old people [adults] would cost me a lot, because after one year they would look at me and say well I think I want to do my own as well. So then I thought maybe if I start with young stars (9-14 year old), wanting to work big as far as money is concerned, maybe we will be producing more and big. And they have got talents, which are hidden.So I decided to handle them in a very unique way. I told them that this project probably could even help them to get some school fees, which they have in some cases. One of them is Andrew Kateka, he couldn’t get any school fees, and he has also a brother who was in the same situation than me, but he couldn’t afford his fees for him. So I introduced Andrew to art and Andrew has got a very good unique talent, because he is almost trying to imitate what I draw, which is good. And I found it to be an advantage in the end, because I am starting to sell his works off. I’ve got his school fees for this term, which he couldn’t get before. We managed to raise almost 140,000 shillings [50 euros]. I know what Andrew went through, I know what his brother went through, so I needed to put myself into his feet.This is supposed to be a chain. We can’t wait for the president or a member of parliament to come to our place. So if they are not going to do it, you have to do it, and so that’s what I’ve done.