By Bamuturaki Musinguzi
Published November 10, 2015
A movie that appears to questions whether the end justifies the means has premiered in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
WAKO, the film that explores issues such as crime, poverty, illness and ethics and revolves around a young man living in a Kampala slum with his family, premiered at Kampala’s Theatre Labonita on October 1, 2015 and is in November 2015 screening in various venues in Kampala, Masaka, Mbarara Lyantonde, Fort Potal, Jinja and Mbale.
After the youngsterâ€™s return home from prison, his younger sister is taken to hospital, where doctors diagnose her with an illness whose treatment requires US$4,033, a bill way too high for the ghetto-dwelling family. The young man is forced to face his past as the means to raise the money required for her treatment.
Because of its cross-cutting appeal, the 93-minute crime thriller that ends with several people dead, has been among the most anticipated Ugandan films for 2015. Although it is aimed at creating awareness about cervical cancer, the viewer gets more engrossed with the crime drama than the agony, pain and anguish of cancer.
The cast of the action drama that is made in English, Luganda, Kiswahili and Hindi and shot on location in Kampala slums, the Ntinda suburb and the city centre, includes, among others, Jayant Maru, Robert Ernest Bbumba, Nirmal Singh, Grace Mbabazi, Wilson Egesa and Felix Bwanika.
WAKO is directed by Aaron Alone Zziwa who says he will have it dubbed into local Ugandan languages by video jockeys (VJs) and screened in the popular bibandas across the city.
As to what motivated him to write the script of the film that won the Best Feature film award at 4th Arusha African Film Festival (AAFF) in Tanzania in September 2015, Zziwa, says it is his love for bringing stories to life.
As to the connection between crime and cervical cancer, Zziwa argues, â€œIn life there are people who survive through wrong means because that’s the only option they know. You will find that someone needs food but the only option he knows is to hit, beat up or kill someone in order to get just a few shillings. And this is so common in poverty-stricken areas. So my film is in the form of edu-tainment with a view to helping change peopleâ€™s lives.â€
WAKO is Zziwaâ€™s second film after THE SUPERSTITION that he wrote and co-directed with Paresh Gondaliya in 2014. The Superstition won the Best Editing/Post Production award at the 2014 Uganda Film Festival; Best Narrative at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival in California, USA; and Best Feature Film at AAFF and was nominated for Best Foreign Feature Film at Abuja International Film Festival in Nigeria.
Zziwa, who started out as an actor, is a self-taught filmmaker and screenwriter who has attended film workshops, crafted his trade through YouTube tutorials and watched lots of films. He graduated with a Bachelorâ€™s in Entreprenuership and Small Scale Business Management from Makerere University Business School in 2008.