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Date With a Celeb: Actor Mukalazi meets fan Anita Odong

Mukalazi and Adong at National Theatre. Photo by Isaac Ssejjombwe.

Edwin Mukalazi made a name appearing on NTV’s Trick Stars. He meets his fan Odong, a student at Uganda Film and Television Institute.

Hi Mukalazi. How are you doing? Do you love Sponge Bob?
What is that? Is it a new Tv series or something interesting?

No. It is an interesting cartoon series that you would love to watch. I thought we had something in common.
Ohhh. I will start watching it then but I’m a big fan of Sony the Hedgehog plus Tom and Jerry.

I saw posters advertising on your Facebook page about your stand-up comedy show this Saturday. What is it all about?
The show is called Lone Battle and it’s coming up this Saturday at National theatre at. Entry fee is 20,000 and one of those shows one can’t afford to miss.

It’s called Lone Battle because of the concept I got from those stand up comedians from abroad. They sustain the entire show on their own without others. So mine is also a “one man show”. It’s a kind of show that will tell my story.

Then what should we expect during that show?
Before you expect, I expect a turn up of 377 people because that is the capacity of National Theatre. This is going to be the first of its kind in Uganda and I will hit the stage at 8pm after Latin dancers entertain the audience to compare the Western and African kind of dance.

Don’t you think that it’s selfish to have a one-man show?
I don’t think its selfish because if guys like Chris Rocks and Martin Lawrence have done it, then why not me. This will show how competent I am and it will help me challenge myself because I will be performing for more than an hour.

Why did you go in for comedy of all jobs?
I’m an all rounder and one thing about comedy is you have to be an all-rounder. I can act horror movies, satire, melodrama, musicals and at one point was about to become a musician but had second thoughts about it because of musicians’ reckless lifestyles.

When did you start acting professionally?
I did a Bachelors of Arts in Drama at Makerere University and during that time, I used to act scripted performances. I did radio for sometime at Metro FM then was asked to be an extra in an NTV drama called Kakibeki and the director was impressed with what I had done. That is when Trick Stars began and I was cast as one of the trick stars. I did Barbed Wire and when my partners went to Juba, I started a lone battle.

What else do you do besides acting?
I’m also shooting demos and penning TV drama scripts.

What is so difficult about acting?
Many people don’t appreciate the art. They don’t want to pay but want to watch. And sponsors are hard to convince. The other problem we find is that the art is manipulated a lot. You feature in adverts for big companies and they pay peanuts.

Is acting a well paying job?
It depends on your strategy, which kind of industry you are working with and the people you deal with.

How different are you from the rest?
My orientation is different. I can execute different acts on stage. I’m able to improvise and do something different from my script depending on the reaction of the audience, which other actors can’t do.

Which individual performer do you consider the best?
I admire Patricko Mujuuka and Phillip Luswata.

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