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Date with a celeb : Ebonies’ Kaliisa talks acting with fan

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The actor/comedian: You may have seen his face in one of those Ebonies plays or on stage cracking jokes as the stammering guy. Kaliisa Ryan says acting runs deep in his blood and he shares the story of following his dream with his fan Maureen Pretty.

I only know your first name. What is your other name that people don’t know?
Haha. My name is Ryan Kaliisa.

What inspired you to do drama?
I grew up with the dream to be an actor and besides that, I was born with a talent for art.

How did it all start?
I used to see these guys on TV when I was still young and I felt I was missing out on the fun and fame so I worked tooth and nail to make it one day. But because I was in the school dance and drama club, I stood better chances of appearing on the big stage.

Why did you decide to join the Ebonies?
It is the best drama group in Uganda.

What role do you play in the Ebonies?
I do a lot of things. I am a dancer, choreographer, actor, comedian, videographer (video editing and camera operator), graphics designer and editor as well.

I always see you pulling some rare moves on stage. Why don’t you stick to just dancing?
I am a dancer but there are times when there are a lot of people in one department and you have to try out something else for versatility. Lately, I concentrate more on graphics, videography and acting. I do the dancing to a small extent to leave room for other young people as I only chip in on the choreography.

I saw a billboard of you advertising condoms. How much were you paid and how did you get that deal?
I am a commercial model too and I got the deal from Xtreem Casting Modelling Agency. I was paid enough for me to smile.

Tell me more about yourself?
I am simple, down to earth, crazy, stubborn and funny.

You always play as a stammering actor in OMG. How are you able to pull it off?
I have a young brother who stammers so I used to imitate him when we were young. I decided to take on the role in my skits and it is paying off.

Among the Ebonies, who is your best actor or actress?
Sam Bagenda and Fauzia Nakiboneka.

Is it true that you guys date yourselves in the group?
I am not dating anyone in the Ebonies, so I do not think it is true.

Have you ever featured anywhere else besides an Ebonies play?
Yes; in plenty of TV adverts, music videos and two movies.

How old are you?
I am 29 years old.

When do you rehearse for your acts?
From Wednesday to Sunday.

Apart from stage plays, what else do you do?
I have a multimedia business that does videography and graphic designing. I have shot plenty of TV adverts and produced plenty of music videos and movies which are not yet out.

What are your recent top five tracks?
Nerea by Sauti Sol, My woman by Patorankin, Happy day by Patorankin, When I see you gain by Wiz Kalifa, Thinking out Loud by Edd sheeran.

Where do we see Ryan three years from now?
A father, successful actor and an entrepreneur.

How do you spend your free time?
I swim, play basketball and talk to my friends.

Which schools did you attend?
I went to Shimoni Demonstration School, Lubiri Senior Secondary School for my O Level and then joined Kololo SS for my A-Level, before joining Aptec Computer School.

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