FAST RISING: Twenty-one-year-old Grace Nakyejwe is one of the hottest properties in radio and film in Masaka Town. Very conversational and so obsessed with whatever she does, Nakyejwe opened up to BRIAN MUGENYI.
Tell us about yourself?My name is Grace Nakyejwe. I’m 21-years-old. I’m also the second-born of all the eight children of Mr Peter Ssenyiti and Ms Rose Namuganga, residents at Bikiira village in Kyotera District. I’m a full-time actress, entertainer and playwright at Extremes Film production and a radio talk show host at Impact FM, Masaka.
Did you attain formal education?I attended Kyotera Township Primary School, Kyotera Central Secondary School and Datamine Technical Business School where I graduated in Journalism and Media Studies in 2015.
So, how did you end up in filming?When I took a course in journalism, all I wanted was to be an actress and a radio talk show host. But I didn’t know when and how I would handle both concurrently. Immediately, after graduating, my friend Achilles Lukyamuzi, also the director of Extremes Film Production told me to join his crew. I knew nothing by that time but I was able to catch up with acting and today, I can even train others.
Aren’t you too young to be doing all these?You are right but age does not matter when there’s talent and guts to do what you want. For me, I do all these because I’m very passionate and it has worked miracles for me.
What are some of the plays you have acted so far?We have acted in different plays such as Akatyabaga, Endowooza, Ekimala- Kimala and many more. Most of our plays are based on everyday situations such as domestic violence, child abuse, poverty and dangers of polygamy and so on. We have also tried to write movies.
Where do you normally perform from?We perform at Williams Theatre – Masaka, schools, universities as well as open air theatre especially when the plays are commissioned by Non-Government Organisations. We have worked with TASO, human rights organisations and others.Who do you admire most among the film actresses in Uganda?I like everything Mariam Ndagire does while acting. She inspires me a lot and I’m delighted that I have improved in stage acting and creativity because of her. Outside Uganda, I will go for Patience Ozokwo, a Nigerian actress.
Have you found challenges in acting?Yes, they are many especially being envied by my friends, and at times the public expects a lot from the character they see on stage.
Where do you get all that inspiration from? For the radio, I was inspired by my sister Josephine Nanono, who works on Suubi FM, in Kampala. She is a multi-functional journalist and presenter there. Her success story on radio guided me to take the same route.
Let us talk about radio?I present a radio talk show called Ekintabuli from Monday to Friday between 11am to 12.45pm alongside Irene Nantale. It’s a diverse programme. I usually host opinionated people depending on the agenda of the day.
Do you have a boyfriend?No. I’m single and living happily. I think it’s too early for me to commit myself to someone. I still see a bright future coming my way. I prefer to be alone.
What are the tangible things you have achieved so far?They are not many as yet but they will come. As of now, I don’t ask anyone for a dress, shoe, or other basic needs. I get them by myself. I have made a name. I have made friends and very soon I’m opening up a side business.
What are your inspirational words to teens?They should be very ambitious, tolerant and hardworking. Things do not just fall from heavens. You have to first toil and sweat for them before they fall your way.
First stage performance.I had stage fright and one in the audience who saw me at the beginning, could see that I was panicking. But that one is no more. I worked on it by believing in myself, and also picked further inspirations from other actresses.