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Ugandan makeup artist set for Africa’s big film do

Shakira Kibirige works on a cast of Mercy of the Jungle


The local film industry has been taking off some time now. The acting keeps improving and so is the story, though technical aspects such as sound, special effects, cinematography, editing and lighting have taken such a leap, that some of the professionals in these fields often get invited to offer services in markets as far as India.

One of such people is Shakira Kibirige, she’s a special effect makeup artist that has scaled heights in the field, at one point she will be in Kampala working on a small budget film like Richard Mulindwa’s Only Son, yet on another day, she will be rubbing shoulders with Lupita Nyongo on the set of Queen of Katwe.

Last year, Kibirige was on the roll, besides working on a number of local films and theatre, she was in charge of special effects on Joel Karekezi’s Mercy of The Jungle. Karekezi is a Rwandan filmmaker that has as many links to Uganda.

He started his journey with the Maisha Film Lab and his first film The Pardon a short film was developed in the training, then a short film, it was later turned into a feature film, Imbabazi: The Pardon.

His second feature, Mercy of the Jungle was an ambitious job, the films that features African actors from different Francophone countries tells the story of two Rwandan soldiers separated from their military unit at the beginning of the Second Congo War and their struggle to survive in a hostile jungle environment amidst intense armed conflict.

Kibirige did the makeup including the effects and for her efforts got nominated for the Africa Movie Academy Awards, Best Makeup Artist.

Shakira will face off with another Ugandan Joan Nantege who was also nominated for her exploits on Nisha Kalema’s Veronica’s Wish.

Mercy of the Jungle has six other nominations that include a Best Actor, Director, Best Film and Editing.

The award gala takes place on Sunday in Lagos, Nigeria.  .



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