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  • Writer's pictureI Rock Africa Blog


Updated: Jul 23, 2019

By Blessing Baysah📷

In the slums of Kampala's Wakaliga, there lies Wakaliwood. Wakaliwood is where aspiring actors’ dreams come true. Wakaliga is an example of Africa’s untapped potential in the creative sector. In Wakaliga, the #African promise for prosperity shines through director Isaac Nabwana and his crew of #film enthusiasts. Nabwana, a.k.a. Nabwana IGG draws from a well of potential talents to change lives. Nabwana is a self-taught filmmaker. He has only one course in computer repair. He could not afford to continue his education, but his trial-and-error efforts with the camera made him a filmmaker at age 32.

On May 13, the Wakaliwood film entitled Bad Black premiered at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. According to Forbes, MoMA is globally ranked 13th in the category of the most visited museums in the world. Globally recognized works at MoMA are from Picasso, Van Gogh, Warhol, and now Africa’s very own Nabwana IGG.

Nabwana IGG (Photo courtesy of Wakaliwood's project on Kickstarter)


Although there is progress, we are languorously sitting on Africa's creative sector. Bad Black is a minimal budget action-comedy, directed by a full-time bricklayer in the slums of Uganda. If Bad Black can make it into the thirteenth most recognized museum in the world then how far can the African film industry rise even on our continent? Imagine #Wakaliwood movies on display at one of Africa’s art museums known as the top five most visited in the world?

Africa’s potential to boost economies across the continent is also within its creative economy. This is one area we do have the capacity. Africa’s talent pool can build a viable creative economy. Both the government and private sectors should increase efforts to maximize Africa’s creative sector's potential.


Five things at the minimum we would like to see occurring continent-wide to boost the creative sector are as follow:

1. The changing of the cliché or norm of overshadowing the creative sector with labels such as actors or others in the creative sector are wayward citizens. Need I say more?

2. Investment in education opportunities for the creative economy.

3. Provision of more training opportunities and increased continuing education in the creative sectors.

4. Increment of financial resource for the creative sector.

5. Robust national plans to utilize the talent pool and boost the creative economy.

Together, we can build Africa!

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