By Bayan Nalubwama
As artists and performers are gearing up to reap big from the Arts and Culture sector that is yet to be reopened, the Uganda National Cultural Center (UNCC) with support from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has procured mobile outdoor stage.
The 10x12x6.6 meters stage is going to simplify the work of performers’ staging outdoor events who have always been charged exorbitantly by the available service providers.
Speaking to journalists at the UNCC, the state Minister for Gender and Culture, Peace Mutuuzo revealed that stage is to promote the mindset change pillar as it is a platform where knowledge can be passed on through Art.
“I think it is timely we prepare for the opening of the lockdown like the ministry of education has done and also, we are in charge of a pillar called mindset change in which we can use drama, Art, poems, poetry to communicate and disseminate information and knowledge so this stage is going to be portable,” She said
Adding: “The studios are already here and it gives faith and confidence because previously, people thought National Cultural Center was just there and not performing but it was because we were not being supported with facilities but now that they have the facilities in place, their able to actualize their potential and I want to call upon all the artists to build faith in their own institution. Do not shot yourselves down, build from strength to strength as the other structures also, are playing their part.” Minister Mutuuzo added
She further revealed that government is looking forward to procuring a van and a big tent that will go along with the stage so that it can be housed anywhere.
Francis Peter Ojede, The Executive Director at the UNCC expressed gratitude to the Government of Uganda for supporting the sector with the stimulus fund package which the UNCC used to purchase the stage.
“We have been waiting for it. It was money given to us by government as part of the stimulus fund. For us we decided that we needed to get something useful to everyone so we budgeted and said let’s buy the mobile stage. We now want to use it as one of the ways to reopen the sector. We want to make it mobile in such a way that if you have performances here in Kampala we do, if there is a performance in Gulu we do and if there is a performance in Mbarara we go and do it so that we don’t limit ourself to say we have no space.” Ojede said
Adding to Minister Mutuuzo’s voice, Mr. Ojede asked the government to support UNCC with a big truck that will do the transportation of the facility to the different corners of the country.
“We now need to embark and buy a few things to support it. We need to buy sound for it, we need to buy the backline for it, we need to buy the lighting for it and of course we need to put a tent on it so that it does not get wet when it rains. We now also need a truck to transport it. That’s something we urgently need and we are asking government to support us to be able to buy a big truck.
The mobile stage was purchased at UGX 145,000,000 from Teezmag Ltd, a company that was contracted to supply the stage.