Skip to content Skip to footer

By Ahumuza Muhumuza

All her life, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya has been slaying – making making waves around the world. A jet-setting top model in her youth, as well as a diplomat, foreign minister and film star, Bagaya is the focus of an exhibition at the Uganda Museum showing from October 27 (yesterday) to October 30 (Saturday).

Organised by Goethe-Zentrum Kampala, the exhibition features the works of German film director Jason Pohland, who, 50 years ago, adapted Chinua Achebe’s 1958 literary classic Things Fall Apart into a movie starring Princess Bagaya.

Millennials, led by youthful tourism state minister Martin Bahenduka, filled the museum’s airy atrium to relieve the memories of a cast of colourful characters such as Clara (played by Bagaya), Obi Okonkwo (played by Senegalese actor John Sekka) and Obierika (played by Nigeria’s first international film star Orlando Martins) that captivated them during literature lessons. Bahenduka, who admitted to being a fan of Achebe’s work, thanked the German government for organising the event and promised government support for the arts sector in Uganda.

 

Princess Bagaya (right) interacting with film actors Eleanor and Mathew Nabwiso. Photos by Hajarah Nalwadda

“Achebe told the story of how we, Africans, are trying to go forward, navigating the schism between the Western world and traditional African culture during times of deep political change, many times hitting walls, but in the end forging our own narrative,” Akinbiyi said.

Berlin-based curator Akinbode Akinbiyi, who went through more than 2,000 unpublished film stills, production papers, correspondences and film print to come up with pieces for the exhibition, said Achebe’s story is still relevant to Africans around the world today.

“Achebe told the story of how we, Africans, are trying to go forward, navigating the schism between the Western world and traditional African culture during times of deep political change, many times hitting walls, but in the end forging our own narrative,” Akinbiyi said.

The star of the day, the graceful princess of Toro – svelte, frail, but still larger than life – mingled freely with the young guests, inspiring them with her presence and cheerful words. Clearly, she stays cheerful by drinking from the elixir of youth.

The exhibition, which will see the works of literary giants Wole Soyinka and Senegal’s Ousmane Sembène screen, runs from October 27 (yesterday) to October 30 (Saturday) and is free of charge.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elizabeth Bagaya, opens the landlocked countries conference at the Kampala International Conference Centre in 1974
Show CommentsClose Comments

2 Comments

  • by Mareike Palmeira
    Posted October 29, 2021 2:08 am 0Likes

    Thank you for this article Ahumuza Muhumuza. I would just like to point out that the exhibition is on display at the Uganda Museum until 12 DECEMBER. Can this perhaps still be corrected? Mareike Palmeira

  • by Linda Neruba
    Posted October 29, 2021 2:42 pm 0Likes

    A nice one!

Leave a comment

Our biggest stories delivered
to your inbox