By Ivan Mwine
Celebrated legendary Ugandan drama actor and author Joseph Jolly Ndugwa, who was popularly known as Omugave Ndugwa, was on Tuesday finally laid to rest at his ancestral home in Kimaanya, Masaka District.
Ndugwa, who was the director of Black Pearls and Riverside Theatre, died early last month at Kaiser Permanente Sunset hospital in Boulevard California, after battling prostate cancer for a long time,
The news of Ndugwa’s passing was announced by musician and theatre Director Mariam Ndagire.
Shortly after the burial, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bob Wine, who is the National Unity Platform (NUP) principal, said thus on social media;
“We have laid Omugave Joseph Ssemakula Ndugwa to rest in Masaka—Kimaanya. He succumbed to prostate cancer in California where he was staying after migrating to the USA. Until his death, Omugave Ndugwa was widely considered to be the father of Ugandan theatre. He was a playwright, an actor, and a producer, among many other artistic roles.”
Bobi Wine added that; “He founded The Black Pearls, one of the most prominent drama groups in Uganda especially in the 1980s onwards. He also founded Wandugu Stars, another drama group in which I used to act while still in my childhood. May he rest well.”
The burial was attended by hundreds of people, who included prominent artistes like Mariam Ndagire, Charles Ssenkubuge and Aloysius Matovu Joy of the Bakayimibra Drama Actors, among others.
Ndugwa, who was based in the United States, was popularly known for his 1988 theatre play “Emikwano nsi” and was the force behind several Theatre devotees including Mariam Ndagire, Halimah Namakula among many others.
Before his death, he had embarked on movie production, a chapter he began in 2013 with a film version of his 1988 play “Emikwano nsi”.