Patricia Namyalo

about
about me

I am Patricia Namyalo

From the very beginning of this struggle for democracy in Uganda, I have always focused my attention on unity being the determining factor for change. After many failed elections, it is time to have a road map that is a clear representation of the Ugandan people rather than the leaders themselves. Leaders are individuals in comparison to the people they serve.

After we had tried different approaches for opposition unity, I felt like we were running out of ideas. On the first day the Red Friday show aired, I called an author in New York and asked ‘what are we missing as opposition?”. She didn’t answer the question directly but asked lots of questions about the possibility of opposition unity and I told her the leaders were not ready to field one presidential candidate. At the end of the phone call I asked “what if we created a unity documentary, would that help?”. She was positive about this initiative, however not everyone I called from different parties was happy about the idea. In the days that followed, we saw signs of unity through the United Forces of Change but that seemed to have lost steam not long after it was introduced to Ugandans.

It was at this moment that I decided that I would create a unity documentary. I called some of the leaders on the ground and asked them to send me videos of themselves talking about the importance of unity from their personal point of view.

The first round of videos we planned to use were recorded on their individual phones, I wanted the documentary to have an organic feel, a sense of urgency, no time for videographers. These videos were deleted from my iCloud account by the regime which gave me an idea to rethink my strategy and shoot professional videos on the ground.

I was working alone on the collaboration process but after many failed attempts, I was able to get the videos we needed. After I received the videos, Aisha Kabanda and  Abubakah Matanda’s powerful videos had been deleted from my computer.  I thought I was losing my mind.  I later realized that Zulaikah Nalukenge’s videos were edited to not tell the full story. It was at this point I realized the same people that had deleted the initial project videos had come back again, deleted and edited Zulaikah’s videos. I knew early on that something like this would happen so I had back up videos on the ground.

It was a very tiring project because you are fighting against a government that would do anything to stay in power. They see everyone that is fighting for liberty as a threat. They were trying to delay the project but we managed to get it out before elections.

While I believe in Unity, I have always worked on the People Power Platform, due to lack of time it was hard getting people and video footage with no copyrights from other parties. I believe the story could still have been more inclusive but I tried my best to involve different parties through videos and pictures that they themselves provided.

I would have loved to get Bobi Wine on camera talking about Unity and so those were the difficulties, it was not easy managing a project from the United States when the majority of the cast was on the ground.

This film is meant to inspire young people to fight on and believe in unity as the solution to creating a new Uganda. As Africans, as Ugandans, it is important that we take charge of our destiny and create our own memories through storytelling, writing and documentaries.

Watch Documentary