Usama Mukwaya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Usama Mukwaya
LJO 5229.jpg
Usama at the premiere of Bala Bala Sese
Born Usama Mukwaya Nyanzi
(1989-12-12) 12 December 1989 (age 25)
Mulago, Kampala, Uganda
Nationality Ugandan
Alma mater Makerere University (DIT)
Occupation Screenwriter, film director, actor, tv personality
Years active 2010–present
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Website Official website

Usama (/ʊˈsɑːmə/) "Osam" Mukwaya Nyanzi (born 12 December 1989) is a Ugandan film director, screenwriter, actor and television host. He broke through his writing career with his short film Hello that won overall best film in the 2010 MNFPAC students' awards. His other film credits include Bala Bala Sese, his latest film as a writer and producer directed by Lukyamuzi Bashir.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Mulago Hospital, Kampala-Uganda, Usama hails his ancestry from Ganda, Ankole and Rwanda. He is the son of Abdullah Muhammad Mukwaya and Aziidah Mariam. After the death of his mother when he was 8, Usama's aunt took him in; when she died too, Usama had to move in with his father and later on with his grandfather.

It affected me so much having to adapt to different parenting environments.

– Usama Mukwaya[2]

He attended Linnet Primary School in Wakiso District, for his Primary school education, Shuhada'e Islamic Secondary School in Mbarara for his O level, Nyamitanga Secondary School for his A level and achieved a Diploma in Information technology at Makerere University under the Cisco Career Certifications . He has numerous siblings from both his father and mother.[1]



Usama started his writing career as a child. In 2010 he joined Dan Kiggundu's Maryland Productions where he debuted as a script editor and supporting actor in the TV drama Pain of lies that premiered in 2011.[1] Through Uganda film network, he later joined Mariam Ndagire Film and Performing Arts Center where he worked on his first short film, Hello[3] featuring Laura Kahunde which won the overall best film in the MNFPAC awards 2010. In July 2011, he then made it to the final selection of the 12 screenwriters from all over East Africa to participate in the 7th Maisha Film Lab ending up with a collaboration with Diana Karua in the making of the movie She Likes Prada.[1]

Later in 2011, Usama won the African Young Achievers Award[4][5] in the film and television category, the youngest among the winners to win the award in the newly introduced category alongside Rwandan president Paul Kagame, who won the Lifetime achievement award.[6]

Kinna-Uganda (Ugandan film) has something to do with mediocrity. We should follow the trends of other industries like Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood; let us call our industry Ugawood.

– Usama Mukwaya via The Observer[7]

Amidst other four young directors in August 2012, he directed his first film, Smart Attempt written by Julian Nabunya and Abel Mwesigwa during the first season of the Movie Furnace programme. He went on to participate in the program's second season with his short film In Just Hours that had him emerge the season's winner for best short film director.[8][9][10] He has worked as a general secretary and treasurer Screenwriter’s guild of Uganda Film Network and as general secretary Pearl International Film Festival.[1][11] He was quoted by The Observer Newspaper alongside Ashraf Ssemwogerere on an interview about naming the growing film industry in Uganda where he stated that Ugawood could have been the appropriate citing that Kinna-Uganda had to do with mediocrity.[7] In July 2014, Usama started his own film production company O Studios, based in Uganda that immediately opened with the production of a short film Tiktok written and directed by himself.[12] His debut feature film Bala Bala Sese premiered on 3 July 2015.[13]


Movie Digest Show 2013 cover

In July 2013, Usama debuted his television appearance as a host on the second season of the Movie Digest Show on Record TV Network Uganda with actress Monica Birwinyo replacing pioneer host and former Tusker Project Fame 3 contestant Jacob Nsaali.[14]


Usama is credited to be the co-founder of Pearl International Film Festival alongside Magezi Moses. The first of its kind indigenous film festival aims to draw attention to raise the profile of local films and filmmakers with the aim of contributing towards the development of Cinema of Uganda.[15] He is also the founder and C.E.O of O Studios.

Personal life[edit]

Usama lives in Kampala.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Iron Love Actor Official selection: Pearl International Film Festival
2010 Pain of Lies Actor, Script Supervisor Official selection: Pearl International Film Festival
2010 Hello Writer, First Assistant Director Nominated for – MNFPAC Awards for Best screenplay
2011 She Likes Prada Production Manager Official selection: Zanzibar International Film Festival
2012 Smart Attempt Director Movie Furnace 2012 finalist
2013 In Just Hours Writer, director Best Director – Short Film: Movie Furnace 2013

Official selection: 2nd Nile Diaspora International Film Festival[16][17]

Nominee – Best Student Film: Pearl International Film Festival (MNFPAC)

Official selection: 4th Manya Human Rights International Film Festival[18]

2012-2013 Movie Digest Show Host, Producer
2015 Tiktok Writer, Director Official selection: Mashariki African Film Festival[19]
2015 Bala Bala Sese Writer, producer
2015 New Intentions Actor Bruno

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kamukama, Polly (12 April 2012). "The Observer – Mukwaya, the self made filmmaker". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Young Achievers Awards Uganda – Rewarding Innovation and Excellence". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The Achiever Magazine 2011". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "The Observer – Ugawood or Kinna-Uganda? Film stars split over name". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]