Actor and model Emmanuel Ikubese has added another feather in his cap. This time around, he flexed his muscles in film directing for his upcoming TV series ‘Kyaddala’, a Ugandan phrase for ‘It’s Real’. Ikubese went behind the camera for the first time and shot the series in Uganda, which he produced and also starred in. He describes it as a unique experience that allowed him to put into practice all he has learnt on set.
“It is a big step for me. I have always wanted to make a film that will impact on the lives of people. I gained confidence to take this leap on the set of Flatmates. We got an opportunity to tell our own stories so I wrote a couple of episodes and that gave me the inspiration to tell stories that affect lives.”
According to the former Mr. Nigeria, Kyaddala is patterned after ‘Shuga’ the MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s lifestyle TV series where Ikubese made his acting debut. It addresses issues that revolve around younger persons such as rape, teenage pregnancy, HiV/AIDS, bullying, early child marriage among others.
It is a familiar path for the filmmaker who in 2015 launched his RAW (Respect A Woman) Foundation. The non-governmental organisation project trains youths on how to avoid domestic violence in our society. He deployed the film medium to spread his campaign by producing a short film ‘Black-Out’ which he co-starred with Ghanaian actress Juliet Ibrahim.
“Kyaddala is very real. They are real life stories that we gathered from people we interviewed. We want to spark a dialogue where parents can have this kind of conversations with their children.”
For ‘Kyaddala’, Ikubese partnered with Humphrey Nabimanya, a long time friend and founder of the Ugandan based organisation Reach a Hand.
“Humphrey is doing an amazing job in Uganda through Reach a Hand. His organisation is helping young people resolve whatever issues that affect them. ”
Ikubese tagged the eight-part TV series a Pan-African project as it features actors from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria.
“I’m passionate about making Pan-African films. I believe that we are one because you will find out that what a Ugandan is going through, a Nigerian will also be experiencing the same. Also I schooled in Kenya where there I met a lot of Africans so that mind set has always been there. I also believe that creating a Pan-African story presents a whole new world to your audience.”
‘Kyaddala’ will be having its premiere in Uganda on September 28 and will be available online and other local TV channels.