SAM BAGENDA, best known by his stage mane of Dr Bbosa, quit his job as an accountant in 1986 to become a fulltime actor with a popular Ugandan theatre group, the Ebonies. Bagenda studied commerce at Makerere University before proceeding to Graffins College, Nairobi for post graduate studies in accounting. The Ebonies were recently in Kigali for a performance and Susan Babijja had a chat with Bagenda.
Who is Dr Bbosa?
Dr Bbosa is just my stage name. I got this name after acting a scene in a popular television series called “That is Life Mwatu” in the 1990s. I acted as Dr Bbosa.
How long have you been in the entertainment business?
I joined the entertainment industry in 1986 after working as an accountant.
When did you discover that you are a good actor?
I was a singer in church choir, but I did not know I had the talent. One day, as I was singing, a producer noticed that I could act well in a play. So, I was given a part in a play. Since that time, I had to choose between the Ebonies and my job as an accountant. Because the industry was growing, I decided to join the Ebonies. My first play was called “The Dollar” and I acted as a priest.
Twenty seven years as an actor is a long time. How do you manage to sustain excitement of your fans?
I apply three ‘Ps’: Passion, Patience and Persistence in whatever I do. This has helped me manage challenges because whenever I use them, I can’t fail.
What is your dressing style?
I cross the lines [between young and old] and that is why some people say I will never grow up. I dress according to the occasion—for example in the song, Omuhabati, I dress like a ‘raster man,’ but during my free time it is casual smart.
Do you believe in love?
Yes, that is very important.
What is the craziest thing you have done for love?
I am adventurous; so I have done many crazy things, but the craziest of all is when I had romance with my girlfriend in an elevator in London many years ago.
Has some one ever swept you off your feet on first sight?
It happens, mainly when I see beautiful girls but later realise it is lust. Love at first sight happens.
Would you prefer a wild night out or dinner with your loved one?
In the past I used to love it wild, but at my age now I just like it cool.
If you were born a woman, what would your do to change society today?
I would be faithful to my husband. I wish God could hear this; I would fight to be faithful because when I see men being mistreated by women, it shows that women are not serious in relationships.
Do you have a family?
I have a family—a wife and children. However, a Muganda man does not state the number of his children.
Any crazy thing you have ever done on stage?
The time I acted in a towel.
What is your favourite food?
Chapatti and beans. In Uganda we called it Kikomando.
What is that thing that you do but other people consider not normal?
I like ice cubes and it seems I am addicted. I find it normal although others keep on complaining.