Ugandan-Rwandan socialite, Judith Kantengwa Heard, is in Kigali. The New Times’ Hassan Mutuhe bumped into the 29-year-old mother of six-year-old twins and asked her about her visit and rumours surrounding her private life.
How does it feel to be in Kigali?
It feels great! I was born here (Rwanda) and had part of my education here. Actually, most of my childhood memories are here. I also have paternal relatives in this country. So it’s always a great pleasure to be home.
Should we expect you to permanently relocate here soon?
Uuh! I’d love to but I can’t now. I’m firmly established in Uganda where I’m married. I also run errands there so relocating to Rwanda is a bit tricky, at least for now. Nevertheless, I’m planning to do businesses here, preferably in real estate.
Talking of marriage, rumour in Uganda has it that you’re no longer seen in public with your husband, Alex Heard. Is your marriage on the rocks, are you still married to him?
Very much so! I don’t know why people keep assuming that we are divorced or separated. Every marriage has its issues, fine. But I wouldn’t be putting on this (flashes her marriage ring) if we weren’t still married. I know there are many people who plot to bring down our marriage, but love transcends everything.
He can’t drive around with me all the time because he is a busy man with lots of stuff to attend to. I no longer go out that much so where would they want to see us? (She receives a call and excuses herself for over 10 minutes. She tells the person on the line about picking kids from school at 4:15). Sorry been talking to my husband and this should prove that we are still together.
You’ve been here for over a week now, is there anything Rwandans should expect from you in line with what you do?
I’m here for a video shoot courtesy of Rwanda Arts Initiative. They are shooting a television series called, “Muganga”, in which I act as a nurse called Mulisa. So, yes! Rwandans will be seeing me act in a local film.
I also want to visit Iwawa Rehabilitation Centre, courtesy of the Ministry of Youth.
When did you start acting and how did you get the gig?
This is my first role as an actress. I was approached by the Rwanda Arts Initiative in their search for a down-to-earth nurse character. I felt it’s a nice idea and here I am!
Does that mean you quit modeling and you’re now pursuing a career in the movie industry?
I’ve actually not been modeling for a while. I’m now trying to concentrate on family and venture into fashion designing too. I’m also still doing charity in Uganda, mainly with women and children. For instance, I’m delivering sanitary pads to female prisoners in Kayunga (Central Uganda) next week.
For acting, I do love acting as long it’s a good role. I know a good actor/actress executes whatever role is given but in Africa, people think you’re who you really are in a movie. You can imagine if I took up a role of a prostitute.