Lupita in Kampala and almost no one knows …


(Posted 30th March 2015)

The Oscar winning star of 12 Years a Slave’, Lupita Nyong’o, is presently in Uganda for the shoot of the Mira Nair directed film ‘Queen of Katwe’ and ‘official Uganda’ is only slowly catching on to the news. The film will portray the career of one Phiona Mutesi, a chess prodigee who grew up in the sprawling Katwe slums, and her coach Robert Katende.

Lupita’s presence in Uganda, seen above with Sarita Alam, one of the founders of GeoLodges, could give a huge promotional boost as was the case when the Oscar winning film ‘The Last King of Scotland’ was shot in Kampala, Entebbe and Mbale. Unlike however a few months ago, when an almost unknown starlet was hyped up as a PR savior, does Lupita have real qualities vis a vis global recognition and the fact alone that she is in country should be used to dispel concerns caused by recent US Embassy warnings that the country is not safe.

Sarita Alam reacted to social media comments by saying ‘it is not too late’, meaning there is still time to work both mainstream and social media for the benefit of promoting Uganda, but due haste is now needed having missed the arrival and early stages of Lupita’s presence.

Social media in neighbouring Kenya, where Lupita was raised, have already expressed their hope that she will at least pay a visit to them but from what is understood from sources close to the production company will Lupita fly out of Uganda at the end of the shoot with no planned stopover – as of now – in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

After some scenes of a recent James Bond film were also shot in Uganda, is there now also a chance to gain a higher profile in Hollywood as a production country, considering the phenomenal success of ‘The Last King of Scotland’ as no doubt Lupita’s present role will again give Uganda an international platform, as a tourism destination and also providing spectacular backdrops for movies.

Watch this space, and the social media, to see how this will play out in coming days and if ‘official Uganda’ will be waking up to grab this opportunity with both hands, or not.