Mmegi Online :: Blood Diamonds star Mwine and YOHO produce short film
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Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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Blood Diamonds star Mwine and YOHO produce short film

Ntare Mwine, the Ugandan-American who played M'Ed in the popular controversial Blood Diamonds was in town last week at the invitation of YOHO in partnership with the US Embassy in Botswana.
By Staff Writer Sun 18 Nov 2018, 23:31 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Blood Diamonds star Mwine and YOHO produce short film








Mwine, who has vast experience in photography, theatre, film and television, was invited to share his theatrical expertise with YOHO, and coordinate a workshop, which was held in Letlhakane. The workshop is part of a programme undertaken by YOHO, Theatre for HIV Communication, dedicated to training artists, in theatre from script writing, and acting, to directing. In an interview with Showbiz in Gaborone, Mwine noted that there is so much talent in Botswana that he was impressed with the performance of Batswana during the workshop. He added that many of the participants were first timers but still they managed to produce good work. He said that as a result of the quality of the workshop productions, they decided to adapt the theatrical works into a short film. The documentary, according to Mwine, captures traditional life against modern life. He said during his initial visit two years ago, one of the workshop participants created a bull-mask using a bucket, and other local materials, and a play was scripted and performed.

The short film is quite instructive as it educates the target audience on HIV/AIDS. He gave Showbiz a synopsis of the short film, which captures a distressed bull, complaining that people throw used condoms anywhere and everywhere, thus contaminating his grazing area. The bull goes on to register its displeasure about how HIV/AIDS related deaths also threaten to cut his life short, as he is slaughtered every time there is a funeral.

As a result of too many deaths he does not know when he is going to be slaughtered and fed to mourners.

The bull also recalls that people used to measure their wealth by the number of bulls they had, but now things have changed and wealth is measured in terms of expensive cars like Mercedes Benz. Mwine noted that it has been great working with YOHO, explaining that they did not have a script so he had to do everything from scratch. He noted that the result was a creative and original product.

YOHO, Executive Director Vuyisele Otukile echoed Mwine's sentiments about the quality of the work. He said when they started the short film was supposed to

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be a practical product for participants.

"But the work is amazing and needs to be published," he excitedly said.

He explained that YOHO is putting a lot of effort into the programme because they believe that theatre, is one of the most effective art-forms which can be used in the dissemination of HIV/AIDS related messages.

He noted that through the help of the US Embassy in Gaborone, they managed to export to Botswana an expert in theatre, to come and work with YOHO. The documentary has no title as yet, but YOHO intends to launch it, depending on availability of funds.

Mwine is scheduled to visit four other African countries namely, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Senegal. Mwine has served as Master Artist and guest lecturer at Yale University, University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Virginia. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California's Master of Fine Arts School of Acting. Following a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mwine designed and implemented a practical training programme for theatre artists engaged in HIV/AIDS advocacy, which has been implemented in nearly a dozen countries in Africa.

Mwine's TV acting credits include the upcoming HBO series Treme and recurring roles on Heroes, The Riches, ER, CSI, to name a few. His film acting credits include Blood Diamond and the upcoming feature independent feature 40. Film directing credits include the documentary film Biro and the documentary films Beware of Time, which won Best Film at the Berlin Black International Film Festival.

Mwine's theatre exploits include lead acting roles at the Public Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Kennedy Centre, Lincoln Centre, American Conservatory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and the national tour of "Six Degrees of Separation."

Playwriting credits include Biro, which held premieres in Kampala, Uganda, London, United Kingdom (UK), New York, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nairobi, Kenya, Johannesburg, South Africa, Seattle (US) , Harare, Zimbabwe, Los Angeles (US) and Toronto, Canada.

His photographic work has been exhibited at the Blue Sky Gallery, United Nations (UN), Rush Arts Gallery, Fowler Museum of University of California-Los Angeles, Latino Art Museum, and has featured HBO's Six Feet Under.

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