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Bashir’s magic behind the camera has created stars

Soft-spoken and shy, at first sight one may not believe that Bashir Lukyamuzi is the brains behind an impressive array of music videos such as Super Power, Talk n Talk, Ayokyayokya, and more.

Born 28 years ago in Kabale in a family of 15 children, to a Muganda father, Mohammed Bunaku and a Munyakore mother who passed away when he was still a toddler, Bashir spent most of his childhood in the village with his grandparents. His family moved to Kampala in the late 1990s, and Bashir joined Nnaabagereka Primary School and later, Noah’s Ark Secondary School.

On completion, his chances to join any tertiary institution hit a snag due to lack of fees. This is when opportunity knocked for him to try out what he loved most – motion picture production. He joined VCL studios, the production house behind The Ebonies, where he got hands-on experience behind the camera, learning to edit, make storylines for screen plays, and more.

He quit after two years and in 2007 joined Nnyonjo Studios as a producer/editor, where he broke out with videos like Bw’akukuula, Muwe, for ToolMan Kibalama, and many for other artistes. After two years, he left Nnyojo Studios to start his own BADI Films in 2009, a name that borrows the first two letters from his name and last two, from his girlfriend’s – Diana. Diana, however, owns no shares in the now turbo-charged production house. The name BADI simply worked and stuck.

And now, each new day is simply a challenge to put up something new in the growing but competitive industry with other young men who are progressing simultaneously. Nevertheless, Bashir still ranks above them all, except for one: Donald “Deddac” Mugisha whom he refers to as the only god in local video making.

Bashir is the Channel O Ugandan representative and the director of photography on the local scene for the South Africa-based music TV channel. He has already shot a number of programmes such as Off the Record, Introducing Keko and Lifestyle Uganda for the channel.

The list of music videos under his brand that have made it to MTV Base and Channel O is impressive: Where You Are and Bad Girl by Blu 3, Talk n Talk by Goodlyfe, In the Air by Angella Katatumba, and the award-winning This is How We Do It rmx by Keko, Follow by Michael Ross and others. Unlike his peers, Bashir’s studios don’t come cheap.

His rates for making a music video range between Shs 2m and 4m, to ensure quality and standard. In fact, Talk n Talk which cost the Goodlyfe boys (Mowzey Radio and Weasel) more than Shs 9m, wowed critics and traversed boundaries. That’s the kind of work he wants to do but few local artistes are willing to spend that much on their videos.

“They never consider that people elsewhere are also interested and in the end, they lose out since their videos lose quality easily,” Bashir said.

This guy is also the name and hand behind Jose Chameleone’s Valu Valu, Nkwagala Nnyo, Basiima Ogenze and Vumilia; the Goodlyfe’s Dudu, Lwaki Tokula and Mukama; Cindy’s Party, Mungu Bw’asalawo and Number One, as well as Eddie Kenzo’s Kaserengeto, among others.

“My videos are defined by their quality that you will hardly find anywhere else here. Each video is unique and speaks for itself,” he maintains.

In comparison to his Nigerian counterparts whose productions have crossed to America and Europe, Bashir is concerned that local artistes still make their videos for only Ugandan fans. Now Bashir is venturing into movie production and plans to shoot his first movie later this year.


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