Not all Ugandan TV productions have had the best of receptions from viewers.
Remember 2014’s Beneath The Lies premiere at Acacia mall’s Century Cinemax, then the second coming of NTV’s once-popular drama Hostel and of late, Second Chance.
Last Thursday was a different story, though; NTV found redemption in a European Union and Media Focus on Africa production, Yat Madit. The show premiered on NTV at 8pm for the public, but for the cast, crew and a few invited guests, there was a cocktail and a two-episode viewing at the Sheraton hotel’s Victoria hall in Kampala.
Addressing the press, Cedric Morel, head of Economic Growth at the EU, noted this is their first time on such a project and with the strides the local film industry is making, they feel arts are serious business and deserve a share of the market. He said in Europe, while many sectors suffered during the global economic meltdown, the creative arts thrived.
“Uganda has a fantastic potential for development within this sector, mixing culture, art and business,” he said, adding the EU would like to support more Ugandan productions and their distribution in Europe and Africa.
Yat Madit is a story of a community that has gone through turbulent times and is forging a life again. The title Yat Madit means ‘a big tree’; it is under this tree that the community meets to discuss and solve problems.
Yat Madit is truly a Ugandan story about people that have gone through a tough time and it is exciting seeing Patricia Achiro Olwoch bring their message of reconciliation together without making it preachy.
The show balances the message and entertainment, making it simple to hook the audience. The witty one-liners make this NTV show one to look out for. But it is the acting by some characters that takes the day; Rehema Nanfuka brings her experience to make her character very noticeable. She is natural.
Many also concur that Michael Wawuyo Jr carried the first two episodes; he embodies his Opio character and makes him believable in mannerism, costume, speech and feel.
When he dropped some Acholi lines, they sounded authentic compared to some that showed they were learning a new language. The show has a bulk of talent, which continues to reinstate a fact that the industry if well-funded, has a future; from Nisha Kalema, Gladys Oyenbot, Kevin Mugisha to William Otako, the cast is commendable.
The show landed safely compared to NTV’s previous premiere of Second Chance. It is a brilliant story whose biggest shortcoming is lack of suspense and cliffhangers, but it is still head and shoulders above what local TV has offered in the past.