We started with some exciting news from last weekend: Zambia’s Zikomo Award Nominations opened on Sunday, October 21st. Several stalwarts were nominated in various artistic categories, including Nathan Henry Katongole, the winner of the Best Actor Award at the Uganda Film Festival 2023.

Both actors and creatives often face challenging times on and off set as they undergo various experiences to develop their craft, themselves, and fit into a growing industry where circumstances can be challenging.

I took the time to speak to Katongole to discuss his acting journey and understand what this award nomination means to him:

Is this your first time being nominated for this award?

Zikomo is my first nomination and my first appearance in these awards.

How does it feel to be nominated?

It feels great to be recognized and nominated. I am hopeful for better opportunities.

Why do you think being an actor is great?

Being an actor is great because it allows you to immerse yourself in many life experiences, both those you have encountered and those you have no idea about.

What challenges do you face as an actor?

I face many challenges that I can’t specifically break down, but to mention a few: the system structure excludes many benefits from me as a creative, limiting my creativity.

The people involved in the system, such as directors, producers, and fellow actors, can be challenging in ways that affect my performance and delivery, beyond just creating a character.

Additionally, the distribution structure for content is a problem, as productions are made but have nowhere to go, limiting their presence. Lastly, resources often go to waste.

Do you think awards show your commitment to performance?

Partially, awards show my commitment to performance, but to a limited extent.

Nathan Henry Katongole’s ability to consistently deliver has been recognized by the Uganda Film Festival, where he won the Actor of the Year award in 2023 and received other nominations, including Supporting Actor at the Bayelsa International Film Festival in Nigeria.

With a wealth of experience in the industry, Katongole has appeared in several films, television shows, and theater productions, including The Passenger, The Village Champion, Where We Belong, Dream America, Kyaddala, The Kojja, Merchant of Venice, and Return of Mgofu, to name a few.

Nathan is nominated in the same category as South Africa’s Thapoelo Mokoena and Ghana’s Chris Attoh, among others. Other nominees from Uganda include Mathew Nabwiso, Tracy Kabibito, and Michael Wawujo Junior. The Zikomo Awards celebrate excellence in Zambian music, film, television, and theater.

Held annually since 2018, the Zikomo Awards (meaning “thank you”) recognize outstanding artists and productions within the African continent. The awards ceremony provides a platform for showcasing African talent on a national stage.

Please support Nathan and others in this category by voting for Uganda using this link: https://vote.zikomoawards.com/ 

Azadi is an Actress, Writer, and Commentator based in Kampala, Uganda. She is interested in film and culture within the Ugandan and African context.

Leave a comment