Sam Bagenda, who many know as Dr. Bbosa for his role in The Ebonies, is also one of the directors of the popular Ugandan drama group. The Ebonies has graced the local television screens since its formation in 1977, and its popularity in Uganda, as well as in East Africa, has never seemed to trip even a bit. Many of you will easily relate to these series: That’s Life, Mwattu!, These Things Happen! Bibaawo, Kitobeero, Ala Carte and That’s it, Kyekyo. The Ebonies’ stuff is no doubt vibrant and fresh. Well, armed with a notebook and a pen, New Vision’s GLORIAS MUSIIME caught up with the ever-vibrant Bagenda and asked him a few questions.
You have spent over 20 years with The Ebonies and yet you do not look a day older. How do you pull it off?
Everybody tells me that. Sometimes it confuses me too. I think it is because I am happy all the time. I have no time to bear grudges and pay attention to those who want to stress me. I spend most of my time laughing and cracking jokes and that is how I have managed to maintain my looks.
How does it feel living in the limelight?
I am down-to-earth. I don’t beef anyone and since I started acting, I have not taken sides or played between parties. All I do is entertain people and that is how I have gained respect.
Family life and life on stage (acting), which is better?
Ohhhh. I know my work life is crazy, but since I was nurtured by Christian parents, I handle the two lives well and make sure I don’t leave any side complaining. I love both.
You look younger than before, can you reveal your actual age?
I honestly have no good answer for you. But since we are in a swaggariffic world, then I also have swagg. But I am a mature man.
How many children do you have?
In Buganda, the man should never count his children, I have a whole tribe.
Don’t your children feel embarrassed when they see you acting provocatively on stage?
They have never told me how they feel about my actions, but what I know is that they are supportive. Sometimes, they sit me down and offer bits of advice, criticism, and make suggestions on what to do because they know it is how I earn my livelihood.
How about your wife?
My wife is supportive of my actions. There have been times when I have thought of my actions and how she would take them, but she instead urges me on.
How is she anyway?
I guess she is fine because I have spent some time without her. She left for China to shop. She has a boutique and usually gets her supplies in China. Besides the shop, she has a job at Top Television. I do miss her and I can’t wait for her to return. So in the meantime I occupy my time with my work.
How is Fauzia? Is it true you father her child?
Lies, lies. She is just a workmate.
You act [role] as a player [promiscuous guy], have you ever cheated on your wife?
My wife! No, I have never cheated on her.
And what if you got her cheating?
I first investigate the reasons that led to the action. Thereafter, I formulate a way forward.
How do you deal with your fans who throw themselves at you?
Yes, they call me some times, but I stick to my word because if I fail to deal with them, then I will lose a lot, their respect inclusive.
What’s your life like off the stage?
I am a responsible dad and husband, although I rarely get time for my family. But once I get an opportunity, I give them quality time, to try and make up for the time I am away.
We [entertainers] have no retirement age because we exercise, feel happy and entertain people. Entertainment has no retirement age.
Would you wish for your grandchildren to see you acting the way you do?
I do not mind them seeing me this way. Actually it would be great – because I think they would enjoy my jokes and would know that their grandfather is popular.
At your age, how come you have a young wife?
I don’t know. It is God’s plan.
Have you tied the knot?
We’ve just introduced. I am taking time for the wedding because it’s a long journey.
What happened to your first wife?
I can say I never had a wife because this is the first woman to introduce me. I consider her as my wife. I have several children with different mothers so I wasn’t married.
Do you still have emotional attachment to those women?
No, they are all married now and I respect their relationships.
What do you love about your wife?
She is wholesomely pretty and she understands me. She is also my counselor.
Would you act in an adult movie?
No, I have never dreamt of taking part in one.