People Profiles: Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare
Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare.

People Profiles: Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare


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By Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare via UMC
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First published: February 17, 2006


My name is Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare. I am 41 years old. I teach Drama and Folklore at the Music Dance and Drama (MDD) Department, Makerere University, Kampala, in Uganda.

I hold a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) from Makerere University, with professional training in theatre marketing, folklore, dramaturgy, and criticism. I love to do research, creative writing in particular dramatic writing, folklore (ethnic art), photography, and computer design.

In the areas of pedagogy, I have worked with community theatre artists and young people in Kampala to produce a documentary film, Dustbin Nations (2000), also published in play form in 2002. A play, The Chief of Shumankuzi (or The Corrupt Chief of the Village), that came out in 2001, was a result of a theatre awareness and circus theatre exchange between Uganda and Ethiopia involving children with disabilities the blind, lame, deaf and dumb - organized under UNC, the Uganda National Chapter of EATI (Eastern Africa Theatre Institute). EATI is a regional body bringing together theatre artists and organisations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The staging of my political play, Lady, Will You Marry Me? (2002) in March 2002 at the National Theatre, Kampala, coincided with the terse campaign of the countrys then Vice President, Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, against domestic violence. Dr. Wandira Kazibwe testified publicly to having suffered the abuse from her husband for many years. Domestic violence forms the sub-plot of Lady, Will You Marry Me?

I am among the founders of the Uganda Theatre Network (UTN) that hosts UNC. I was the first Chairperson of the Board of UNC and EATI in 2000-2002.

I am also involved with other community service clubs and organizations like the Lions Club of Kampala Central where I am the Volunteer Editor of the Club Bulletin and Club Secretary for the Lionistic Year 2005/2006; and the Youth and Women Clubs Network (YWCN), an association where we use theatre for sensitization towards poverty alleviation and economic sustainability among the youth and women especially those outside formal/regular employment.

Mercy at the equator
Mercy at the equator.


Artistic and Creative Background
My first inspirations in creative writing came from my parents, who were always reading or writing something in the evenings, even in their retirement (they are former primary school teachers). At an early age, I picked great interest in musical instruments, especially the xylophone and the tube-fiddle, and came to possess my own sets at home through my fathers encouragement and the kind assistance of my paternal uncle, Mr. Yowasi Byarakagamba. This was a special achievement at that time when, culturally, girls were not expected or encouraged to go into performing arts because it is assumed performing artists have loose morals! Later, as a pupil at Kyeizooba Girls Primary School, I joined the school choir, where I advanced my interest in the performing arts.

I picked interest in languages and writing when I met a teacher of French, Ms. Dora Mucokoori, now Mrs. Kibende, at Bweranyangi Girls Senior Secondary School, where I did my Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificates in 1978-1984. I then went on to Makerere University Kampala, where I was inspired to do playwriting and folklore by my teachers in Drama and Dance. At Makerere University, I also interacted with many other acclaimed dramatists and theatre artists during and after my course. The plays of Byron Kawadwa and Robert Serumaga, like The Song of Wankoko, A Play, and Majangwa, George Owell's Animal Farm, and (Ugandan) Folklore, have all had a big influence on my current dramatic style.

Among my stated hobbies are writing, research, photography, singing, gardening, and cooking.

 Mercy and her husband at Bujagali falls at Jinja
Mercy and her husband at Bujagali falls at Jinja.

I am happily married to Mr. John Bosco Ntangaare.

By Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare via UMC
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First published: February 17, 2006
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Please send profiles and photos to letters@ugatechusa.net for review and publication.