It was a common question among enthusiasts, were the theatre renovations only for the East African Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni Festival (Jamafest) that was hosted by Uganda from September 7-14.
Much as the management of the Uganda National Cultural Center (UNCC) said otherwise, the doubters were yet to be convinced.
The common story as per the management was that theatre renovations were stopping temporarily for both Jamafest and Bayimba International Festival that had booked earlier.
A month after the two events left the premises, there is no sign that renovations will be happening again – in fact, theatre is fast operating normally again with bookings and shows being staged.
For instance, just last weekend, the venue hosted the annual Unseen Festival for people with disabilities and shortly after that, the weekly comedy show by Fun Factory announced its return.
This has seen other weekly and monthly programmes like Uganda Cinema Night too return getting many believe their sentiments were right all along.
Making matters worse, there are also complaints of some of the renovated parts of the building already falling apart, some people have complained about one of the toilets at the men’s side having issues while visibly, and the painting near the dustbin in the foyer has been peeling off for weeks.
However, Robert Musiitwa, the publicist UNCC says that there’s nothing to worry theatre lovers; “the process of renovating the place is still on.”
Musiitwa says that the reason for pausing renovations was because some of the materials they need to use are yet to be imported; “That’s why the work has paused at the moment.”
He also noted that since it is their desire to see the UNCC active that’s why they chose to invite weekly and monthly programmes back than have the place redundant.
About the quality of renovations, Musiitwa says that the ministry of works is in charge of inspecting the works and was thus sure they will make the right decisions if they prove that the renovations have note been up to standard.
After months of speculations, the renovations of the UNCC were started at a low note at the end of August, almost two months later than the time they had communicated to start work and unceremoniously stopped at the beginning of September.