Wilson Egessa Okwenje – 7 years and growing as a Film Actor in Uganda

Thiru NOctober 30, 20157min50

Since 2009 Wilson Egessa Okwenje has been profession driven as an actor in the Ugandan film industry under Maisha Film Lab.

His first movie was a short film, known as “The Pardon”, a story of a genocide survivor who is the writer and director of Imbabazi. “The Pardon” – short film produced and shot in Rwanda, is about Karemera the character whose family had been butchered during the tribal conflict of the Hutu against the Tutsi. In the movie Wilson acted as Karemera and the short film really did tremendously well around the world, winning awards such as best short movie in the Silicon Valley African Film Festival.

Winning that award has resulted in him being very grateful and giving thanks to his first director, Joel Karekezi from Rwanda who also directed Wilson in the feature film “Imbabazi The Pardon” – Watch trailer here.

The Pardon - Imbabazi - KAREKEZI Joel

Why did you choose the film industry/how did you get into the industry?
I chose film/movies to tell stories that inform and educate people so as to change and improve their lives in the world. I joined the film industry through Maisha Film Lab workshops and that’s how I managed to act in my very first short movie known as The Pardon – Watch trailer here.

How old are you and how long have you been in the film industry?
I am 30years old and have spent 7years acting in the movie industry in Uganda.

What work did you do before working as an actor?
I was a marketing intern at Bayimba Cultural Foundation and also worked at Warid Telecom as a production person in Uganda. And yes they have been paying my bills as an actor. Also been doing chicken poultry farming.

Who is your inspiration/role model?
My inspirational person is my reverend Pastor Chris Oyakilome Phd.

Who was/is your favourite director to work with and why?
Joel karekezi is my favourite and first director, because he would always keep informing me about the behaviours of the character so as to maintain the character till the shoot is done, and he is so open to new ideas.

Do you have any advice for upcoming actors?
To all actors and actresses believe in yourself because it starts with you, and also remember there is always room for learning and development. In other words have a listening ear to criticism and then learn to change. And also to better yourself watch movies that have won Oscars Academy Awards so as you may be able to learn different skills and abilities done by the different actors in the award winning movies, this will help you improve your acting game.

What is your future plans?
My future plans, is to work with all movie directors and scriptwriters around Africa and the rest of the world and then WIN at the OSCARS and GOLDEN GLOBES.

Early in his career Wilson Egessa Okwenje acted in a number of movies such as;

1. A Good Catholic Girl – Watch short film here

2. Karemera – The Pardon Short Film – Watch trailer here 

3. Karemera – Imbabazi The Pardon Feature Film – Watch trailer here 

In later years, the talented actor worked on a number of movies such as Nico The donkey (Character – Reverend) a Raising Voices Project, The Test – short film (Character – Friend), The Hostel – television series (Character – Lawyer), Bye Bye Mzungu (Character – Bar Tender), and he also acted as a Prison Inmate in State Research Bureau (S.R.B) under the guidance and direction of Matt Bish – Watch trailer here.


Since the start of his career in 2009 Wilson Egessa Okwenje acknowledges that he has learnt and acquired vast knowledge from all the directors he worked with in Uganda and is grateful for that.

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