Pride Performers Take On Corrupt Hospitals

Pride performers not only entertain but also educate theatre lovers with their new play Bikambagga (Luganda for “things have gone bittersour”).

The play, first showcased at the National theatre during the Easter holiday, tackles corruption, illegal abortion, mistreatment of workers, negligence, and theft of supplies in the health sector.

Bikambagga, a government-owned hospital, dwindles to rot under the care of Dr Bingo, the corrupt superintendent who starts a policy that requires patients to pay 70 per cent of the hospital charges before being attended to.

Those not badly off pay 50 per cent.

This brings Dr Kalema and his fianceacutee, nurse Georgia, under direct confrontation with Bingo and Magezi, a greedy and unethical nurse. Kalema and Georgia vow not to take part in the illegal deeds. Drama unfolds when Bingo’s wife dies due to the policy he perpetrates.

He makes his biggest mistake when in outrage he kills Georgia after she calls him out on his evil deeds. This triggers police investigations, which lead to his and other staff’s arrest.

The playwright Dan Ssebuufu’s inclusion of Otakwo, a mentally-unstable patient (played by himself) was a nice move for it provides the comic effect to the play. Williams Otako and Felix Bwanika Baale from The Foursum comedy group also star in the play.

Their comedy is on point as usual. Otako, who acts as an irritable Musoga man who keeps coming to the hospital complaining about missing dead bodies, is extremely funny.

Acting as Dr Kalema, Alex Ssebuufu won the audience’s admiration and sympathy for his g will and determination to stick to the code of ethics. Hamis Nkumba’s depiction of a womanizing, corrupt and malicious Dr Bingo is also commendable. His well-tailored suits and sharp-pointed shoes were an added plus.

It is ironic to discover at the end that Otakwo and the irritable Musoga (whose name is never mentioned) are actually undercover police agents. Dan Ssebuufu says that in writing the play, he hoped to show the kind of rot in our hospitals and also call upon civil servants to be more professional.

Source : The Observer


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