Call for Actresses and Actors

Dilstories is in the pre-production for a TV comedy series, tentatively titled The Love Makanika. We are seeking actors and actresses for the lead roles in this offbeat comedy. We will not hold an open-call audition. Rather, interested persons should send us an email (see details below), and we shall then contact potential candidates to audition. The series will be filmed in Kampala, and so interested persons must be able to travel to, or reside within, this city.

LEAD ROLES
MAGGIE (late twenties, early thirties): She has a bachelor’s degree in commerce, but became a hair dresser on failing to find a job. She works from home. She loves African hairstyles, and wears a big Afro. She likes spending on clothing, cook books and food. Her business is struggling. She becomes a relationship counselor to supplement her income. She has never been in a relationship, following a traumatic event in her teenage years, but she believes she knows a lot about love. Many people seek her advice. Though an honest woman, she ends up being something of a con artist. The advice she gives her clients are sometimes outrageous, out of this world, and sends her clients into hilarious adventures as they struggle to find love, and to hold on to their messy relationships.
What Maggie might look like.
Picture borrowed from http://life-reflexions.blogspot.com/2011/07/inspirational-afro-hair-styles-fashion.html

BITU (mid twenties): She likes her hair natural, and is sometimes bald. She has been Maggie’s employee and friend for many years. She grew up in a small town, until Maggie brought her to the city to braid hair. She dropped out of school because of a pregnancy. Her child lives with her mother upcountry. She is unmarried, but is keen on a village pastor, the father of her child, who she wants to get rich before she can accept to be his wife. She has a sharp tongue, and her witty punchlines put her in trouble. She is flirty, but not promiscuous, many men bring her expensive gifts, but she never gives in to any.

What Bitu might look like.
Picture borrowed from: http://www.goodenoughmother.com/2011/11/ask-rene-my-husband-hates-my-hair/

SUPPORTING ROLES

PASTOR (mid twenties to mid thirties): He comes from a strict religious family. After his father dies, he steps into the helm of the village church. It is a broke church, and he is looking for American sympathizers to inject money into it so he can become rich and marry the love of his wife, Bitu, with whom he has a child. When this money doesn’t come, he wants to leave the church and find a real job, but his mother will not hear of it. He still lives with her and she rules his life.

What might pastor look like? You!

If you would like to be part of this, please send us an email with the following information:
      1)     A professional bio-filmography. No more than  200 words.
      2)     A sample of your work, either as a link to youtube/vimeo, or on DVD.
            Post the DVD to Dilstories, P.O. Box 59, Seeta, Uganda.
      3)    A headshot. Jpg files no larger than 1mb.  
Send the email to productions@dilstories.comwith ACTOR/ACTRESS APPLICATION in the subject line.

Only those who get in touch before 15th April 2014 will be considered for the pilot, the shooting of which is scheduled for the last week of April, in Kampala. Those who get in touch after this date will be considered for roles in future episodes.

For more info about dilstories, please visit http://www.dilstories.com/

Enjoy our hilarious web series on YouTube: The Total Agony of Being in Love

The Total Agony of Being in Love

A few days back, my facebook status read: Dear God, please help me. I want to be funny, but the only jokes I can come up with have either sex or poop in them. I don’t know why I’m fascinated with the two, but I also do not know why they are taboo. It’s something everybody does, and both are vital to human life. Still, they do not seem to be something people want to talk about. Or joke about. So recently, I set out to make a series of funny videos, for distribution via youtube. In this series, I will try very hard to make only clean jokes that can be enjoyed around the family dinner table, in front of your children.

That I called it The Total Agony of Being in Love should tell you where I got inspiration. Love Actually. That film. I loved it when I first watch it, sometime in 2004, and I loved the way they portrayed sex, and relationships, and it made me want to tell funny stories. I believe many stories I’ve come up with were inspired by this film. I have made four episodes of the series, and I plan to make more. Like the title says, the series will revolve around the pains of being in love.

The episode I love the most is When An African Man Cheats. I first heard a similar joke in secondary school, and it made us laugh real hard at that time. It is a man’s joke. I don’t think women will find it funny. Well, I adapted the joke, and added a whole new punchline to it. You can enjoy it below.

The other episodes include this one, Why do Men Make Love. We were one time having a chat, a few mornings ago, and a woman was complaining that her husband only makes love to her when he wants to go to sleep. He uses her as a sleeping pill. I at once thought it’s something worth talking about. I wonder, how many men use women in this way?

One of the first episodes we did was about a Lonely Girl. It is based on a poem by Rashida Namulondo, who won the BN Poetry Prize in 2013. I have had this wild idea for a long time now, of turning poems into videos, the way they make music videos. It’s not an entirely new idea, and several people have already made video poems, but I’m thinking it could be a way to help poets earn cash from their creations.


Well, so there we are. A few videos to give you a great laugh, and you should expect more. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and you won’t be disappointed!

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What I Disliked about Berlin

There is an African proverb that says a child who does not travel thinks his mother is the best cook. Well, a child who travels, and still thinks his mother is the best cook, has a point. I was in South Africa for a couple of weeks in 2008. Loved the place, the people, and have planned to go and live there ever since. I went to South Asia, lived there for two years until 2011. Great people. Colorful culture. Beautiful but violent, painfully ancient and slow to adapt to modern laws of happiness. In the end, I couldn’t wait to get back home. I went to Europe for the first time, earlier this year, stayed in Berlin for about two weeks, and I don’t think I was impressed. No, it’s not a place I would ever want to live in!
I loved the trains, and the beautiful architecture.

I cannot understand why so many Africans give up their lives to go over there. I met a Ugandan who has lived there for about ten years. He went as a student, got lucky and got a German wife, which paved way for him to become a resident. But he said it was also easy to become a resident if you learn the language, and that many people get deported because they fail to speak German. There is a place, which the Ugandans call kiyumba, where they take illegal immigrants to learn the language and culture. If you are in the kiyumba, then you are called a kamwanyi. Kiyumba is a kind of asylum, a place to train immigrants on how to become Germans. This kind of contradicts what I hear about how illegal immigrants are treated over there.

Yet, it’s not really this that made me dislike Berlin. I never encountered immigration problems personally, so I cannot speak much about it. Thing is, the place was too clean, too organized, too systemic, too much like a place for robots to live in. What happened to the dirt and randomness and chaos that makes life fascinating? Too cold! I can’t figure out how people live in such a cold country. I went in February, during winter, and they say it was a warm winter. No snow fell during my stay there. But I still hate coldness. It was much like in Nepal, where I had to wear layers of clothing, where I could not get totally naked. Not even while in bed.
Still, the cold would have been tolerable if the place had the human touch. Well, human beings live there, true, but they have made systems to run their lives so much that they have lost what I call the human touch of living. Only robots can be happy in such an environment. 
 
Riding a bicycle seems a better idea than taking the bus or train.
Take their transport system. One morning, I was at a bus stop. A cold harsh wind was blowing. I thought my face was peeling off. There were about twenty other people, feeling the pain of the gale, and there was a bus right beside us. Idling. A bus with air-conditioning. In it we would have been warm and protected from the wind. But the driver did not open the doors. It was not yet time. Nobody complained. I wanted to shout, to scream at the driver to open the doors, but I kept mum because the others waited patiently, braving the cold, until the scheduled time reached. Fifteen effing minutes we spent there in the cold, and this bus guy sat in the warmth, looking at us as though we were — I don’t know what he thought we were. Polar bears?
Waiting for the bus.

I can’t imagine what it is like in the full terror of winter, with snow falling, or rain, and the bus guy refuses to let people in simply because it’s not yet time! Why couldn’t he let us wait from inside the bus, until it is time to drive off?

Then, just as he set off, a woman came hurrying towards the stop, pushing a pram with a baby in it. She waved, frantically, pleading for the bus to wait. Maybe she was shouting, but we could not hear her voice. The driver saw her, yet he had no expression on his face as he stepped on the gas and sped away. He could not wait a few seconds for the woman and her baby, for then it would mean effing up his schedule, ruining the system. Now the woman had to stand in the cold for another twenty minutes for the next bus.

I wondered how far the mother and her baby had come. Though Berlin seems to have systems to care for disadvantaged people, the insistence that buses and trains only stop at designated spots is a nightmare. If your home is a mile from the bus stop, and you have a baby, or a physical disability, you are screwed. The two weeks I spent there, I was limping most of the time, for I had to walk, walk, walk, and it was such a strain. If they do want to help physically disadvantaged people, then they should go beyond making buildings and vehicles easily accessible. They should make public transport be able to stop wherever such a person wants to jump out of. Like in Uganda, and most of Africa, where you simply tell the driver ‘maso awo’, even though there is no stage, and the bus will stop.

Anti-Nazi grafitti and stickers, run by http://www.antifa.de/, litter the streets.
This sadly means there is still Nazism and racism.

I thought this impersonal thing was only in the systems, but even the people have lost a sense of comradeship. If you do not have a phone with GPS, or if you are like me who cannot read maps because all my life I have had to rely on asking locals for directions, and you get lost, you are screwed. I was going to a party. After a lot of trouble, I eventually found the train that would take me to the place. On reaching, I couldn’t find the street. It was dark, eight o’clock. I asked a woman for directions. ‘Oh,’ she said, with a big smile, ‘you are going to F_strasse? Just go down this way, turn left, and there you are.’ I went down the way she pointed, turned left, and I was not in F_strasse. I asked another person, and she gave me directions again, which I followed religiously, only to find that she too had sent me to a totally wrong place. I was lost. They made me walk around in circles for over an hour, with each person I ask claiming to know the place, and then giving me totally wrong directions.

At one point, I was angry and frustrated, and thinking of going back to my hotel, and then I approached a man, who ran away from me, screaming, ‘No money! I have no money! I’m just a German! I have no money!’ What the f**k was that about? He probably thought I was a beggar, or that I wanted to mug him.

Finally, I met an old man. I asked him if he knew F_strasse (I can’t remember how the name is written), and he told me why I had walked around in circles all night. ‘Don’t you have a phone with GPS?’ I did not. He had a map in his pockets. An ‘analog map’, as he called it, and he was kind enough to stand with me for nearly ten minutes until we figured out how I could reach the street I was going to.

As I made my way to the party, already tired and pissed off, I kept wondering why those people (six of them) gave me totally wrong directions. Did they do it deliberately? Why? Did they just not know their own neighborhood?

I could not help but compare it to a time I got lost in Nepal. When I asked for directions, I ended up in a conversation with the locals. They wanted to know my name, where I came from, what I was doing in Nepal, whose house I was going to, what I had for lunch – and I got to know about them and their families. In Uganda too. You get lost, the locals will give you all the directions you need, and if they do not know, they will tell you so. Sometimes, they will offer to escort you right up to the door you are searching. Asking for directions is an opportunity to socialize, a chance for the traveler and the local to get to know a bit about each other. But apparently not in Berlin.

The trains really fascinated me.

I must say that after that terrible experience, I had much nicer encounters with Germans. A woman saw me at a bus stop, reading the information board, and she asked if I needed help. I said yes, and she did help. Another man saw me puzzling over a map, and he offered help without me asking. It happened more than twice, but the first experience was deeply etched in my head. I never asked for directions again. I instead tried my best to learn how to read maps. One time, I was going to the Neue Synagogue from the Berliner Dome. It was just around the corner, but because I did not trust them anymore, and decided to use the map, I found myself taking two trains and a bus. Its only when I reached the Synagogue and recognized the buildings around the Dome in the nearby distance, only then did I realize what a dork I had become.

Other than the inhuman systems, and the inability to socialize with strangers, the impersonal relationships, the place is bloody expensive. It costs one euro to take a pee! That’s the price of a cup of Turkish tea at the Donner Kebab place I frequented. That’s the price of a decent meal in Kampala. A French woman who now lives there says she makes sure she goes to the toilet before leaving her home, otherwise she won’t be able to afford peeing in the public toilets. 
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