About The Speaker
Ssentumbwe Norman Kabuuza is a creative writer. An alumnus of the Department of Performing Arts, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Film, Makerere University, and has been mentored by Tebere Arts Foundation in the annual Emerging Artists Intensive Lab. He has worked with award winning poet, actress and theatre director, Rashida Namulondo under the Sophie Muwanika Institute of Art for Change, a non-profit organization using theatre as a means to dealing with trauma. He went on […]
Ssentumbwe Norman Kabuuza is a creative writer. An alumnus of the Department of Performing Arts, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Film, Makerere University, and has been mentored by Tebere Arts Foundation in the annual Emerging Artists Intensive Lab.
He has worked with award winning poet, actress and theatre director, Rashida Namulondo
under the Sophie Muwanika Institute of Art for Change, a non-profit organization using theatre
as a means to dealing with trauma.
He went on to become Production Assistant for her Solo Show, “Withdraw”, directed by Adong
Judith in 2018.
He is interested in stories of identity and place.
A one-act play synopsis by Ssentumbwe Norman Kabuuza
When an important man dies in a secret brothel in post-war Kampala, its astute matriarch
works to maintain business in the face of impending justice.
Sunbird, the seductive but cunning madam of the secret brothel, Butterfly Wings, has blood
on her hands. A man of important stature dies of stabbing in her house and his body set
ablaze in a faraway forest. Certain of the finality of the job—no traces left behind
whatsoever—she carries on with business until her right hand man Abbas, delivers bad news.
The police have identified the remains. They know it was murder, and have clues to the
culprits. Worse, he is being followed by a strange car. Abbas suggests they pack up and flee.
But Sunbird is adamant.
Finally convinced of the validity of Abbas’ claims, Sunbird decides to close business and
change location. First, she must find a good buyer for the house. Her girls object. Sunbird is
resolute. She knows who to contact. But her paternal Aunt Mbekeka has different plans. She
demands that Sunbird surrenders the title deed to the house because it belonged to her late
brother, and he would never have willingly given to her mother, who also happened to be a
prostitute. Mbekeka threatens her non-compliance with involving the police, the last thing
Cornered, she devises a different plan and carries on with business. She makes phone calls
to prospective clients, attempts to rekindle a relationship with past ones. She needs all the
money she can make. A few days later a new client, Jacob, arrives. He is the perfect beau
and a charming image of masculinity. Sunbird is smitten, but does well in masking the
blossoming affection. Sugar, half-sister to Sunbird and one of her girls, takes a liking to him
A day later, Abbas returns to tell Sunbird he is no longer being followed. He believes it’s a
trick and they shouldn’t let their guard down. Jacob and Abbas finally meet, but the two don’t
see eye to eye. Abbas warns Sunbird about Jacob. He might be trouble. But to Sunbird, this
is testosterone jealously. She has always quietly known of Abbas’ feelings for her. He is just
not her grade.
Sugar confronts Sunbird for duping them out of their hard-earned money. Sunbird threatens
throwing her out owing to her extravagant lifestyle. Sensing she is heading nowhere with this;
Sugar delivers her ultimate by reminding Sunbird how the dead man raped her. A scuffle
ensues. Sugar is hurt. Mbekeka returns to finish what she started. Jacob walks in on the
commotion and it is revealed he was an undercover agent after all. Abbas is arrested, and
Sunbird wanted at the police station. But Nadia, one of Sunbird’s mentally distraught girls
draws a gun and commits suicide.