Spotlight on the Pearl started as an idea of documenting the different folklore in Uganda which included stories, myths, superstitious beliefs, proverbs, and riddles. However, when Joanita and Wahab started planning the filming, they realized there was a huge information gap that was beyond folklore. There was almost no information (written or recorded) of the various traditional practices of the diverse tribes in Uganda that made them uniquely stand out and that united them.
From this realization, the team set out to create a whole documentary series on the diverse Uganda cultures. From July to October 2017, the team traveled to 17 districts in Uganda interviewing, filming, taking photos and getting in touch with the cultural aspects of 10 specific tribes.
The end result was the first screening of the first 3 finished episodes of the documentary series that was done first in Uganda to the participants that were interviewed, and then other screenings ensured not only in Uganda but in Germany too. The 3 finished episodes are 30 minutes each and focus on the topics of courtship, marriage, music and dance, initiation rituals, dressing, belief in the supernatural, communal living, food, herbal medicine, taboos, to mention but a few.
This documentary series is to help people understand why Ugandans on a cultural level practice certain practices or adhere to some customs and norms. It explains the collective identity people have under a uniting structure like a clan or tribe, but it in no way explains Ugandans on an individual basis. To a person on an individual level, one has to cultivate a personal relationship instead of falling back to stereotypes. This series will in turn help explain the way certain stereotypes are formed about Ugandans from various cultural backgrounds and how they take root much as they could hold some truth or none at all.
With 3 episodes done, we expect to have the remaining 6 episodes done in the next 5 years.