Patricia Kigula: Behind The Scenes of Ugandan Webseries, Black, No Sugar
Ugandan hit web-series, Black No Sugar, just posted the final episode of this season. The show seeks to reach audiences through conscious, inclusive and balanced conversations for a majority youth audience. In just 2 seasons so far with 10 episodes each, the show has covered topics from mental health to activism; sex to colorism, religion to finances; all of which feature womxn show guests. Now in its 2nd year, Black No Sugar has over 500 YouTube views per episode.
The show features 3 womxn hosts: Yvonne, Elizabeth and Joanitah; each of whom have distinct personalities and bring a unique aspect to the show and resonates with a particular section of the audience. She wanted to have an not-so-conscious outsider’s view represented on the show – an aspect that one of the hosts captures. The second host is vulnerable and unscripted, while the other is more collected and moderate enough to be the middle ground of these two and balance the conversation out.
Creator and Executive Producer of this conscious raising video production is Patricia Kigula. Fresh out of an old job at a TV station, she is quickly getting familiar with her new one doing programs work in a civil society organisation – one she says is a whole new ball game, one she is prepared to take on nonetheless. It’s a breath of fresh air too because three-quaters of staff are womxn,” she adds. Patricia began the year attending a Media Fellowship in Indonesia for which she was selected as a result of Black No Sugar. Now preparing to develop conversation ideas for Season 3, Patricia does not appear to be hitting the brakes any time soon.
So what inspired a young womxn at the helm of a newsroom’s digital communications department to start personally curating conversations on social issues? “I often interfaced with digital feedback from young people on what needed to change. Women and young people were demanding that conversations and news stories be more inclusive and cutting edge, which I didn’t see happening.” Patricia pitched the idea to the television station management but felt that they were reluctant to take it one. “So when they slept on the job, I just decided to do it myself. I reached out to 3 womxn to host and contacted 8 Media (the video production team of Black, No Sugar) all of whom were happy to get on board.
An Information Technology graduate who loves to read and write, Patricia found a way to merge her education degree with her interests which she says led her to digital communications. But it is working in a media house that from observation and interaction equipped her with video content production, the skills with which she now executive produces Black, No Sugar. How she does it? “Media is about reinventing and being disruptive, but most importantly paying attention to your audience.”
Her idea of a good time? “A good book and wine.” Patricia reads to get a peek into people’s minds and worlds. “There are so many things I know because I have read about it. And there are some writers who articulate what I have been feeling all along – that’s a big part of why I keep reading.” She adds that sometimes she will go to the cinema and watch a 10 am movie by herself. “I am mostly a loner but sometimes I will get my dose of humans – my tribe.”
Patricia says she set out for the conversations on Black, No Sugar to be deliberate on inclusion – ethnic, sexual orientation, character and level even profession. She still hopes that a television station can take the show on as part of their digital platforms content. Something she believes would increase visibility and awareness to the conversations held. The show does not have enough funding yet – a challenge she says is the most pressing at the moment. She is confident that audiences are learning from the show and hopes that it improves their consciousness towards social issues.