Uganda Development Theatre Association

To trace the history of UDTA (Uganda Development Theatre Association), one must look at Ndere Troupe. UDTA is a brainchild of Ndere Troupe, when Ndere Troupe was founded in 1984, it had three cardinal goals, namely:

1. To rekindle the sense of self-esteem, pride and confidence among young Ugandans/Africans. By liberating our performing arts from being symbols of evil worship and backwardness to highly respectable and admirable stage art.

2. To foster positive social transformation and human development through the use of functional and innovative culture, i.e. entertainment education.

3. To organize, develop and enable the artistically talented, but socially disadvantaged young people, to break the vicious cycle of poverty and misfortune and realize their full potential.

The Troupe worked diligently on these aims but was always handicapped by financial constraints. In 1992, Ndere Troupe visited Austria under the invitation of the Vienna Institute for Development Co-operation (VIDC) and the avalanche of positive change started rolling.

In 1994 Austria offered the first phase of the grant that has been the blood and oxygen to the entire development of the theatre body in Uganda.

The Troupe was facilitated to take performances to every corner of Uganda, addressing topical issues of concern to different communities; such as health, economic development, education and good governance.

Ndere Troupe soon became a very important household name and was being demanded in all corners of Uganda.

Realizing that they could not satisfy the great demand, the Troupe embarked on a mobilization exercise of local youths, women and other groups. Skills training workshops were carried out and soon, many villages set up groups to partake in Entertainment Education.

In 1997, the Uganda Development Theatre Association (UDTA) was launched to co-ordinate and link up the activities of the different groups from all over the country in their own localities.

Today the association is in 42 districts with a membership of more than 2000 groups. The UDTA groups are engaged in three basic types of activities including:

1. Improving local community living standards by public education and social mobilization.

2. Income generating activities so that each of the group members can earn some money and be a model citizen in the area.

3. Improving the quality and standard of their local music so that they will be able to market it especially, at the Ndere Centre headquarters.