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A Chat With Cleopatra

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A Chat With Cleopatra

Cleopatra Koheirwe is an artist of all trades. From acting in Mnet’s ‘Changes’, to having a couple popular songs to her name, to being a writer and poet – she seems to do it all! We sat down with her to learn her secret of success…What was your childhood like?

My life as a young child was fun and amazing! I was a shy kid but one who easily made friends. I feared getting into trouble and always tried to do the right thing. Any time I did anything naughty I got punished for it so I learned to be more honest than I really should be.

What is your greatest weakness?

I think I am too nice to people and sometimes they take advantage of that.

Have you always wanted to be a musician and an actress?

Yes! As a child, I used to sing and dance at home. I acted parts from movies like Coming to America, Cartoons like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast—and my mom told me, “You will be a big star one day!” Well, I guess she wasn’t too far from the truth. I’ve done all this so far in my life: dancing, singing, acting, and writing. I thank God for all my talents and making it possible for me to explore them.

What has been our biggest break to date?

When I joined Namasagali College, I nurtured my talents and with that came exposure at the National Theatre where the school play productions were shown. That is where I was spotted by the Obsessions and was asked to join in 1999 but didn’t till 2001 after I had started University. With the Obsessions dance group, I grew more as an artist, performing in front of crowds. This boosted my confidence and self-esteem. I ended up working for WBS Television in 2005 to April 2008, Capital Radio as a guest presenter with Hakeem Saga on the everyday afternoon show in 2006 and so on. Everything I ever wanted to do was coming my way and it is because I was in the spotlight. People watch me talk in interviews and next thing I know, they ask me to present or host something for them.

But my biggest break, especially in film, and as an actress, was when I was given a role as Joy in The Last King of Scotland in 2006. That started my film career. In 2008, I auditioned and was given a supporting role as Nanziri in the new East African series called Changes. In August 2009, I acted my first lead role in a movie directed by Deddac/Yes That’s Us, a Ugandan production company working with Switch Media, a South African company. It was a challenge as I had to play a twin, so I was acting two roles but it was worth it.

What is your most memorable moment?

My 12th birthday! That day stays imprinted in my mind because that would be the last birthday I would ever celebrate with my mother.

Who is your role model?

My mother! I loved her smile, the way she talked and laughed and her hardworking spirit. I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She had a loving and kind heart.

If you were to go back in time, what one thing would you do?

I would spend my 1995 Christmas holidays and my 13th birthday in 1996 with my mom.

How do you do it all?

I have learned to find balance in my life. I take one step at a time and do not take up too many offers at one go.

What would be your final word?

Be glad for each new day.

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