Sam Bagenda aka Dr. Bbosa: The Larger Than Life Character

To this day, he is known to many as Dr. Bbosa from a household drama series, The Ebonies.  Sam Bagenda’s character however came to life with the on-screen drama ‘That’s Life Mwattu.’ Several people including his family members, have jumped onto the appellation of Dr. Bbosa.

Sam Bagenda an actor, producer and director started his career by dramatizing musical performances in church. He later rose to fame when he joined the Ebonies as a singer that landed him his first role in ‘The Dollar’ as a priest.

Bagenda graduated with a degree in commerce, while he was contemplating a career in accounting. According to the sensational actor, Jimmy Katumba and JW Katende approached him to join the Ebonies as a singer after seeing his performance in the dramatized musicals in church. He narrates that, “I realized that accounting was already rich whereas entertainment was merely virgin at the time, therefore I put accounting aside, convinced my parents to let me explore stage drama full-time. I am glad it has paid off.”

Thirty-six years down the road, Bagenda remains a household name in most Ugandan homesteads with his most recent show, ‘Urban Life’ that airs on Pearl Magic Prime from Monday to Friday at 7:30pm as Ojili a hostel warden.

When asked on what particular drama launched his acting career, Bagenda declares, ‘That’s Life Mwattu’ was the foundation of his great career in film and the onset of the name Dr. Bbosa that has stuck with him to this day. He goes ahead to elucidate on the different scenarios he has had to experience with the name.

“A few people know my real names, most of them know Dr. Bbosa. It even goes as far as my relatives, they have grown comfortable to calling me by the nickname.”  Bagenda goes ahead to express having to come to terms with the epithet Dr. Bbosa and how he has had to adopt it as a part of him.

“Even in my official communication, I have to sign my name, then add aka Dr. Bbosa otherwise most people will not recognize who it is.” he stated.

Bagenda has over the years acted in dramas as well as stage shows such as; OMG, Ekalidde, Entunnusi, Bibawo, The Boss, Escape from Uganda, Dilemma, Land friends, Kyekyo and so many more. He attributes his great success to never shunning a single role given to him throughout his career.

“I have never drawn a line to roles given to me. I think I have represented every character that I can think of, I have been a father, a witch doctor, priest, police man, elderly man and now in Urban Life, I am acting as a lame warden form Northern Uganda.”

He however adds that as he gets older, more lines will be drawn so that there is opportunity for fresh talent. “There is a lot fresh faces in Ebonies now besides they need the opportunity. With Pearl Magic Prime coming on board, it is a really wonderful experience, I am glad the youth are here for it,” he said.

As to whether he will be considering retirement soon, Bagenda stated, “I was born with this talent, and I think it is fair to use it till my last breath,” advising that, “Filmmakers need to keep going and giving their all until they are called by the Lord, otherwise they will not have fulfilled their purpose and therefore done an injustice to their talent”

Many of us see our stars on TV yet we know so little about them. MultiChoice’s Pearl Magic Prime has taken the initiative to ensure it gives a little piece of who these Stars are off-the-screen with their Home of our Stars podcast, through their DStv YouTube channel which premiers a new episode every Wednesday until 21st March 2023 when the first season comes to an end.

Audrey Ninsiima