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Best Christmas I’ve ever had was in Uganda – Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya is an English actor and writer. He achieved international recognition for his performance in several blockbuster movies, the latest being ‘Black Panther’. Courtesy photo.

Oscar nominated British Actor, Daniel Kaluuya who is of Ugandan origin has finally reacted to the outpouring of love and support from his motherland.

Kaluuya was born in London, the son of Ugandan immigrants. He was raised by his mother, Damalie, on a council estate, along with an older sister; his father, Stephen Kaluuya, lives in Uganda, and reportedly rarely visited due to strict UK visa regulations.

The 28-year-old, in an exclusive interview with a local news daily this week, refuted claims of not having been in Uganda his entire life, and urged that he has no concealed resentment towards his family in the country.

Kaluuya, whose fame continues to grow by the day since featuring in ‘Black Panther,’ recently received a BAFTA nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for his breakthrough role in the horror film, a dark satire on race relations in the United States.

“I have been to Uganda so many times! Who is asking if I have been to Uganda? I am proud of my roots and Uganda is my home. I have come to Uganda and lived there so many times for even up to six weeks at a time. I must tell you; the best Christmas I have had in my life was in Uganda in 2011,” he told New Vision’s Steven Odeke.

He continued, “My uncles and aunties live in Makindye Division, Kampala and that is where I stay whenever I come to Uganda. My mum has always ensured I visit my family back home. I have always stayed intouch with my people.”

On being the first Ugandan nominated for the Oscars, Kaluuya said, “It feels good. It reflects the hard work I have out in and the journey I have taken to reach here. From the entire time my mum came all the way from Uganda to the UK and raising me up to get to the top, it has been a background of real hard work. It is an honor to be nominated but that does not mean it is the end. The question now is; what next? You have to keep working. You do not have to stop. Because being nominated here means more jobs are coming and I have to be ready for them, not just relax.”

Kaluuya said Black Panther it is a great film that depicts the continent and African values like no other film has ever before.

“I am proud to have been part of it and I appreciate the love coming in from Ugandans who are watching this film,” he stressed.

Why is there no single official active social media account of Daniel Kaluuya?

He explained,”I am not sure if that is the way I should interact with everyone that follows me., I understand people want to follow me but i do not really find it natural. I actually prefer meeting someone on streets and we say “hello” to each other and we express ourselves. For me, that is real. that is natural. The best way I prefer to interact with my fans of followers is through my work. I want to let my work do the talking for me., I think you have to keep grounded. Work comes first. O do not thing I should be idolized in anyway because I am a human being. I am still me.”

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