Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Norman Busigu: A British-Ugandan filmmaker reshaping Africa’s image through film and media


Norman Busigu, a British Ugandan filmmaker, media broadcaster, and fashion model, shares his inspirations and career journey. He also reflects on his love for Hip-Hop/Rap, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and 50 Cent, as well as Sir Trevor McDonald and Reggie Yates. Busigu aims to showcase Africa through his films, aiming to educate, entertain, and inspire, and believes that the Ugandan film industry has significant potential for growth and development.

Who is Norman Busigu?

Born and raised in North-West London, Norman Busigu is deeply rooted in the creative industries as an independent award-winning filmmaker, media broadcaster, and published fashion model.

Family background

Both my parents are proud Ugandans. Both are from Mbale – which is in the Eastern region of Uganda. More specifically: my mum is from Bugema, and my dad is from Buyobo. They are both from the Mugishu tribe. They both moved to Kampala in their early 20s in search of work and better opportunities.

My mum arrived in London (UK) in 1990, followed by my dad in 1991. My elder sister was born in 1992, and myself in 1996. My wider family is mainly split across the UK and Uganda.


To date, I have two acclaimed Docu-Films to my name – “Ghana: Africa’s Exciting Entry Point?” (2022) and “Nigeria: Can Its Youth Shape Its Future?” (2023). Notably, my works have led me to be recognized by GQ South Africa as “Africa’s Modern Storyteller”, for my pioneering works in film/media in Africa by helping to positively (re)shape the perception of the continent globally.

In November 2022, I was nominated for “Excellence in Journalism” by the Global African Awards. I am also an accomplished Media Broadcaster, having previously been an International News Correspondent for BEN Televisions.

I have also hosted events at prestigious venues such as the UK, Houses of Parliament, and the University of Law. Also, I have hosted high-profile events such as the International Design Awards and Miss Caribbean UK Live Finals (televised).

My significant achievements as a Model include featuring in ELLE during London Fashion Week AW2020; and being one of three models selected for the Soho House (an elite private members club for the creative industries) official global launch campaign for their new skincare line, Soho Skin; walking for premium Nigerian designer, David Wej, at a London Fashion Week SS2022 show; being a Coverboy for London Runway Magazine (December 2022 Issue); winning the modeling competition Fashion4Africa UK in 2018.


My first true love is Hip-Hop/Rap. Growing up in the 2000s, on TV I would always see Jay-Z, Kanye West, and 50 Cent. These three to me were the epitome of confidence, self-actualization, and true mastery of a craft that they are passionate about – and using that as a vehicle to access the world.

Ultimately, they showed (and continue to show me) that anything in life is possible – chasing a dream, bringing a vision to life, and attaining financial freedom – irrespective of how bad your starting point in life is…I also was extremely drawn to the legendary British Media Broadcasters, Sir Trevor McDonald, and Reggie Yates. They are all profound storytellers, and this skill is what truly inspired me/what I wanted to master. I would like to think I am a mesh of these 5 characters, as they have all significantly influenced my evolution as an artist.

What is the genesis of your journey in the creative industries?

This goes to my love for oratory/public speaking, and the desire to be able to captivate an audience with my words, by taking them on a journey that educates and entertains them. I grew up in an era when we had to watch TV to interact with the world. This preceded the times we are in now of smartphones, and easily accessible information on just about anything at our very fingertips, etc.

Because of this, I used to watch a lot of documentaries on BBC and ITV. It is here I would see Sir Trevor McDonald and Reggie Yates tackling a diverse of exciting topics around the world in their professional and well-packaged programs that were both informative and entertaining.

Importantly, they were both black men. Seeing black men on British TV who were as articulate, polished, and potent as them wasn’t a frequent thing at that time. I was always drawn to the power they could command through being so eloquent and intelligent. It is because of them that I knew, one day I wanted to be (in some form) a television presenter, documentarian, and eventual filmmaker: reporting on real topics in the world and taking people on a genuine journey with my words.

Ultimately, helping to have some level of positive influence on the world through these mediums. The same kind of thing applies to music for me – I love Rap/Hip-Hop/R&B/neo-Soul/Afrobeats with all my heart. My favorite artists told their stories sincerely and prolifically with their lyrics and visuals. I knew that when telling my own stories at some point, I needed to learn the techniques (sonically and visually) that enabled them to be so authentic.

Why film?

I knew that I wanted to use the medium of film to showcase elements of Africa that I felt have yet to be done as I have in the media landscape.

Norman Busigu

Long-form content has always spoken to me – I am fascinated with how, by watching a well-packaged and structured production, you can tap into someone’s imagination and take them to a place in the world or universe they have never been before. It is this art of storytelling that I find particularly pronounced in film. It is a difficult skill and one that I wanted to master.

Film also offers the opportunity to shed light on important topics by interweaving themes and concepts into the storyline. I knew that I wanted to use the medium of film to showcase elements of Africa that I felt have yet to be done as I have in the media landscape.

Where did you pick your inspiration to take it on as a career?

Film was a natural evolution from being a Presenter/Media Broadcaster – namely, being the International News Correspondent for the television network, BEN Televisions. I previously had my own weekly televised slot called “Spotlight”, where I would report on happenings in Africa and across the Caribbean. I would conduct the research, write my scripts, and present the segment on TV.

After some time, I became well-media-trained and skilled in packaging long-form content in a way that was digestible and entertaining for the audience. That said, I knew I could go further. I wanted longer than just a 10-minute TV slot every Sunday. I wanted to step beyond this realm and start telling my own stories, without any restriction or boundaries. I wanted to start creating large-scale productions.

Film was the medium that I felt would enable me to achieve all these things. I always knew that Africa would be the focal point of my films because it’s where my heart and passions lie – from its fashion, culture, music, art, food, socio-economic/geo-political developments, etc. I wanted to help authentically tell the stories happening in the continent in a way not done before.

How supportive was your family at the start of your journey in film?

Generally speaking, my career in the creative industry is something my mum didn’t really understand to begin with, which I get. She comes from an era where social media etc for most of her life didn’t exist! These are new concepts her generation is learning about, so we have to give them grace. But it is because of this, that much of what I was doing on TV or in the media landscape early on was very confusing to her.

Initially, she would have rather I stay away from it. However, my mum has been to many of my screening events now; through seeing my works in cinemas and members clubs, as well as all of the tangible accomplishments and successes I’ve enjoyed over the years as a filmmaker, she is 100% supportive of my ambitions in this context!

It’s a beautiful thing because I see her inner child come out! My big sister has always been simultaneously my biggest supporter and biggest critic. She’s also one of my biggest inspirations – growing up, she was heavily involved and skilled in the performing arts – drama and dance namely. She could also draw well too and had a distinct fashion sense that people loved. From her, I learned early on about the power of individuality and being yourself.

As a younger British-Ugandan growing up in London, UK, how would you describe your experience?

London is an incredibly diverse city: growing up on a council estate (in North-West London) which had a large presence of Africans, meant that I lived within a melting point of differing African cultures. I was near things unique to varying African cultures i.e. smelling the aromas of jollof rice, hearing Congolese classics from the likes of Awilo Longomba when played aloud during weekly family gatherings and hall parties, and learning of West African expressions such as “Chale” or Wahala”.

The State School I went to was also very diverse, meaning that I had friends who were from differing African countries. Experiencing this rich variety of African culture in my formative years (and not only being restricted to my Ugandan culture), looking back, was so important in giving me both an unshakeable awareness and pride of where I am from and desire to project this.

That said, growing up, I was fortunate to have a big Ugandan family network – so I always felt grounded in my roots and was instilled a profound pride that I am Ugandan, and never forget it. We would have family gatherings every week when I was young, and I remember these vividly. They were so much fun! In that sense, I’ve always felt connected to Uganda.

At home, my family speaks Luganda, Lugishu, and Swahili, and makes Ugandan foods daily i.e. Posho, Matooke, etc. This has also always helped me remain culturally connected to home through eating our cuisine and hearing our languages being spoken daily.

More widely, in London, we also have yearly landmark events like Africa Fashion Week London, and,
Black History Month, which helps to reinforce how London is a city that does actively play its part in
helping to celebrate African culture at large.

What do you set out to achieve as a filmmaker?

Growing up, I long felt that Western media tends not to portray Africa most favorably. To combat this, my mission as a Filmmaker/Director is to travel across Africa to create educational, entertaining, and inspiring documentaries (Docu-films) from a fresh, youthful, and authentic perspective. The ultimate aim of my work as a filmmaker is to enable everyone to truly see the magic that exists in Motherland (Africa), create a community of enthusiasts, and ultimately, encourage them to visit!

What are some of the notable achievements of your career thus far?

The achievements of my first Docu-Film “Ghana: Africa’s Exciting Entry Point” (2022) include:

  • Supported by the former Global Entertainment Director for Vogue, Deborah Ababio, who was a panelist at its premiere screening event in June 2022 at White City Soho House (London).
  • Aired on British Television.
  • Screened at Cambridge University.
  • Shortlisted a Semi-Finalist at the Paris International Short Festival (IMDB qualified) in April 2023.

The notable achievements of my second Docu-Film “Nigeria: Can Its Youth Shape Its Future?” (2023) include:

  • International screening events at Soho House Paris (France) and Miami (Florida).
  • Received wide-ranging support from leading media hubs in Africa including Channels TV, Pulse Nigeria, GHOne TV and Metro TV, The Guardian Nigeria, and GQ South Africa.

What is your general perception of the Ugandan film industry?

I think there is significant scope for growth and development. The fashion and music industries in Uganda have rapidly advanced over the years, but I feel film is trailing behind. That said, Uganda has begun to step into the spotlight in recent times, with blockbuster films like Queen of Katwe for instance – this is a big move in the right direction! From my experience however, too many times, the only major film reference I hear to Uganda is The Last King of Scotland, and media associated with Idi Amin.

We need to shake this up, and let the world see the fresh vibrancy of contemporary Uganda!

Who are some of the notable figures in the Ugandan film space that you looked up to while growing up?

Not strictly speaking in the film space solely – but I’d like to mention the following. First, Daniel Kaluuya is someone I have long admired, for being Ugandan and for the incredible barriers he has broken down in acting and film. He’s a true legend for the accolades he has amassed and the universal acclaim he is garnering for his talents!

Also, the founder of Linkup TV (UK music/media platform), Rashid Kasirye has long always inspired me with his DIY approach to creating success while supporting others to achieve their dreams in the creative industries.

Honorable mention to also George the Poet for being an outstanding multi-hyphenate creative who to me is an embodiment of intellectualism and excellence. I hope to meet, and work with all three of them at some point!

Leave a comment