Just Me, You and THE SILENCE
Developed in part at the Royal Court Theatre, Just Me, You and THE SILENCE traces the rise of Jacob Obina, a proud, ambitious dreamer in Kampala who recognizes a golden opportunity when he lands a prestigious Parliament seat. Determined to rise further the political ladder, he introduce a bill that divides the nation and catapults him into the media spotlight. But when a shocking secret is revealed, Obina is forced to choose between his desire for fame and love for the person he cherishes most in the world.
Just Me, You and THE SILENCE is the story of a father and son. Two brothers. A mother and son. A husband and wife. A family that is changed forever by the introduction of the Anti-Gay Bill.
Play Inspiration and Journey
As told by the playwright, ADONG Lucy Judith
“We have more urgent problems than gays." "I don't care whether there are gays or not, whether they are killed or they live. I am not gay, why should it bother me?" "I am OK with gays as long as they stay gay from afar." "I don't want them killed, but I'm not going to get killed for gays either." Attitudes like these are commonly heard among my Ugandan compatriots. Before I was inspired to write, “Just, me You and THE SILENCE”, I was among a section of Ugandan society that strongly believed the country had more pressing problems to address than the struggles of sexual minorities. Part of the reason for this is that I come from the Acholi ethnic group, which has endured a quarter of a century of war, and many of whom still live in fear of the rebel warlord Joseph Kony (Re: Kony 2012 viral video. We had our own tragedy: the fight for equality, dignity and restorative justice for the people of northern Uganda.
But as the universe with its huge sense of humor will always have the last laugh, a year after the anti-homosexuality bill was introduced, the play I was writing about the war in northern Uganda was selected at Sundance Theatre Lab and I found myself working with a script writing mentor who is gay. I had never heard of homosexuality as a sexual orientation until 2009, when Uganda introduced its anti-homosexuality bill amid massive international protests. Hearing about it in that context made it very easy for me to believe that most of the negative things being said about gay people were true, such as that they were "recruiting" young high school students into the "practice" using materialistic enticement.
My Sundance script writing mentor was very creative, intelligent and generous. This made me re-assess my understanding of homosexuality. I realized that the value of a human being is not measured by his or her sexuality. It also made me realize that one day I could wake up to find someone I loved being put to the noose and wouldn't be able to do anything about it. And all because I, like so many Ugandans, was in denial that anyone I knew could be gay. I felt changed, and I knew I wanted to do something. So I decided to write a play-Just Me, You and THE SILENCE.