Docs Day: Dr Lilian Mary Nabulime, Creative Genius by Arch Africa 

Home » Docs Day: Dr Lilian Mary Nabulime, Creative Genius by Arch Africa 


On Friday 12th April 2024, we convened in the GZK basement to witness the compelling second episode, Dr Lilian Mary Nabulime,Creative Genius of the Matriarchs pilot season, a production by Arch Africa, a platform that empowers women to actualize their purpose through content, coaching and community.  The Matriarchs pilot season was/is aimed to pay homage to Ugandan excellence through intergenerational dialogue. 

This episode delved into the life and work of Dr Lilian Mary Nabulime, a distinguished Sculptor and Senior Lecturer at the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art, Makerere University. Dr Nabulime obtained her PhD at Newcastle University,UK with her dissertation on ‘The Role of Sculptural Forms as a Communication Tool In Relation to the Lives and Experiences of Women with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.’  

The episode poignantly highlighted Dr Nabulime’s personal experiences ranging from graduating from art school, becoming  a teaching assistant in the same school, pursuing her masters degree and later her PhD, sculpture craft and  her journey as a caregiver to her late husband who succumbed to HIV/AIDS. Through her sculptures, she bravely confronts the realities of the epidemic, aiming to dispel stigma and misinformation surrounding the disease.

Following the screening, a dynamic panel discussion ensued, expertly moderated by esteemed writer and broadcaster, Carol Kagezi. The panel featured insightful contributions from Dr Nabulime, alongside the talented producers from Arch Africa, Lorna Akeng  and Olga Kiconco. The panel answered encompassing questions on the role of mentorship in the creative sector, funding for artists over the years, archiving artistic stories,  the role of artists and the evolution of Dr Nabulime’s work.

L-R: Carol Kagezi, Dr Nabulime, Lorna & Olga

When Dr Nabulime was asked about funding and how it has evolved, she said, ‘Funding is there and can be obtained through the power of networking. I talk to people openly about what I want. I look for opportunities. Funding is not just financial. It can come in the form of documentation (through interviews and published books around your work.)’

Arch Africa was commended for archiving primary data through audio visual content as they will be cited in research and for future generations.

It was a full circle moment as Dr Nabulime was among the three artists that participated in a joint exhibition in 1992 that was supported by the Ugandan German Cultural Society at the Sheraton hotel!  The other artists included Ifee Francis Xavier and the late Elly Kyeyune. 

Dr Nabulime’s story is one of grit, humility, networking, agency and passion. Her artistic journey is as inspiring as it is profound.