“The Pearl of Africa” Transgender Life Stories in Uganda

Uganda officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. it is bordered to the East by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the West by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the South West by Rwanda, and to the South by Tanzania. This is the world’s second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia.

This is a country which for long have been criticised for the discriminations against the LGBTI ( Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) community. The Pearl of Africa is a documentary of the life of Cleopatra Kambugu, a Ugandan transgender girl who was forced to flee to Kenya after being “outed” as homosexual in one of Uganda‘s major tabloids. It is a story about love, hate and being transgender, in one of the worlds most homophobic places.

Filmmaker Jonny von Wallstrom indicated that his impulse behind the creation of the film was to to show other LGBTI Ugandans that they are not alone while telling a story that humanizes the trans community in an effort to change the prejudiced perceptions held by many.


  1. Jacqueline Gum
    January 2, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    How very compelling! Filmmaker Jonny von Wallstrom shows great courage in bringing attention to the discrimination in Uganda. The punishment…life in prison…is frightening!

  2. Tim
    January 2, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    A very controversial subject in parts of Africa and Asia…and if we are really hones, many other parts of the world as well. It just seems so arcane to have life sentences in prison for being homosexual. Thanks for writing this post and bringing more attention to the subject.

  3. Marquita Herald
    January 2, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    How tragic. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to live under these conditions. Thank you so much for sharing this compelling film and story.

  4. ken Dowell
    January 2, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    There are so many problems in the world and it’s such a waste to see a country focusing its resources on attacking people because they are different. Interesting film. It’s is always very moving when you put a human face on issues like homophobia in Uganda.

  5. Tuhin
    January 2, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    This is indeed a very sensitive issue and I think films and documentaries are one of the best ways to raise awareness among people regarding this issue. I congratulate the director for this venture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?