A Brief Interview with Elly Rwakoma

A conversation with Ugandan press photographer Elly Rwakoma. Mr Rwakoma was born in 1937 near Bushenyi, Western Uganda. A self-taught photographer, his first camera was a Kodak II given to him by his brother who worked for British American Tabacco. During a career spanning from 1964-1985.

Elly was the presidential photographer for Milton Obote and Idi Amin, and it was with Idi that he had a unfortunate episode and was forced into exile in 1978. He worked at the YMCA in Jinja as a social worker and ran his own photo studio first in Jinja and later in Bushenyi. During his eventful career he had many experiences, including a near miss in which a bullet intended for him passed through the cloth of his trousers, missing his leg and leaving him unhurt. He is now retired and lives on his farm in Bushenyi.