Deborah Asiimwe


Cooperation Fellowship

City, Country:

Kampala, Uganda




Jan 2015 - June 2015

Born 1973 in Kiruhura/Uganda.

Deborah Asiimwe is an award-winning play writer and currently co-leading the Sundance Institute »East Africa« initiative in Kampala/Uganda.

Her interest in storytelling and performance started already in her childhood. She was raised in an oral literature and storytelling culture, where folklore is passed on from generation to generation, by word of mouth. Deborah Asiimwe describes herself as a social action writer, with the aim of utilizing the power of writing and performance to uplift, inspire, challenge and transform society. The majority of her work explores socio-political issues that affect developing countries like her own in particular (Uganda), and the whole of the African continent in general.

Deborah Asiimwe received a Bachelor of Arts in Drama (Honors) from Makerere University (2003–2006) in Kampala and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing for Performance, from California Institute of the Arts (2006–2009), in Santa Clarita, CA/USA. In 2006, she was Best Student at Makerere University conferment of undergraduate degrees, in addition to being awarded a scholarship in writing for performance from California Institute of the Arts. Deborah Asiimwe also holds a diploma in Music, Dance and Drama from Makerere University (1994–1996), Kampala.

Between 2004 and 2006, Deborah Asiimwe gained work experience in various jobs such as scriptwriting and production directing for the radio Straight Talk Foundation in Uganda or her engagement at Young, Empowered and Healthy (Y.E.A.H), a special program that targeted keeping young people safe from HIV/Aids. Deborah Asiimwe was later promoted to the position of the production director of the foundation’s radio serial drama, Rock Point 256. From 1999–2002, she was the acting education officer, the Uganda National Cultural Centre (National Theatre). These positions have given her unique opportunities to work collaboratively with both local and international artists.  

Her work has been performed in Nairobi/Kenya, Kisumu/Kenya and Kigali/Rwanda. Her most recent plays, Forgotten World, Cooking Oil, Un-entitled and Appointment with gOD, have been received internationally, either as stage productions or professional readings.

In 2010, Deborah Asiimwe was a recipient of the »Cycle A Recipients of Leadership U[niversity]—Continuing Ed« grant by Theatre Communications Group. In the same year, Will Smith Look Alike, a radio play by Deborah Asiimwe, was the overall winner of the BBC playwriting competition.

In 2015, she recieved a cooperation fellowship of JES (Junges Ensemble Stuttgart) and Akademie Schloss Solitude.