By Our Reporter
A few years ago, not many of knew the younger sibling to Ugandan RnB singer Michael Ross. And just two years back, Allan ’Kutos’ Katongole was merely living in his brother’s shadow, but one audition in now famous TV series Sanyu has changed his life for the better.
For this, he won the best actor at the recently concluded Uganda Film Festival, but to get there, he has had to go through many career switches. He shares how he has managed to prevail with Flavia Tumusiime on the Home of our Stars show.
Formerly a gospel musician, Allan started out his career as a back-up dancer for then famous brother Michael Ross at his performances. He attributes his foundation in music to his brother who encouraged him to embrace music and even wrote him a song.
“Michael really prompted me into music, I used to watch him sing and dance all the time when I was little, he gave me the opportunity to dance for him once, and while I was on stage, the crowd liked me, I was asked to come back, I never looked back. I went on to sing and dance in church where my music career was nurtured,” Katongole reminisces.
“Church inspired me so much that when I decided to do music professionally; it felt more reasonable to sing gospel music. I started off with dancing and singing in church and we did like four songs… you know with church, the money flow is not enticing, so when all my group mates moved on, I also moved on and got a corporate job.”
The corporate world did not hold much appeal for him and a friend recommended him to audition for a few acting roles.
On his professional acting career, Allan says he started with small roles in films such as 27 guns and a small appearance in TV series; Second Chance. It was after this that he auditioned for a role as Oscar, the second lead role in Sanyu. Allan says it was a whole new experience seeing as he was fresh and new to doing series.
“I was so intimidated on my first say on the set of Sanyu. Being on the same show with big names such as Abbey Mukiibi overwhelmed me, but these people saw something in me and I was called back for rehearsals. Their energy was easy to feed on,” Katongole states.
Based on his appearance in Sanyu, his fan base has grown and this has opened doors for him. Allan says he went from being a nobody to stepping in a room and turning heads.
“As Allan Kutos, I was a musician and a dancer but nobody ever saw me, no one knew who I was but being on Sanyu has changed so much for me, I go to an event and people want me to sit next to them, people are interacting with me and I have a lot of recognition.” He adds saying that acting has also given him a job. “With so much unemployment in the country, I am lucky to have a job that I wake up to go to every day and get paid for it. I thank Pearl Magic for giving me a reason to wake up each morning and fuel my passion,” he declares.
Allan speaks on how acting has awoken some more talent in him. “Apart from acting, I have my eyes set on directing. Sometimes during a scene, I feel like I it should have gone a certain way and this has driven me to consider directing in the future besides the acting,” he asserts.
Acting comes with a lot of pressure and with some big roles, the public is always looking to see what is next. Allan says since his rise to fame, the gravity to surpass people’s expectations has become immense.
“If you are good at what you do, you are going to get people’s attention, apart from the job you do, you are going to have to be the star that everyone sees in you. The aim is not being that celeb but turn this pressure around and you know just be you,” Allan advised.
Speaking about novice actors that wish to explore the entertainment industry, Allan advises them to have humility and take opportunities as they come. “I would say for starters, have patience it is the outmost virtue you should have, brand yourself well so that people would like to have you in their movies and in their space generally, then finally, watch as many movies you never know what you can learn from the stars.” He guided.