Welcome to Common Core Texts, a project by Michael DeJoseph. Here you'll find high-quality reading passages for grades 3 to 12 in ELA, Social Studies, History, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and many other topics.

Wakaliwood
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

You have probably heard of Hollywood, but have you heard of Wakaliwood? It is central Africa’s answer to the land of movie stars and blockbusters. In the poor neighborhood of Wakaliga, Uganda, a man named Isaac Nabwana makes movies with little more than creativity, ambition, and the help of his neighbors. That is why Nabwana’s neighborhood has earned the nickname “Wakaliwood.”

Nabwana has always loved movies. In a richer country, he might have studied moviemaking in college, then went on to direct movies or television shows. But the country of Uganda is extremely poor, and Nabwana did not have the opportunity to go to college or find a job as a movie director. However, this did not stop him from going after his dream.

Nabwana earned money by making bricks. Finally, he earned enough to pay for a class on computers. Using this knowledge, he built a computer from spare parts. He then taught himself how to use a video camera, which he borrowed from a neighbor. He even taught himself how to edit the videos on his computer, adding special effects, music, and sound effects. Nabwana then persuaded his friends and neighbors to be actors in his first movie. Nabwana did not have a movie studio. Instead, he filmed his movie in the streets, alleys, and houses of Wakaliga.

In 2010, a clip of Nabwana’s movie was posted to YouTube. It went viral, and today has over three million views. Nabwana used the money earned from his movie to buy more equipment. Nabwana loves to make action movies. That means he needs old cars to “explode” using computer effects, motorbikes to race through the streets of Wakaliga, and plenty of fake blood.

Isaac Nabwana’s movies may not earn him millions of dollars, but he doesn’t mind. He is proud to make movies that tell the story of Wakaliga. “Movies are for me like a friendship,” he explains. “I don’t do it for the money.”


Leave a Reply