Louis Lwanga is a multi-talented and passionate lawyer. He received his LL.B with Honours from Makerere University in 2013 and completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice studies at the Law Development Centre in 2015. A partner at one of the leading law firms in the country, Lwanga is the only lawyer in Uganda with a combined Master of Laws (LL.M) in Entertainment, Media and Sports Law. He shared his insights on success in the workplace and with Edgar R. Batte.
As a lawyer with a knack for sports, media and entertainment, how do you strike a balance to have time for each of these?
First I must say that I am blessed to be mentored by some of the best legal minds in the country, John Katende and Frederick Ssempebwa. Throughout the years, they have taught me to have a strong work ethic. In order to do something, one is supposed to love and create time for it.
For me, it started from my university days when I was running the Impis Rugby Club, serving the Uganda Rugby Union and pursuing my studies too. I had to learn to plan my time accordingly and not cheat any of them so that I could excel in every single one of them.
When it is work time, it is strictly work. There are so many agendas we are pushing, especially in the sports policy of the country, the entertainment policy so in order to focus, I have to avoid destruction. I cannot be on social media 24/7. I have to partition my time, so I can account for every single minute of my day and whatever I dedicate time to, I give it 100 per cent.
Sometimes, it means putting in extra hours. For something you are passionate about, you have to create time.
What is your average day like?
In legal practice, there is no such thing as an average day. There are so many moving parts that you have to adjust, and that is what life is.
This, being a profession that is about crisis management, prevention, mitigation and counselling, there is no thing as a typical day. That is why it is important that you plan your day because if you do not, you are going to be swayed into different directions and you find yourself doing so many things and achieving nothing Katende taught me to chase one animal at a time.
What is the best career advice you have ever received and who gave it to you?
It was from Katende. He told me, “If you are not passionate about it, do not do it. If your integrity is going to be put in question, do not do it.”
And he always reminds me to invest in my purpose, and this has helped me a lot.
In this industry, that is full of opportunities of instant gratification, it is very important that you stay your course, stand for what is right, even though most of the time, it is going to make the process longer. If you are passionate about it, you will not feel like you are working.
What consumes your time?
I am dealing with shaping sports management policy from a regulatory level to the athletes, to the poor communities that need to access education through sports which can be an avenue to teaching integrity, teamwork and gender sensitivity.
Then we have an entertainment policy where we have a very big youth population who are immensely influenced by media but need an outlet in absence of a regulatory framework to let them earn from their talent. Our artistes are still earning little from their performance rights.
Then the media whose regulation is more or less censorship. We can do a lot to boost our media because it represents what society is. It is a powerful tool in changing the mind-set and exposing to the youth how boundless we can be without being stifled. This is the vision and purpose I wake up with every day.
With this workload, when and how do you take a breather?
If I get the time, I want to watch a play and see how the creative minds are doing it. I watch rugby to where the sport is; I like to interact with the players, so more or less my breather is work. I feel I want to be in touch.
Otherwise society suffers when the people calling the shots and have a voice are not engaged with the stakeholders.
I am fortunate that the things I do for fun are part of my job, for example by the time we talked about sports policy, I knew what I was talking about.
I was about 22 when I chaired the ‘chairman’s round table’. I was in touch with what the needs of the players were. I am in touch with artistes, I am with them in studios, and I see what they go through so when I am thinking or drafting a policy that is going to benefit the entertainment industry, I will know what I am talking about.
What more is on your wish list?
For Uganda to be seen for its richness in arts and sports at the international stage. That is what drove me to go study law at an international level. The other wish is for everyone to have access to expression on all forms of entertainment, media and sports.