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Interview: #ICreateTomorrow winner Cathy Muwumuza speaks out on her London trip, what she learnt and how it will change her life



#ICreateTomorrow competition winner Cathy Muwumuza

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Meet Cathy Muwumuza, one of the winners of the Vodafone #ICreateTomorrow competition, we sat with her to find our about her London trip, what she learnt and how the trip will change her life.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you ended up taking part of the #ICreateTomorrow competition?

I’m Namubiru Cathy Muwumuza. A healthcare administrator currently working at Ray of Hope Medical Centres. My young sister told me about the competition and she also went ahead and recorded the video that I submitted. I didn’t expect to win as most times such competitions favour youths in the creative industry.

Tell us about your experience in London, what did you do whilst you were out there?

The trip to London was a great experience for me. I met people in my healthcare field that are using technology to positively impact and improve health services in UK. It was a trip full of inspiration for me.

What was the highlight of your trip?

Attending the giant health event that had exhibitions of technology advances in the medical field.

What did you learn whilst you were there?

Talking to Ronald HR Director of Vodafone global, I learnt that any great thing has to be done in small steps.

What was your ‘tomorrow’ before you went out there and did that change at all during the trip?

My tomorrow before the trip was to one day be in position to make policies and decisions that will help improve the state of healthcare in Uganda, the trip to London showed me that I don’t have to be at the helm of the sector to make a positively impact healthcare in Uganda but instead I can use technology to improve the state of medical services here.

#ICreateTomorrow competition winner Cathy Muwumuza

What happens next – what will you differently from before?

I am also currently looking at two ideas for tech solutions to improve Ugandan healthcare. Vodafone is going to support me through an incubator that can help me crystallise my ideas into a tangible plan and give me the connections to start making that dream a reality. I will also stop procrastinating.

What have the reactions of others been since your return?

That was an awesome opportunity you got.

What has Vodafone’s role been throughout the experience and how do you feel about the company?

Vodafone put in place quite a unique competition that is doing what it says “helping us create our tomorrow”. I now view the company as one that connects with its environment and is aiming at making a difference in our community.

What are your thoughts on the future of Uganda and what young entrepreneurs can do to make a difference?

The future for Uganda is great. If the youths are empowered to participate in building the nation, Uganda will be able to go from third world to first. More companies need to also come up and empower the youths just like what Vodafone is doing.

What advice would you give to others about creating their tomorrow?

Do not underestimate small beginnings and always take opportunities that will make you grow.

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Interview: Edward Nimusiima shares his experience as Smartphone photographer




Edward Nimusiima talks mobile photography

Edward Nimusiima taking a photo with his smartphone.

By Our Reporter

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Edward Nimusiima is a man who wears many hats. Besides being a Digital Manager and blogger, he is also a photographer. However, he is not your conventional photographer. He doesn’t not own one of those high-end cameras, but uses his mobile phone to capture all the everyday moments.

We recently caught up with him to share his experience as a smartphone photographer.

1. When and what made you pick interest in mobile photography?

I picked interest when I first fell in love with photography. I was admiring Mutua Matheka and Ben Brown’s photography. But I didn’t have a camera. So, I decided to use my phone instead. It’s been around 4 years now.

2. What do you look for in a phone?

I travel a lot and do lots of work on Social Media so most of what I do is about visuals – pictures and videos. Therefore the reason I would buy a phone is because it has a good camera so I can easily capture every moment.

3. Which phone are you using right now?

I am currently using a Camon X. I have been using this phone for over a month now. Honestly, I have always been an iPhone person, and I was a bit skeptical when I switched to a Camon X. But I must admit I have been impressed.

4. Why a Camon X?

It has a very good camera which compares to very few on the market. And given that it is relatively cheap makes it a plus for me.

The other thing is that the Camon X is user friendly. It has an easy to navigate interface and does not freeze which enables me carry out my work smoothly.

Edward Nimusiima's current phone.

Edward Nimusiima’s current phone.

5. Would you recommend this phone to anyone?

The Camon X is about Ugx 683, 000 and I think it is a good deal compared to other phones that can match it on the market.

6. What editing tools/apps do you use?

I use VSCO, Snapseed and Lightroom.

7. Are you already earning from your photography?

Yeah, I have earned from it. Especially the video part (I use my phone to shoot videos). I have done work for Airtel, Speke Resort Munyonyo and Elephant Hab Lodge.

8. Any advice to those looking to venture into this craft?

Keep shooting. And don’t over filter your photos.

9. Lastly, a phone camera or DSLR?

I believe the best camera is what you have in your hands. If you have a phone with a good camera, especially in this digital age, you don’t really need a high end DSLR, because a phone can do much of what a DSLR can do.

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Interview: Edwin Musiime reveals what to expect at the Young Entrepreneurship Summit





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Edwin Musiime, Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (CYE) PresidentBy Our Reporter

Ahead of the Young Entrepreneurship Summit 2018 slated for early April, we had a chat with Edwin Musiime, the President of Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (CYE) who are the organsiers of the two-day event. He shares the genesis of the summit, expectations and more.

Read the interview excerpts below:

1. Hello Edwin, you recently launched the Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (CYE), what motivated this? What are the objectives of CYE? What is the long term vision?

First I would say it’s love for my country and, secondly, the potential I believe the young people have. But even more importantly, I’m uncomfortable with the high unemployment rates and short life span of many our start ups.

Our vision is to inspire a new spirit of entrepreneurship — empower 10,000 entrepreneurs by 2020 and create 500,000 jobs.

2. The Young Entrepreneurs Summit is happening in April, what should we expect?

Like our theme: “Inspiring a Sustainable Entrepreneurship Culture”, the summit is meant to challenge Uganda’s millennials in a new revolution of advancing our economic levels to new heights.

3. In your experience, what are the biggest challenges to youth entrepreneurship in the country?

The first challenge many front is the lack of capital and almost all new ventures require seed capital — money that is available to see them through those first rocky months or even years before they turn a profit.

However, I will add that intellectual capital is even in shorter supply. Many start ups collapse as they lack capacity or competitive skills to run them is insufficient.

4. Will the Summit and CYE address these challenges? What next after the summit?

Yes, the Summit in many ways will address theme especially the intellectual capital area. The financial capital area is one we are engaging numerous stake holders including government agencies, Angel investors, Global Pan African investors that can provide cheaper capital.

After the Summit we unveil our monthly town hall business engagements. Then we launch the District Business councils which will have district business models with collaborating training and market opportunities.

5. Who gets to attend the summit? How does one attend? Are there any special requirements?

We expect to host established business owners, individuals intending to start business and apprentices. One can acquire at ticket for the 2 days at the Kampala Serena for 25,0000/=, but for BigEyeUG readers, the first 30 people to like the Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs Facebook page and inbox their name and Contact will win a free ticket.

6. For two days, you are gathering these entrepreneurs, what will be the outcomes?

We expect all those attending to leave with a different mindset on how we can transform ourselves economically. We shall have a room points at the close of each day where we intend to actualize our new narrative of Entrepreneurship. Delegates will be equipped with awareness on the opportunities at our disposal to succeed in our entrepreneurship pursuit.

Edwin Musiime, Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (CYE) President

7. Which thought leaders in the entrepreneurship space are making an appearance? How did you choose these figures?

Our panel of CYE resident judges selected from a sample space of about 50 young entrepreneurs. Among those making appearances include; Anita Beryl, Anthony Natif, Bettina Kavuma, Maxima Ninsimenta, Dickson Mushabe and Ian Ortega among others.

8. Who are you partnering with on the summit and on CYE? How does one come on board?

We are working with UCC as they celebrate 20 years, DFCU bank, Victoria University, KHM, Roofings, Crest Group and ofcourse the Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs Uganda.

9. Anything that you think someone should know about CYE and the Summit?

The Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs Uganda is an initiative meant play a collaborative role between the Young people, their business and opportunities available both locally and globally. The Summit, one our 20 multi level engagement, is meant to get us re-thinking our paths to a successful entrepreneurship environment.

10. Your last words to all young entrepreneurs out there?

There is a revolution beckoning. It’s young people taking economic power in their hands and will power. I believe that the next decade would witness a revolution in entrepreneurship never before witnessed in our country.

So the new businesses that would emerge would not be thinking of mere subsistence and cuteness, but would be concerning themselves with how many jobs hey are creating, opportunties they are creating, clients they are reaching, how many sales points they have, much more.

I close with a question to the BigEyeUG readers: If your life were an economic movie, what will the title be?

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Celebrity Gossip

Interview: Sauti Sol reveal their 2018 plans, secret to their success, best Ugandan songs and much more




Sauti Sol

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By Our Reporter

Kenyan music group Sauti Sol was recently in Uganda and the BigEyeUG team managed to catch up with them for an interview. During the interview, the singers revealed their music plans for 2018 among other things. Here are excerpts:

1. How did you settle on the name Sauti Sol? And why?

We used to be called “Sauti” back in our singing days in high school. But there were many “Sautis” in the industry and when were recording our first album, our manager advised us to find a unique name and that is when we added “Sol” to our name to become “Sauti Sol”.

2. How did you guys meet? What is that history behind the formation of Sauti Sol?

The three of us (Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi) were in the same high school and there was a group called “Voices in the light”. It was a generation of a capella bands and the best were chosen to be in that group. We used to perform in this group in high school. And after high school I (Polycarp Otieno) joined them to form the group, Sauti.

3. How have you managed to stay together for so long? Groups tend to be tricky you know?

Friendship has been the foundation of our group all the way from high school. And the friendship became even tighter after high school. We are the best of friends until now and this has greatly contributed to us sticking together for 14 years now.

4. What would each of you rank as your best Sauti Sol song?

The best Sauti Sol song is the song of the moment; the one that we have just released.  “Melanin”, which we just released, is our best song for now.

5. There was backlash from feminists when you released Nerea, how did it feel? How did you handle that moment?

We believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and so how different people take the message is not in our control. Although we appreciate and understand their concerns, that’s not where we were coming from. We made it very clear from the beginning that the song was mostly just about how as a man you should take responsibility for your actions. We even released a statement and we made it clear to where our position was. Our content cant always be taken the way we want it to be taken so we work with it as it comes.

6. You have fallen in love with Uganda. Who are your 3 best Ugandan musicians and why?

It is hard to tell the best Ugandan artiste because there is a lot of good musicians and we fall in love with Ugandan music everyday. Uganda has always had top musicians like Chameleone, Bebe cool who inspired us. There is also a lot of  fresh talent on the market who are killing it like Irene Ntale and Sheebah. There are also other talented musicians like Radio & Weasel,  Maurice Kirya (we have been friends for quite a long time), and then Navio.

7. What are your best 3 Ugandan Songs?

Stamina Daddy by Irene Ntale is making rounds in Kenya. Nkwatako by Sheebah is also good, and definitely Mbozi Za Malwa.

8. How did you and Bebe Cool come up with Mbozi Za Malwa?

We had been talking to Bebe Cool for a long time because we often meet at the award ceremonies outside our countries. So when he sent us the track, “Mboozi Za Malwa” and explained to us what it means adding that the song would go deep with in Uganda, which it surely did, we trusted him and jumped on to it. You know he is so experienced and we always look up to him.

9. What do you have in plan for 2018? What should your fans expect?

We have a project called “African Source” where we are working with different African artistes on the continent and in the next 12 months or so we are going to be releasing a new single every month. Actually we started with Uganda’s Bebe Cool, and then C4 Pedro from Angola and later Nigeria’s Patoranking whose songs are all already out. We are continuing to work with different African artists like Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Davido, Toofan, Mani Martin, Burna Boy, and Vanessa Mdee among others and the projects are all done and ready to be released.

10. Is there any artiste in Africa that you would wish to work with but you haven’t?

The artists we haven’t worked with, uh, some are dead. But if lucky Dube was alive, we would have loved to record a song with him. And maybe Brenda Fassie too. Nonetheless, there are many artistes in Africa that we would love to work with. And I think our next stop could be North Africa.

11. Which musicians have had the greatest influence on your style and genre?

It evolves with time and, even us as artistes we evolve and at each stage we have new influences. We started as an a capella acoustic band and then we had inspirations from some African artists like Salif Keita among others. And when we diversified into pop music we got new influences such as P-Square, South African music, and iconic music groups from the west as well.

12. How is the creative process for each new song you release? How do you decide which song to release?

We don’t decide on which song to release, it just happens. Our song ideas usually come from our different experiences. So we don’t really sit down and say we are writing a hit song. It all comes from all kinds of experiences.

We write together, and then practice the song with the band first. Most people first go to the studio and they are given a track and then write a song, but for us it is the other way round — write the music, then play it with the band, and if it sounds nice, we go ahead and record it.

Music is a business as well so we need a strategy and this also determines when we are releasing the particular songs.

13. What do you people do when you are not doing music? If you didn’t do music, where would each of you have probaly ended up?

We do not know where we would if not for singing. Anyway, when we are not doing music, we are just mostly resting. However, we all do have hobbies; we love things that all other normal people love, like playing soccer, play station, and hanging out with friends.

14. What would call your greatest achievement?

Sticking together for 14 years is our greatest achievement. Most groups don’t usually stick together this long.

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