Here’s a toast to the talent that has made tuning in to the Frequency Modulation band on our stereo sets worth our while over the years. Some are still riding the crests of the airwaves, others have found better passions while some are departed (RIP). Moses Serugo a top arts & entertainment journalist Moses Serugo. Photos by Raj’Media.
James Onen aka Fat Boy and Seanice Kacungira host Sanyu FM’s flagship show Sanyu Breakfast weekdays 6-10am. The dynamic duo weave loose banter and intellectual discourse that sets them apart from the rest of the morning radio rat pack. The twosome mostly appeals to upwardly mobile corporates and university students. They form some of the bankable radio talent today with Seanice representing her Alma Mater Namasagali College as the biggest incubator of on-air private FM radio talent over the past two decades.
Feminists may dislike them but this testosterone-laded trio has run with its consistent format every weekday since 1996 when CBS FM went on air as the electronic media mouthpiece of the Buganda Kingdom. Kato Lubwama, Abbey Mukiibi and “Bwakedde Mpulira” host Abu Kawenja offer choice prime time listening weekdays 7.30am-7.50am packing everything from political satire, marital parody, et al in what is principally a sports show. “Kalisoliso” always acts as a salve to anyone dreading the workday ahead. It is also the best example of a seamless transition from stage to radio. All three hosts are renowned thespians in their own right.
Alex Ndawula is the Patriarch of private FM radio broadcasting in Uganda. Alongside music entrepreneur Chris Ireland and DJ Chazzo, the trio held the nation captive in the early days of FM radio when Radio Sanyu went on air a week to Christmas in 1993. Alex would later jump ship to the more streamlined and definitively urban 91.3 Capital FM as host of it’s breakfast show. He went on to “pioneer” the Morning Crew format at the same station later in 1996 and continues to roar despite relegation to a cluttered threesome on a now sedate drive show. A feather in your cap (make that 20) Alex!
Siima Kyakuhaire Kyomuhendo Sabiti represents the new voices of FM broadcasting enough to win over cynics who may have tuned out for a lack of infotainment. The XFM ‘boss lady” drives the station’s flagship show X-AM alongside the eloquent Rudende Nkurunziza and the jesting Libolo to bring a freshness to radio that flexes your funny bone while delivering an infotainment binge. Her Saturday (6am-10am) pairing with KK (Katuramu Kenneth) on the aptly-titled “The Morning After The Night Before/ Postinor” show makes for great hangover therapy.
Beneath that cuddly bear demeanor lies the very definition of a “Radio Head”. XFM’s Rudende Nkurunziza salient feature is his desire to leave his listeners informed, a quality that only comes from the habit of prepping for one’s show. The X-AM co-host brings a minty freshness to today’s clogged (and at times over-polluted) airwaves.
Clown, jester, studio fool; whatever your opinion, Libolo is quite the affable fellow even with his effortless display of a lack of grey matter on air. He compliments his two X-AM co-hosts in a way that doesn’t make him feel like he is playing gooseberry. Quite a lucky find here. Tune in to XFM weekdays 6am-10am.
Allan the Cantankerous has been reborn in KK, host of XFM’s drive show the X-IT. Off-the-cuff humour, information right of his fingertips and the not-socommon courtesy of back-crediting songs is what defines this self-deprecating Mutooro. We haven’t heard anyone talk down his heritage like this reed-thin fella that could trade his forehead for a face like Shrek’s maybe.
X-FM’s Siima Kyakuhaire Kyomuhendo Sabiti and KK (Katuramu Kenneth) offer ideal hangover therapy on the aptly-titled “The Morning After The Night Before” (Saturdays 6am-10am) that apparently works better than Postinor.
Off-air, XFM’s Saturday morning twosome of KK and Siima as as playful as they are on air. Theirs is one of the most bankable pairings on the airwaves at the moment.
Capital FM’s Shawn Kimuli and Tatu do more than sit-in for the regular Morning Crew when the latter goes on leave. Here, the Kisementi duo go through that radio ritual that is “show prep”.
Saturday mornings (for those that get to wake up with light heads) see 91.3 Capital FM’s Shawn and Tatu steering listeners through laid back music and relationship advice. Tune in from 6am-10am.
The Capital Gang is an FM radio stable that emerged as an alternative political space. The studio format political debate show made its debut in 1995 with Capital FM owner Patrick Quarcoo as host and Charles Onyango-Obbo, Winnie Byanyima and Frank Katusiime as panelists. It is now hosted by leading educationist Oscar Semweya with a regular panel comprising Opposition Shadow Attorney General and Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu, Kyaddondo East MP Semujju Ibrahim Nganda, EALA rep Lydia Wanyoto, MP Chris Baryomunsi and Government spokesperson Ofwono-Opondo.
She may be Mrs Byaruhanga but to her legion of fans she remains Irene Ochwo host of the mid-morning show on Radio One (FM 90). She juggled the job of Literature teacher at SMACK (St. Mary’s College Kisubi) alongside her early radio career at 91.3 Capital FM where she was a pioneer presenter of the Morning Crew alongside Alex Ndawula. She later abandoned teaching in 1997 to take up a managerial role at the newly launched Radio One. She has resisted the pressures of a wifely life and motherhood to stay on air.
Apart from the money of early broadcast proprietors Thomas Katto, William Pike and Patrick Quarcoo, FM Radio in Uganda also owes a lot to the sheer guts of a certain Peter Sematimba. The emergence of a new sound from Dungeon Studios in 1993 gave voice to a new generation of youth, who wanted to be heard on radio. In this picture, the bespectacled man in the middle many came to know as Dr. Senga is flanked by the Dungeon posse comprising (L-R); Ragga Dee, Brenda Z’Obbo, Bob Bashabe (RIP), Steve Jean, Roger Mugisha, Simon Base Kalema Symon Kalema, Lillian Butele Kelle, Jenkins Mukasa, Terry Divos Atwooki, Jimmy Bageire aka MC Afrique, Rasta Rob and Shanks VVD. Most have since retired into radio and music production while Peter Sematimba oscillates between being an evangelist and the proprietor of Super FM (88.5).
A rare picture of Peter Sematimba and his family. His his wife and children lived in the US while Sematimba was all the rage on the budding Ugandan FM radio scene in the ’90s. At 91.3 Capital FM, he broke barriers by mainstreaming the taboo subject of sex, earning himself the moniker Dr. Senga (a male agony aunt of sorts) on his weekly Tuesday nightly show Capital Doctor. Sematimba later moved on to set up CBS FM in 1996 causing major seismic activity in the industry after the bulk of Radio Sanyu’s pioneer talent jumped ship on his prompting.
Weekday evenings belonged to the then Radio Sanyu star Rasta Rob aka Owakabi aka Goody Goody. Rasta Rob (real names Robert Ogwal) endeared himself to the downtown masses what with his street lingo mastery. His was also mostly a “dedications” slot on which listeners could hear their greetings read live on air. Rasta Rob later crossed to CBS FM in 1996 and later moved on to an extended stint in the UK. He returned in the noughties and now hosts the breakfast show on Super FM.
Angela Newman commonly known by her on-air name Crystal is a Sanyu FM staple and has hosted the station’s evening show (weekdays 5-8pm) for quite a while. Even when her co-hosts pass on (DJ Bangi) or move on to greener pastures (DJ Val), Crystal soldiers on with motherly resilience.
It was common for FM Radio proprietors to employ musicians in order to bait listeners. Apart from Rasta Rob, the other trio in this photo (L-R); Emperor Orlando (Radio Sanyu), Menton Summer (CBS FM) and Ragga Dee (Radio Sanyu) each started out as musicians before trying their hand at radio.
There was always a naughtiness about 91.3 Capital FMcampaigns including an apparently raunchy sweeper one in which a woman moans “do it some more”. In this particular print media campaign photo, the Morning Crew; Oulanya Columbus, Karitas Karisimbi and Big Brother Africa 1’s Gaetano Kagwa conjure up a ‘menage a trois’. Despite it’s heavily repeated playlist, 91.3 Capital FM always managed to bait and hook listeners with imaginative campaigns like “Hand Off My Hyundai”, “The Capital FM Treasure Hunt” among others.
We stumbled onto this picture of former Radio Sanyu presenter Gloria Kamba off her Facebook profile page. Gloria was the first lady of breakfast radio going head to head with Alex Ndawula. While the latter was known for his brash on-air demeanour, Gloria was the go-to girl for everyone that was more on the cool, calm and collected side. She was part of the Naguru to Bulange radio talent exodus in 1996. Not much was heard of hear after quitting CBS FM in the late ’90s.
Allan Mugisha (RIP) aka the Cantankerous One was arguably one of the most hilarious guys on radio. Many credit their introduction to jazz to his “Funky Jazz Connection” on Radio Sanyu. The segment played Sunday afternoons and he used his humour to bait listeners to the “music of talking instruments”. He hosted a more purist affair as Dr. Jazz on Thursday. Allan later jumped ship to 91.3 Capital FM where his at times bawdy humour punctuated song interludes. He, however, had to battle a drinking problem that saw him booked into rehab a couple of times. His attempt to revamp his radio career on KFM didn’t amount to much and his demise was a major blot on the industry. FACEBOOK PHOTO
DJ Bangi (Wilfred Bangirana – RIP) was synonymous with the Golden Oldies and his stints on Radio Sanyu, Capital Radio, Radio One and later Sanyu FM carried a signature oldies show. He tried his hand at mainstream shows; breakfast on Sanyu FM before settling for the afternoon drive show at the same station. Outside radio, Bangi hosted a monthly Oldies Night at Angenoir Discotheque. FACEBOOK PHOTO
RS Elvis (Elvis Kalema) is a pioneer radio presenter who started out as a late night DJ tucking listeners into bed on Radio Sanyu’s “Quiet Storm” in 1994. He later crossed over to Radio One in 1997 where after a stint on breakfast radio decided to settle for the evening drive show which he has hosted for over a decade. FACEBOOK PHOTO
Juliana had a stint on 91.3 Capital FM at a time proprietors felt the urge to tap into artistes’ fan bases as a way to rack up listenership. She takes credit for showing Big Brother Africa 1’s Gaetano Kagwa the ropes around the radio microphone. FACEBOOK PHOTO
Probably the biggest influence on Uganda’s FM Radio industry and not just as a presenter back-crediting songs on air but as a hit maker holding radio audiences captive every time he debuted a song from his Dungeon Studios. He was also the straight-talking Agony Uncle going by the moniker Dr. Senga host of Tuesday’s Capital Doctor on 91.3 Capital FM.
Brenda Z’Obbo was mostly known as the other half of the girl urban pop group Prim n’ Propa alongside Lillian Butele Kelle. This gave her the requisite thrust to try her hand on radio starting out on 91.3 Capital FM in 1994 before relocating to Radio One as a pioneer presenter in 1997 where she hosted the Lunch Time Request (1-4pm) slot. She then crossed the border to the greener pastures of the airwaves in Nairobi. FACEBOOK PHOTO
He may not admit to it but Father Damian Grimes was a loud influence on the early days of FM radio. The bulk of the talent back then passed through his educationist hands as headmaster of Namasagali College. The emphasis was to grant learners a holistic experience beyond the rote learning elsewhere. It is of little wonder that the self-assured eloquent-speaking Sagali alumni conquered radio back then. Gloria Kamba, Marcus Kwikiriza, Jim Musoke, Alex Ndawula, Ronnie Sempangi (RIP) all consider Namasagali College their Alma Mater. FACEBOOK PHOTO
Details here: https://www.facebook.com/FMradio20
Pastor Wilson Bugembe receives standing ovation at his first ever comedy store appearance, crowd asks for return leg
For the first time ever Pastor Wilson Bugembe who doubles as a singer Graced Alex Muhangi’s comedy store for the weekly show at UMA. Unlike all previous shows, last nights show was different. Pastor Bugembe made both believers and not so much church people stand on their feet throughout his entire exhibition as he sang through most of his songs.
The crowd that so much turned up for the gospel singer kept on their toes wondering what the singing pastor had in store for them. A usually delivering pastor did not disappoint as he stepped on stage and later went into the standing crowd performing his ever loved songs.
Towards the end of his exhibition, the crowd asked for his Omwooyo song that he did not expect the crowd at UMA loved so much. He performed it with all hands in the air for the crowd that worshipped along. Pastor Bugembe prayed for the crowd and Alex Muhangi before introducing a group of young people that he got off the streets and now takes care of at his Nansana based church. Comedy Store audience asked he returns soon since they did not get enough of him.
The night show also featured, Spice Diana, Tonix and Chozen Blood who equally put up an exciting exhibition.
Brunch party finally comes to Uganda
By Our Reporter
Brunch Parties happen allover Africa ever since it’s initiation in England in the 19th century and became popular in the US in the 1930’s is finally in Uganda. As the saying goes, better late than never, the Brunch Party has come to Uganda and will take place this Sunday at Seven Trees in Kololo. The party that is titled Drunk at Brunch will happen from noon till late and for starters, the word Brunch is is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink served with it.
Drunk at Brunch will happen for the first time and in it’s first edition, it will run under the Havana Theme where the revelers will be required to dress in Havana inspired outfits. While the crowd will be enjoying, Breakfast, Lunch and the drinks, DJ Kasababy among other Deejays will be engaging the crowd.
The table Packages that will be available for the Drunk at Brunch Party will be The El Hefe Package that will go for Shs500k. The table of 10 or 5 and it will come with a bottle of Tanqueray or Johnnie Walker Double Black and one gigantic food platter, mixers and two complimentary hookah. The other table known as The Capo Package will go for Shs300k for 10 to 5 people. It will come with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black, one mega food platter, mixers and one complimentary hookah. The last table known as The Consigliere package going for Shs200k. The table of 10 to 5 people will include a bottle of Uganda Waragi, one friends and family platter and mixers.
Jose Chameleone and Teacher Mpamire clash
By Our Reporter
Singer Jose Chameleone and Herbert Mendo Ssegujja have clashed just like the four concert dates that clashed and fell on the same day last Friday. As you read this, Chameleone and Ssegujja will both hold shows on the same day.
As Chameleone will be hosting his East Africa Ggwanga Mujje at Cricket Oval a few metres away from UMA in Lugogo where Ssegujja will hold his Teacher Mpamire Live Comedy show. The comedy show will be organized by Unik Star Agency and Chamleone’s show will be organized by Balaam Marketing Agency.
We are yet to confirm which artistes will perform at Ssegujja’s show and which ones will perform at Chameleone’s show.
Multi-Talented Flavia Mawagi Narrates Village Love in New Song
You might remember Flavia Mawagi from her successful debut single Napakinga and her groovy song Gutojjere, two songs that thrust her in the thick of Uganda’s music industry before she broke off to pay much more attention to her theatre and movie acting.
Now, Mawagi is back and in her own words, not about to go away again. She returns to the music scene with a new single calledNdiwakyalo, a song that will certainly have her fans and critics pay attention.
“Ndiwakyalo is a song that features a village girl who has fallen head over heels in love with an uptown guy. In the song, I labour to make a case that despite being a village girl I am ready to love him,” Mawagi says of the song.
“In the song, I bring to the relationship, rural-urban excitement and I tell my lover that he shouldn’t be surprised when I treat him like how village women treat their men. In the song, I portray a submissive but strong lover,” she explains.
Mawagi, also a practising fashion model, recorded the song at Esos Music with Micky Pro handling the production. Already the song is playing on radios across the country. A video, according to Mawagi, is being worked on.
The singer’s music journey dates way back to the days when she was a choir member of various schools she attended. She first professionally recorded a song in 2014 when she released Napakinga.
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