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FM Radio broadcasting in Uganda turns 20 this month.

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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.

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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.

 

james onen seanice sanyufm

James Onen aka Fat Boy and Seanice Kacungira host Sanyu FM’s flagship show Sanyu Breakfast weekdays 6-10am.

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.

Kato Lubwama, Abbey Mukiibi and "Bwakedde Mpulira" host Abu Kawenja offer choice prime time listening weekdays 7.30am-7.50am

Kato Lubwama, Abbey Mukiibi and “Bwakedde Mpulira” host Abu Kawenja offer choice prime time listening weekdays 7.30am-7.50am

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!

alex ndawula

Capital FM;s Alex Ndawula

 

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.

XFM Station Manager Siima

XFM Station Manager Siima

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.

Xfm's Rudende

Xfm’s Rudende

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.

libolo

XFM’s Libolo

XFM’s X-AM breakfast trio Libolo, Siima Kyakuhaire Kyomuhendo Sabiti and Rudende Nkurunziza share a Kodak moment (was it a Nikon moment) “off air”.

XFM's XAM crew

XFM’s XAM crew

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.

kk xfm

XFM’s drive show host KK

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.

X-FM's Siima Kyakuhaire Kyomuhendo Sabiti and KK (Katuramu Kenneth)

X-FM’s Siima Kyakuhaire Kyomuhendo Sabiti and KK (Katuramu Kenneth)

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.

siima and kk1

XFM’s Siima and KK

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”.

Capital FM's Shawn Kimuli and Tatu

Capital FM’s Shawn Kimuli and Tatu

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.

shawn and tattu

Shawn and Tattu

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.

capital fm gang

Capital gang on Capital fm

Capital Gang panelists Ofwono-Opondo and legislator Chris Baryomunsi.

Capital Gang panelists Ofwono-Opondo and legislator Chris Baryomunsi.

The Gangsters listen intently as a colleague makes his submission.

The Gangsters listen intently as a colleague makes his submission.

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.

 Irene Ochwo host of the mid-morning show on Radio One (FM 90)

Irene Ochwo host of the mid-morning show on Radio One (FM 90)

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 KalemaLillian 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).

Early broadcast proprietors Thomas Katto, William Pike and Patrick Quarcoo

Early broadcast proprietors Thomas Katto, William Pike and Patrick Quarcoo

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.

Peter Sematimba and his family.

Peter Sematimba and his family.

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.

Rasta Bob

Rasta Bob

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.

 

Angela Newman commonly known by her on-air name Crystal

Angela Newman commonly known by her on-air name Crystal

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.

ug 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.

capital fm gaetano

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.

father

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

allan

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

bangi

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

elvis

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

juliana

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

brenda

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

father

 

 

 

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Famous Ugandan Prophet Launching Return Flights To Heaven For UGX 5 Million

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By Our Reporter

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A famous Ugandan Prophet who’s been to heaven a number of times has some big news for his followers. Apparently he’s succeeded in convincing God to allow him transport other people to heaven for a few.

These will be the first of their kind return flights in the world. “Last time I was in heaven, I requested him to allow me to be coming with some of you. The good news is, Papa God said yes,” the Prophet told his followers in the areas of Lugogo.

The big deal is, tickets on Air Heaven will cost UGX 5 million and they are on a first come, first serve. But from what we have heard, a number of the followers have booked out the flights. One of the ardent followers told BigEye.ug; “I always prayed for a chance to see Heaven. Thank God for the prophet, now I can fly there at least twice a year and speak to God and Jesus face to face, then swim with the angels in the afternoon.”

We shall keep you updated about the flight schedules

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Photos: Mr. Eazi thrills fans at album listening party

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It was a fun filled experience for Kampala fans of popular Nigerian artiste Mr. Eazi, as he on Thursday night, treated them to a wonderful listening party for his third studio album tilted ‘Lagos to London’.

The exclusive listening party which was held at Cayenne bar in Bukoto was hosted by Smirnoff Vodka, which is also promoting his album.

The unique music experience gave fans a special opportunity to listen to the new album with Mr. Eazi as well as be treated to a special performance by the artist.

He performed songs like Pour Me Water and Property as well as collaborations with artists such as Simi, Burna Boy, Chronixx and Maleek Berry.

Mr. Eazi also announced the launch of his emPawa Program, meant to empower Africa’s young and undiscovered music talent to global success. The accelerator program will empower 100 African musicians annually drawing from a USD300,000 fund.

Here are some photos from the party.

Mr. Eazi thrills fans at album listening party

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Buzz Leavers Rock party returns

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Buzz Leavers Rock

Revelers having a good time at the Buzz Leavers Rock 2017 edition

The annual Buzz Leavers Rock fiesta is back. The Mountain Dew sponsored event is an end of year grand teen party hosted at the Garden City rooftop. It attracts scores of teens who converge to indulge in unbridled fun as they celebrate the end of yet another academic year.

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According to Buzz Events’ Julius Kyazze, the event will feature extreme sport activities like wall climbing and power raisers among others.  There will also be crazy DJ mashups all day.

“Buzz Leavers Rock is the way to kick off stress, kick start the long holidays and also meet up with friends,” he added.

The preparations are already underway. Slated for Saturday, December 8th, the party will be on 3 floors. Gates open at 10am and entrance is only 5k which comes with a complimentary drink.

Staff Writer

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