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Interview: One on one with the first ever SafeBoda rider

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Moses Musinguzi, the first ever SafeBoda rider.

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By Our Reporter

He has been elusive to many. But we have finally managed to locate the first ever SafeBoda rider. He is a lively young man, with a charming smile. We had a chat with him about his journey thus far as a SafeBoda rider and here are the excerpts:

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Moses Musinguzi. I was born in Kasese, and I am 29 years old.

I completed my senior six at City High school in 2009, but couldn’t continue with further studies because university tuition was very high. I could not manage to support myself, so I instead decided to use my savings to start a business, and I later ended up as a bodaboda rider.

I am the first ever SafeBoda rider; you can call me SafeBoda 01.

What were you doing before SafeBoda?

Before joining SafeBoda, I was a business man.

I joined the BodaBoda industry in 2007 as a motorcycle mechanic. I also used to monitor my father’s Bodaboda business; he used to give out motorcycles on lease, and I was in charge of collecting the payment.

I later opened up my own motorcycle spare parts shop. But, in 2013, the business collapsed and that’s how I ended up as a Bodaboda rider.

How did you end up with SafeBoda?

Early 2014, I ran into a former client of mine for whom I used to repair motorcycles, who also happened to be the co-founder SafeBoda, Ricky Thomson. He told me about his idea, and I liked it because he told me that it would improve the image of the Bodaboda industry.

He told me that we were going to be provided with two helmets and reflector jackets, and then we would build a community of like-minded riders, gain people’s trust, and make it a premium service.

Having dropped out of school, I wanted to associate with a brand that would make me proud among my former colleagues hence I decided to work with safeboda.

What has the journey been like for you?

It has been as exciting as it has been challenging.

I joined safeBoda in 2014 as the onboarding officer and was charged with interviewing, training and recruiting riders. In 2015, I became the Driver Technology manager and was helping trouble shoot any problems riders had with using the SafeBoda platform. I later went on to join the driver engagement and support team which is about maintaining riders on the platform. But because the numbers have grown, we split up driver engagement and support and I am now leading the driver support team.

All this time, I have been a part time SafeBoda rider and also employee. But I am finally resting my motorcycle to become a full time employee.

I will miss being an active Bodaboda rider. I used to love meeting all those amazing people, but I have to specialize now and work on my personal goals. Although I will not be in the field, I will still continue to serve them indirectly.

Moses Musinguzi, the first ever SafeBoda rider.

What has been your biggest challenges as a SafeBoda rider?

My biggest challenge so far has been harassment from other riders who have not embraced the platform. Mostly the harassment has been verbal. For instance, when we stop at the traffic lights they hurl insults at you as they tell you to get out of their way. They see us as traitors because we offer low fares to customers.

What have been your biggest achievements as a SafeBoda rider?

With SafeBoda, I have learnt to be more professional. For instance, I have be trained on how to handle customers better, received first aid training and also learnt how to interact with technology.

Because of SafeBoda, I also no longer have to hide from my former school colleagues because I am no longer seen as a failure and this makes me proud.

Finally, I have also managed to construct a fully furnished 3-bedroom house, and I am also paying school fees for my kids.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I am planning to go back to school and complete university where I will pursue a Bachelor’s degree in data science or project planning and management. My dream is to become a renowned data analyst.

My second goal is to reestablish my old business, which I will run parallel with new position at SafeBoda.

What is your advice to fellow SafeBoda riders?

My advice to fellow riders is to stay away from things that consume their income. They should learn how to save and invest. They can always take on investments which are not high risk for example investing in another motorcycle.

Secondly, they should learn to treat customers better and abide by the SafeBoda rules so that they can stay on the platform which allows them to earn more.

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Entertainment News

Capital Kitchen: First luxurious and exclusive eatery opens in Kampala this Saturday July 28 2018

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Capital Kitchen (CK) an authentic World Kitchen inspired by the best in the food industry in the world has opened its first outlet in Kampala.

The World Class kitchen, an ultra-modern investment located on the storeyed Thobani Centre on Jinja Road, opposite Orient House, offers an exclusive and indulgent dining experience like never before. It is ideal for people who value class and also want a bit of a bargain.

According to Ashish Sharma, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Capital Kitchen, they are inspired by best in food industry around the world and will bring a variety of fresh food on the menu.

He explains that Capital Kitchen is bringing eight of the best moving contemporary cuisines under one roof.

“Our buffet concept is on the next level. We take pride in confirming that we are creating a niche in food industry of Sub Saharan Africa by bringing down 8 best moving contemporary cuisines under one roof. This will be in a highly authentic and affordable manner, Sharma reveals.

He also says that Capital Kitchen’s core value is to provide a pampering experience for customers by providing trendy and world class foods picked from cuisines around the world.

Some of the outstanding cuisines include Brazilian Churasico, Live authentic tandoor, Turkish grill and pastry display.

They have not forgotten on the indigenous Ugandan afraid to try out other exotic foods.

“We are getting ready to serve in such a way so that one can enjoy anything from the get the best African grills to the mouth melting tandoori kebabs. We shall also have the tempting Shawarma /Turkish kebabs, the Teepynyaki/sushi/ Dimsum/legendary stir fry and the Thai cuisine. All these will be part of our food theatre live buffet.

Sharma explains that aside from the buffets, customers will also enjoy bite-sized morsels of homemade cakes, comforting puddings, creamy profiteroles, fresh fruit and gelato galore.

“We also have the stuff that dreams are made of. We have the legendary chocolate fountain, featuring cascading Swiss milk chocolate and a selection of fresh fruit and marshmallows waiting to be enjoyed,”

He explains that for starters Capital Kitchen is out to sell to Kampala an experience and as such, immediate profits are secondary.

Sharma explains: “Our prices are unbelievable low. The price regimen rolls one buffet ticket concept where client can eat everything /anything they can from that massive spread at only sh40, 000

Apart from the one ticket offering Capital Kitchen has also brought more than twenty (20) pre plated meal platters (7 course cuisine based meals) of legendary cuisines for only 20,000.

For more information, contact 0781237890

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Celebrity Gossip

Interview: Meet DJ Kathy, a rising female deejay

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DJ Kathy

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Although the deejaying industry in Uganda is still male-dominated, many female deejays are coming up lately. One such is Dj Kathy, a rising young female deejay. We caught up with her for an interview and here are the excerpts:

1. Who is DJ Kathy?

My real name is Namiiro Kathleen Anna. Although I may seem quite reserved, I am a friendly person and very passionate about music.

2. When and what made you fall in love with deejaying?

I fell in love with deejaying in 2012. But my journey in this line of business started in 2010 after joining the Kampala Music School where I studied music and keyboarding.

I think what made me fall in love with deejaying was seeing people do something I felt I could also easily do given my IT background and love for music. I had previously completed a short course in IT at Makerere University during my S.6 vacation.

3. What is your typical day like? Take us through how you prepare for a deejaying gig.

After I have been contacted for a gig and payment negotiations are done, I start preparing a playlist depending on the type of event where I will be playing and make sure I am ready for my set. But If I don’t a playlist prepared, I simply study they crowd and play music that gets them excited.

4. Are you still in school? If yes, how have you managed to strike a balance between your academics and deejaying career?

Yes, I am still in school. I am currently in my final at MUBS where I am pursuing a bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Juggling between school and my deejaying career is quite hard, but I believe I have managed to do it because of my persistence and taking my studies seriously. Actually for me, education is my top priority.

5. What is that one thing most people are wrong about deejays?

One thing that most people are wrong about deejays is that they think deejays did not go to school. But, I tell you these days, most deejays are graduates. Some even have Masters Degrees. I actually want to be the first in Uganda with a PHD.

Another thing people wrongly assume about deejays is that they all have multiple partners, and that is not the case because every individual has their own principles they uphold. For instance, I am still single and not even searching.

DJ Kathy

6. What is your biggest achievement as a deejay at the moment?

My biggest achievement always is when I get the crowd dancing to the music I am playing. It does not feel good to be playing music and then see all people seated. It is very demoralizing.

My other achievement was being awarded the “Best Female DJ – Central” at Ug Mix Maestro awards in 2017.

I am also proud to say that I am currently the youngest female professional deejay in Uganda, going by records kept by the DJ Association of Uganda(DJAU).

7. Is a career as deejay fulfilling financially or you need a supplementary job to meet your day-to-day needs?

I am earning quite well through deejaying, because I am usually paid per hour. About a supplementary job, I am still quite comfortable with what I earn for now because my parents still take care of the big bills like tuition and I take care of the smaller bills like my upkeep. But, I think in future I will need another job, and that’s why I am still in school.

8. Finally, what is your advice to the youth who are still scared to follow their passion?

If you are following your dream, you have to be very focused because often there are always lots of temptations that could derail you.

The other thing is that you should always pray. I am a strong believer, and I know God will always make a way where there seems to be none.

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Celebrity Gossip

INTERVIEW: Pia Pounds talks relationship with Eddy Kenzo, Fashion and Music

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Pia Pounds

By Demo Riley

She is curvaceous, with a glowing smile and was recently signed to Eddy Kenzo’s Big Talent, making her the first female artiste to be signed by Big Talent (at least officially). But who is Pia Pounds? Well, we caught up with her and this is what she has to say.

For starters, who is Pia Pounds?

My real name name is Tracy Kirabo. My father abandoned us and my mum raised us as a single mother but later died and left me and my siblings with her sisters.

I was raised on a staunch Christian foundation, I was the lead vocalist in my church choir all my childhood.

I became immensely drawn to music when I was 8, I felt like no one understood me… and the best way I could express myself was through music. I became an outlaw at the age of 13 when I ran away from home because I felt mistreated and always misunderstood. Call me the black sheep of the family and certainly yes, I am very different.

I struggled while I was a teenager, with tuition and rent because I had to provide all that myself, my situation forced me to grow at a very tender age. I’ve worked in half the supermarkets and restaurants around Kampala, insurance companies too because I started working during the holidays of senior 3.

I’ve learnt to be independent and since I was a kid, I’ve always known music was the only thing I was truly good at. At 14 years of age, I was surrounding myself with music related environment because that’s where I felt confident the most.

I have always been insecure and very shy. I love music and art, writing, fashion, food and am a psycho for love.

Well, now that you’re under Big Talent, how is your experience working with Eddy Kenzo?

Big Talent in some way is more than just a label to me; it’s family. It’s one of those places where I feel safest the most. I’ve grown close to everyone there, sometimes I wonder what took me so long to find them.

We work hard, always in studio, always in training. So far, I love it there. And I hope my dreams really become a reality.

By the way there’s been rumor that your relationship with Eddy Kenzo goes beyond just music, how true is that?

I have grown weary explaining to my fans and Uganda at large that me and Eddy Kenzo have only business in common.

Eddy Kenzo is a very tough man, he has no time to play, you have no idea how many times he scolds me(laughs). He’s a great mentor and director, his heart is too big and I feel sad that people hardly see all this.

Many female artists whose music journey started off in labels have been dogged by similar rumors, for example Rihanna was accused of dating Jay Z, and Rema was rumoured to be dating Bebe Cool, but time is a healer.

You recently confessed that countless men have been approaching you for sex, how are you dealing with that?

I never said that countless men approach me for sex. The media chose to twist my words into what they wanted to hear.

I simply said in this industry, many females as viewed as sex objects that’s why thousands either fail or quit. It’s unfair how the world connects sex to our talents that If Pia is an artist it means she’s a whore. We are better than that and we deserve a little more respect.

Besides that, who’s the lucky man taking care of you?

Honestly, I am not ready to disclose my relationship status.

Three things you can’t leave without?

Definitely food, my fully charged phone and lipstick

What would you say is your inspiration, fashion wise?

Like I said, I was always insecure and I thought little of myself. Until one day in 2015 when I met Fatumah Asha. I was in my first year at university and she told me I had such an amazing body and she couldn’t wait to have me in some of her dresses. That compliment changed my life, next thing you know I walked into my school Miss registration office and registered as an aspiring Miss IUEA (International University of East Africa) in the competition I was crowned Miss IUEA second runners-up and Miss IUEA talent.

I was filled with so much confidence that out of 54 contestants I was a chosen one. I then met Bettina Tiana who became another inspiration and big mentor, most outfits I put one are chosen by her. I knew fashion was part of me, it makes me confident to put on a good outfit, there’s how it transforms my whole look.

Pia Pounds

Who’s your best male artist Ugandan artiste and why?

I have like 5, first the late Moses Radio – this man was exceptional, he wrote so damn well. He’s music took me through so many years of loneliness. And vocally, he was a genius.

Second is Eddy Kenzo. Before I knew him I thought he was just lucky but after seeing how creative he is in person, he can freestyle on 5 tracks in one day and he will release them all. He chooses his words in a way that makes them very relatable to the listener and hard to forget. My fave songs from him are – Twala Ewamwe, Stress free and Jubilation.

The third is David lutalo – I think he’s a very talented man. He writes so well and he’s voice is beautiful, his jam ‘So Nice’ is always on replay at my house.

Lastly, Fik Fameica. This kid has changed the whole Hip-pop industry of Uganda. I am his big fan.

Musically, what should your fans expect from you this year?

Music, music, music and more music.

The first time I was signed my boss he told me “Gwe ogenda ku kikuba”

We have a lot of work, only waiting for the perfect time to release it. I have great collaborations some with the male artists I mentioned above. I keep bettering my product all the time so the once a song is released, it’s hard to be taken un-seriously.

Some of the future prospects?

An album will be dropped at the end of this year. And lots of collaborations.

Last message for your fans?

I love them so much. They push me into becoming the best version of myself. I don’t intend to let them down, believing in me is a gift I take very seriously. Greatness is where we are headed.

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