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James Onen: From Just a Fatboy to a Radio Revolutionary, a Ugandan Joe Rogan

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Two decades ago, a young Fatboy joined Sanyu FM to try his art at the booming radio station. Year on year, he went to build a loyal fanbase across different themes. The more contrarian he became, the more they fell in love with him. He was articulate, well-researched and knew how to keep his audience engaged. It was free thought at full throttle.

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He would go on to advance the ‘Men Going Their Own Way’ school in Uganda. Many men lined behind their humble Messiah to the promised land of MGTOW. The Fat Boy was redefining masculinity and breaking down walls of what a man should do.

As he approached forty, it looked clear that marriage was none of his plans. He would get Rukia as his one and only child, the most affected when he lost his job. So, when Sanyu announced salary cuts and James Onen allegedly led a sit-down strike, and before long, he was out of a job, many wondered what lay next for the two-time Decadenian.

It’s in these trying times that men get to rediscover themselves. Locked away in solitude in his Kiwatule Apartment, many kept guessing. They thought perhaps he would bounce back at Capital Fm. But that was only for strings of interviews concerning his binned career. He would come under attack for giving all his years to a radio station that didn’t mind throwing it all away without second thought.

Many figured that perhaps James Onen would start a podcast and grow that. It’s as though his life had been capped. For most Ugandans, life seems to end at 40. For James Onen, his just got started. It was a story of a man defying all rules of a third-world country. And so, he chose to jump right into the world of an online radio.

James Onen with Rukia in the good days

And what would be the name of the radio: Reckless Radio. Again, the critics would immediately come in, they poked holes in the name, poked holes in the fact that Ugandans can’t afford data. As per listening statistics, Reckless Radio has been averaging 18K listeners per day, with a bounce back of about 85 percent. The bounce could show that he’s already built a loyal following. But how far is he willing to go? Is this the long-awaited revolution?

There’s always a first to everything in life, and James Onen is that first. Given a choice between returning to his routine job at Sanyu and becoming an entrepreneur, Onen has chosen the latter. For now, most of his fans are joining in to build the story of a great Ugandan radio.

“It’s impressive that he developed the App, he designed the website, he’s done all that geeky stuff. I always thought he’s just another man masturbating every night, scratching his balls and just watching Japanese anime. But there’s more to James Onen. You don’t want to underrate him. He’s always ready to shock his critics,” a female fan on one of the Telegram groups commented. And his female listeners, perhaps in a bid to massage the man they claimed to hate, have pulled most of the weight. They’ve formed his PR department, they’ve closed out the bugs on the app. It’s like a tribe of reckless chaps doing amazing things.

Reckless Radio Bluetooth connectors

“It’s not so often that your listeners come together and work on making a platform even better. James Onen is influential. Many people have grown with him over the years. He’s just not another radio presenter. He’s one of their own, their family member. So they do all those things as though they’re doing them for a Brother or a father,” Joel a critic explains.

As they often say, it’s all about time. Will Fatboy’s grand gamble work out? Again, it’s only the reckless that move things, they change the world, they disrupt it, they challenge the norms. And in doing this, Fatboy has led a radio revolution in Uganda. As a Father of the revolution, we could as well crown him Uganda’s Joe Rogan. Maybe that too is an understatement, maybe there’s more to Taata Rukia than just being a Joe Rogan. In James Onen, the recklers, the reckless, the wrecks, whatever name we give his listeners, they have chosen to live and die with Taata Rukia. It was now or never… thankfully, the now won!

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UCC launches free Wi-Fi hotspot project

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UCC Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo.

By BigEyeUG Team
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) through the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) has launched a Wi-Fi hotspot project covering five border posts across the country.

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The project, to be implemented by Blue Crane Communications Limited, an Internet Service Provider, will provide broadband services at the five border posts of Mutukula (Kyotera); Vurra (Arua); Malaba (Tororo); Elegu (Amuru); Bunagana (Kisoro).

Launching the project at the UCC head office on Wednesday, UCC Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, who was flanked by the Director RCDF Nyombi Thembo, said the project aims to provide connectivity in transit areas to facilitate business and support the fight against COVID-19.

Mr George Waigumbulizi, a Director at Blue Crane, said his company would deliver a bandwidth capacity of 5Mbps per user at the selected sites.

Being in line with the RCDF Phase III Guidelines that prioritise broadband connectivity and access, the Wi-Fi hotspot project will enable the public in the beneficiary areas to access free and reliable internet connectivity.

This intervention is also informed by the National Broadband Policy, which seeks to promote broadband coverage across the country. The policy defines broadband for Uganda as robust connectivity that is affordable, reliable and delivers a minimum of 5Mbps to the user for applications, content and services.

In targeting border towns, UCC/RCDF recognised that people in transit areas have unique communication needs that can be addressed through access to public Wi-Fi hotspots as long as they own a Wi-Fi capable device. Wi-Fi in such locations is even more suitable and convenient because it doesn’t require a SIM card or existence of a subscription relationship with a service provider.

Through this project, the Commission will also be able to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 by addressing the communication needs of people transiting through the said border posts, some of which have been identified by the Ministry of Health as hotspots in the fight against the pandemic.

By providing free broadband service, it is believed that the experience will spur market demand among the local user population, and eventually drive uptake of broadband services in these areas.

The project also aims to increase the number of ICT devices such as computers and smartphones in the area, as well as encourage digital literacy, thereby reducing the digital divide.

Besides improved social services, the selected areas are expected to experience the ease of doing business through e-commerce and e-government services, thus contributing to social-economic transformation.

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Fresh Dairy Re-Assures Families With Healthy and Nutritious Products That Contribute To a Balanced Diet

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By BigEyeUg Writer

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Nutrition is fundamental to ensuring healthy development for children and families. Having a balanced diet is one of the basic requirements of nutrition. A balanced diet implies having a meal that contains different kinds of foods in certain portions such that the body’s requirement for nutrients is met.

While a balanced diet should be a must have in every family, in this fast paced era it can be a challenge for parents to ensure that their families are eating healthy and nutritious foods. The lack of time often forces families to either stick to one type of meal for long or to prepare quick easy to make junk food which doesn’t have sufficient nutrients required by the body.

Fresh Dairy, the leading producer of dairy products in Uganda seeks to address the need for balanced diets in families by producing healthy and nutritious products including Fresh milk, flavoured milk, Long life or UHT milk, powdered milk, Fresh Dairy flavoured yoghurt, Brookside Fruit yoghurt, ghee and butter all made with fresh milk from Ugandan farms. All Fresh Dairy products are nutrient-rich with Energy, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat and Calcium among others.

Commenting on the need for families to have a balanced diet, Marketing Manager Fresh Dairy – Vincent Omoth noted that Fresh Dairy takes pride in being a family brand that ensures that families enjoy dairy products, that are not only healthy but packed with nutritious ingredients. ‘At Fresh Dairy, we put the family dietary needs at the fore front while developing products. We ensure that all members of the family, from the children, teenagers, adults are catered for by producing a variety of products, in varying sizes and flavours to meet changing consumer needs.

Omoth added that both Fresh Dairy and Brookside products can be consumed according to individual consumer preferences. For instance Fresh Dairy Flavoured Yoghurt and Brookside Fruit Yoghurt can be consumed as healthy snacks, Butter can be used as a spread on bread or for baking, Ghee can be added to meals, Flavoured milk can be consumed on the go in between meals, while Long life milk can be consumed straight from the packages or cooked. All this is meant to meet varying consumer needs, he added.

All Fresh Dairy and Brookside products are available countrywide in Shops, Duukas, Kiosks, Supermarkets and Tricycle agents located near consumers. Customers can also place orders for free home delivery by calling Fresh Dairy’s customer care toll free line on 0800100020/21 or WhatsApp 0715744664.

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Entertainment News

John Blaq reveals why he will never sing political songs

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Musician and entertainer, John Blaq

By BigEyeUg Writer

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Ugandan entertainer and musician Kasadha John also known as John Blaq has come out to reveal that he cannot and will never create a song for any politician or any political party.

Speaking in an interview, the golden boy from the East said that he would never let his reputation be soiled by self-seeking individuals particularly politicians. Asked why he took this direction, the Mama Bulamu singer had this to say.

“I want to clearly state that I cannot sing for any political party or politician. All these things usually come with a lot of challenges and disagreements due to the opinions different individuals hold. I instead prefer staying neutral and giving my fans entertainment through heart to heart songs “ the singer said.

The “Tukonnectinge” hitmaker also explained further that he believes he is surviving because of the support he gets from his fans and therefore cannot trade his talent for the selfish politicians.

John Blaq recently released his latest song dubbed Ngamba. This came after he fell out with his management..

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Sheilah Gashumba’s relationship with boyfriend, Gods Plan on the rocks

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By BigEyeUG Writer

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It seems our favourite young celebrity couple Sheila Gashumba and boyfriend GodsPlan are taking a break. Just days after city socialite Ali Marcus alias Godsplan came out on his Snapchat to reveal his break up with his long time fiancée Sheilah Gashumba, it is now clear that the two have let go of each after deleting their pictures as couple on instagram.

According to information gathered, the two who had many pictures of each other all over instagram surprised their fans when they deleted pictures of them as couple leaving their own singles.

It is said that the two love birds had reached the darkest part of it all after they both started hitting at themselves with allegations of infidelity which forced God’s plan to announce their splitting. “I can confirm me and lil stunner have parted ways,” he said.

Sheilah and God’s plan started dating three years ago and have been able to live in the spotlight as a young celebrity couple. The two have been known for living a lavish lifestyle with trips and vacations. They have been able to do things together regardless of their fights.

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