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Opinion

Opinion: Why Ugandan Tycoons like Ham of Ham Towers are suffering with debts

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hamis1

Ham relaxes at his palatial home at the shores of Lake Victoria.

By Wire James

http://www.theinsider.ug/nrm-boss-arrested-for-smuggling-rice/

http://news.ugo.co.ug/centenary-moves-seize-jomayi-multi-million-home-old-kampala/

https://xclusive.co.ug/2016/05/tycoon-ham-chokes-on-60m-loan-selling-mansion/

The above three stories are symptomatic of the Wild Wild West Uganda has become. As a nation, lately only crooks have been able to largely survive and pop their heads above the waters threatening to drown the majority of participants in the economy.

Apart from surviving and being able to meet school fees obligations while drinking an occasional beer or soda, most Ugandans have had a challenge breaking the barrier to the next level. Any attempt has been met by resistance from he unscrupulous players.

Now imagine Salim Uluru who inherited a very good going concern from his late Dad, to get involved in smuggling rice in my view indicates that he has probably built his empire on quick sand – Theft.

As for Jomayi and Ham, their love for flashy lifestyles doesn’t augur well with any serious entrepreneurial ambitions. Very few genuinely rich men will flaunt their wealth.

I won’t be surprised if we start seeing the likes of Samona, Movie and others going down this road sooner than later. It’s a matter of time.

But then again, if you are genuinely hustling out there, DONT GIVE UP. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Like cats, the thugs’ nine lives are nearly over.

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Opinion

Opinion: How to thrive as a journalist despite little pay

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Journalists at work

By Pat Robert Larubi

There has been an ongoing debate in the country about the situation of journalists in Uganda. The discussion has been focused mainly on the poor pay, exploitation and intimidation that has in turned threatened the true meaning of journalism.

The worst affected are supposedly reporters who do a lot of the donkey work, risk at the front line to get a good story and yet walk home with peanuts to sustain their hustle.

With some newsroom paying as little as 5000/= for a fully-fledged story, the struggled to file more than one story has outrun the value needed in a story and because of editorial pressure frontline journalist are more concerned about hitting the target but not the quality of the stories submitted to editors for final publication. There is more to quantity than quality and that seems to rule the game.

But journalists have been urged to wake up and fight for their freedom and stop pretending with a majority locked up in the racket of survival for the fittest characterized by low pay, working under pressure, and intimidation.

The discussion about the welfare of journalists happened to coincide with the World Press Freedom Day which falls on May 3rd. Held under the theme of ‘Journalism without fear or favour”, key media managers in Uganda sought to reshape the debate around journalism in a live tweet chat.

However, the challenges of such events has always been to account for an action but with no impact. Powerful speakers are lined up to spark the motion but more than often they are powerless and also just employed by the power that be “proprietors” who make final decision on the future of their ventures.

For instance, to discuss a befitting wage and advocate for a conducive work environment for all journalist in the country, a concerted effort by all players in the field is needed. This must go beyond panel discussion but rather continue to lobby and engage entities like National Association of Broadcaster with majority of these media proprietors, Government regulatory bodies, policy makers, donors and CSO with a bias in media development work as well as reporters so as to take on this debate heads on.

Short of that, the impression created through staged events to be seen as working for a common good of journalists in the country will lag on as the profession continues to be chained to death. Just like NIJU, the body of journalism established by the act of Parliament that died on its arrival. This implies that Uganda has no professional body tasked with issuance of minimum guidelines for entry and exit in the profession thus the mushrooming number of quacks.

Nonetheless, a few journalists have upheld the game and remained authentic by thinking hard, inventing, planning and moving on to build their career further to outmatch the standard and avoid being in the loop of quacks per say.

To thrive under the prevailing conditions, journalists have to find a niche. You need to find a topic and build your expertise and become a reference point. By doing so you have full control over your work and not being seen as a jack of all trades and master of none because you are lost chasing everything and yet you have nothing substantial to present.

With that said, you will need additional marketable skills say in photography, graphic design and video editing to stand out in the crowd.

Next on is value addition, you have to attach cost value to your work with close look on the time spent and expenses incurred in offsetting the production including airtime, data, food and on ground travel.

Newsroom continues to expand everyday with people who are willing to work for less or no pay at all but rather get their byline, face on the screen and voice on air but its good enough to have freedom and command on what you report.

About Author:

Pat Robert Larubi is an independent investigative journalist, special features TV News producer, and Lifestyle photographer.

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Opinion

Opinion: NBS taking over the social scene

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NBS TV logo

By Our Reporter

Have you realized how over the last few months, all the big concerts and social events have moved to have the Next Media companies, especially NBS Television and NXT Radio, as media sponsors?

From Blankets & Wine to Purple Party, the Burna Boy concert, Don Moen, Chris Martin & D’Major concert, Bakiga Nation, Nyege Nyege, to mention but a few. East Africa has Got Talent could be an addition here, this time as a show that trusted NBS Television to be the platform that will deliver maximum impact across Uganda.

NBS Television might have become Uganda’s leading TV station by being the political command center, but they have really evolved to be a major presence on the social scene as well lately.

But this doesn’t come as a total surprise. Over the last month or so, a one Renny Byamugisha, formerly in charge of on-trade marketing at NXT Radio, was promoted to take care of the same for the whole of Next Media Services, and NBS Television seem to be the biggest beneficiaries of the move so far.

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Celebrity Gossip

Opinion: What Solomon Serwanjja’s AIBs win means for NBS Television’s investigations desk

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Solomon Serwanjja

The hashtag, #NBSInvestigates, is a usual fixture among Ugandan trends online, with some of the most impactful news stories in Ugandan journalism history aired on the segment. It airs during NBS Television’s Monday edition of Live at 9, their prime news bulletin.

Solomon Serwanjja is only one of the investigative reporters that contribute to it, and his piece, done in conjunction with BBC Africa Eye, “Stealing from the Sick”, won a major international award – the Association for International Broadcasting (AIBs) Investigative Documentary Award.

This comes after Solomon Serwanjja was named the 2019 BBC Africa Komla Dumor Award that has him currently training with the BBC in London, England.

At the AIBs, “Stealing from the Sick” was nominated alongside some strong pieces like, Fault Lines – Targeted by a Text by Al Jazeera English, War Crimes for Likes by BBC Arabic Documentaries, Disasters at Sea – Coffin Ship by Exploration Production Inc., Inside Facebook: Secrets of the Social Network by Firecrest Films for Channel 4, The Atom Araullo Specials Babies4sale – Philippines by GMA Network Inc., and Wie is Schild & Vrienden echt? (Who are the Real Shield & Friends?) by VRT NWS.

That a Ugandan story is nominated among these is a milestone, that it wins is a major landmark for Ugandan TV at large, let alone the Investigative desk at NBS Television.

In the story, Serwanjja exposed the plight of Ugandan malaria patients who continue to suffer because of lack of access to drugs, with some even losing their lives, at the hands of government officials who steal and sell the drugs meant to be given out for.

But this is only one story. Some of the other pieces on #NBSInvestigates that moved the nation have also included Inside the Makerere University Sex-for-Marks Scandal by Raymond Mujuni, The Gang Terrorizing Kampala(Kifeesi) by Solomon Serwanjja, Girls in Risky Business by Canary Mugume, among others.

With the major wins by a man who is widely regarded as the one that started the investigative journalism at the Lower-Kololo-based station, I suspect coming investigations will be carried in even higher regard going forward… Maybe the next few pieces’ adverts should now start with, “From the producers of the major award-winning Stealing of the Sick…”

Staff Writer

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Celebrity Gossip

3 Reasons why the blame on Martha Kay and other women whose nudes leak is misdirected

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Martha Kay

By Bash Mutumba

In recent times, nothing excites Ugandans more than a leak of raunchy content; mostly the kind that involves a public figure. After the men recreationally finish the soap in their bathrooms, and the women envying and/or judging their fellow women’s bodies, the next step is usually to blame the victims of how irresponsible they are for letting their nudes leak, and often go on and on blaming them for taking these photos and/or videos in the first place. I’ll tell you why this blame is misdirected.

1. They don’t leak them themselves

In all honesty, of all the nudes and sextapes that leak, the ones that ask for them – who are also the only intended consumers – are usually the romantic partners, and it is very absurd that the blame is never laid on these particular individuals. The guy who leaked Zari’s video never paid for his sins, Desire Luzinda’s Nigerian lover was sure nothing would be done to him, Anita Fabiola’s offender too was never brought to book. Same applies to Judith Heard and now Martha Kay.

2. They are the victims

It is rather clear that cyber bullying isn’t something to joke about, as we have all witnessed friends and family succumb to depression after episodes of being bullied on social media. The best that can be done for such people is to show them they are loved, regardless of the betrayal they have faced at the hands of those they loved and trusted. Making fun, and threats of legal action and jail, aren’t the best words to tell to someone in a situation of being prone to mental health issues.

3. Ugandans should have rights to privacy

The whole essence of having mobile phones is privacy. They are not shared like landlines or pay phones, and the passwords therein, are ultimately to that effect. Ideally, every Ugandan should be able to take photos that empower them, without fearing that someone will encroach on their privacy.

I personally felt so sad when various people created fake pages in the name of Martha Kay just to get followers riding on her sorrow. It is needless to say, that we should spread love, not hate.

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