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How Wavamunno, ex-minister Ssendaula helped Faridah Nakazibwe kickstart her media career

Former finance minister Gerald Ssendaula and businessman Gordon Wavamunno are some of the people that played an important role in the early stages of Faridah Nakazibwe’s media career.

Faridah Nakazibwe

According to Nakazibwe, Ssendaula was a family friend. Ssendaula connected her to Wavamunno, who owned WBS Television, which was one of the biggest, if not the biggest TV station, at the time.

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"I got the job even before graduation. God helped me, my dad was well-connected. And one of his friends was friends with Sir Gordon Wavamunno," she said in an interview.

In the period leading up to graduation, Nakazibwe, who had studied mass communication at Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), got a job at Hotel Brovad in Masaka, which is owned by Hajat Sarah Nabukalu Kiyimba, another family friend.

"Before my month at the hotel ended, Wavamunno had confirmed the job offer... We went to Spear House... and they told me my voice was too young for TV," Nakazibwe recalled.

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She could have lost the opportunity to work with WBS, but she says the recommendation coming from a minister who was friends with the company owner made it hard for the managers to reject her.

So, they offered her a job as a news reporter instead of anchoring.

"When they told me your voice is bad, I stopped thinking about it [anchoring] again... I reported the news and I enjoyed it to death," she said.

A few months into the job, Wavamunno directed her supervisors to assign her a role of giving traffic updates.

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One day she reported about Wavamunno getting stuck in a snarl-up because of a muddy road. The area leaders worked on the road after seeing the story.

"He (Gordon Wavamunno) came to the office and said, you see why I started a TV?.. It's a very powerful tool," she said. She did the show for a year.

After a year and a half at WBS, NTV launched in Uganda and started hiring. Nakazibwe applied.

"I said let me try… WBS was the TV then... It had a big audience. But its management was not systematic," she said, adding that the boss would wake up one day and make decisions that “created panic in the whole place.”

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She says she hasn’t found the same challenges at NTV because they have systems.

For NTV, Faridah Nakazibwe applied to work as an editor and reporter. "But I think they saw potential in me... when I came to pick my confirmation letter, I found anchoring," she said.

She has been with NTV since 2006.

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