In a recent chat with renowned Ugandan radio presenter and YouTuber Gerald Seguya Lubega a.k.a Kakalaamu, he speaks to Mbu.ug about his journey in media, challenges working with celebrities, goals and so much more.
Gerald Seguya Lubega
Kakalaamu Da Answer
What are you most known for?
I am a Radio Presenter working with Radio Simba. I am also a YouTuber on my channel ‘Uganda Byogere‘ on YouTube. Formerly, I have been a TV presenter on Delta TV’s Mix show, HG TV’s Sisimuka show, and a couple of other shows before running the Ki Ekiliwo gossip morning show. I ended my TV career so that I could join Radio.
When and how did your career begin?
My career on radio officially started in 2018 on Radio Simba after joining the Wolokoso program which ran every Saturday morning. I was a replacement for Kapalaga who had left to start a new life in the United States of America.
Why did you choose media over any other thing?
Honestly, this is what I always wanted to do since I was young and I yearned to go to school and study a course that pointed me in this direction. God was good to me and I was able to study what I wanted to do and placed me in the right positions to help me execute it. I am living my dream!
Who inspired you to join media?
The entire Radio Simba team and employees really attracted me to join media and I worked so hard to be able to work with that same team after school. I still work here and I’m grateful.
Describe your journey in media
Towards the end of 2016, I started working on Delta TV on the Club Mix Show every Saturday. I then joined HG TV in 2017 and worked there for a whole year. In that same year is when I started working on Radio Simba in the Traffic Update Reports segments.
In 2018 I was called in to replace Kapalaga on the Wolokoso morning show every Saturday and that commenced my official career on radio. So from 2018 to date, I have been evolving on the radio.
How much did you earn as your first salary?
(Laughs)…That is quite confidential. I don’t want to discourage the younger people who would like to work in media. Having been my dream at the time, I often received whatever I was given without putting much emphasis on how much it was. It was honestly not so much but my goals were bigger than a mere salary.
What are some of the major three challenges in your line of work?
- First, it was hard to make people believe in my craft.
- Personally, I left TV because of poor pay.
- When I joined radio, it was hard for me to get on air with a main show because I was often told my voice sounded so young. So they had to take time to get my voice to mature and I think they later just got used to it. Maturing the voice was quite a big challenge.
What are the benefits of being a popular media personality in Uganda?
Connections! In the media, you will definitely get all the connections. The people you have always looked up to will always want to work with you. We deal with very important people like ministers yet we are quite ordinary people.
Such connections can push you to greater places that you never once dreamed of reaching. They have exposed me to people in the diaspora. Those are some of the major benefits I can say I have gotten from media.
Remember your network is your net worth!
Are there any achievements registered so far? (Awards or major recognitions)
So far I have not won any awards yet but I was nominated in the category of The Best Entertainment Reporter of the Year in the 2021 HiSkool awards. I did not win the award but I was voted among the best three personalities in the category.
Has your job landed you in trouble before?
(Laughs). I have survived being jailed twice. The first time was in 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown when Bebe Cool wanted to throw me in prison for doing an interview with King Michael. In the interview, Michael narrated how Bebe Cool had poorly treated him during the campaigns. I called Bebe to get his side of the story, just like any journalist would do but he took it the wrong way and uttered vulgarities on the phone. It gave me a hard time when I ran the story because he did not like it but he kept quiet.
When we did another story about the arrest of Blackskin being arrested over claiming ownership of Bebe Cool’s Gyenvude song, it annoyed Bebe so much and he believed that I was intentionally fighting against him. I received threats from people telling me how I was going to be imprisoned but God helped me and Bebe eventually let it go.
The second time was on the Wolokoso Saturday morning program. I do it with a team and one time there was a story that was run in my absentia. It was about Chameleone being involved in an altercation with a lady during a show in Mbale. When it was run, they thought it is me who had done it so Chameleone hunted me down for so many days. NBS TV presenter Kaiyz, however, later helped mediate peace talks to reunite me with Chameleone and we became good friends since.
Also recently, there is a story I did on my YouTube channel dubbed ‘Uganda Byogere’ about a man who claimed to have had a child with Full Figure. The man is even currently in Luzira and I got many summons to Police over Computer Misuse but Mama Fiina talked to Full Figure who then withdrew the case.
I remember working on a story about Lydia Jazmine after she had just separated from her former manager Bushingtone. Lydia Jazmine kept the audio for about eight months. When I hosted her on my show, she nearly cried saying that the story had a bad effect on her and I was also touched. I nearly cried. She later understood the issues and we are friends now.
There have been several other challenges. It is unavoidable when working in the media.
Is the media industry in Uganda thriving? If not; What is lacking?
Most people think our line of work is very easy and it’s a matter of sitting down with a mic and speaking whatever you want. There are so many people working in media by talent and rather not by qualification. Some of them are actually really popular but they have never really studied a thing about media. This has made several people believe that it is such an easy job to do and you find so many random people being given airtime on television and radio yet they do not deserve to be there.
Later, such people are then categorized in the same bracket as us who really went to school for this. It is so disappointing. Everyone wants to break a story nowadays but they do not know the different steps to take before publishing a story.
This has caused major setbacks in the media industry. By the time you break the actual story, several other people have already published different unconfirmed, sketchy, unconfirmed, and untrue versions of it. We do not even know who to blame for this. They have made this job such a joke!
What needs to be done to improve that?
I think the Uganda Communications Commission to ensure that qualified people are in the media. I also urge people not to play around with this job. If you are not qualified, give a chance to those that spent years in school studying to practice what they learned.
If you are already talented in the field, ensure to go back to school and add the professional bit to your talent and that will help improve the media. Don’t damage the media with ignorance.
What is the craziest thing a fan of yours has told you?
(Laughs) That might bring some trouble but I’ve been told by people that I would not make it on radio and the same people have then later come back to say how much they love me.
Our fans are quick to judge you. They will judge you straight on the very first day but they later come and say how you are doing a good job. To me, that’s quite crazy.
If you were not on radio, where would you be?
Huh! I honestly would rather not be anywhere else. This is what I always dreamed of. God really helped us that in my family, we are all doing what we always yearned to do when we were kids. Being on radio is the only place for me and I have no regrets.
What does the future look like for Kakalaamu?
I want to continue serving and representing the people from where I come from. I really want the people from Kayunga to be proud of me. Being on radio made them proud but I would love to be able to help them as a whole community of Kayunga, Kitimbwa.
Any last words for your fans?
I would love to thank the people who give us opportunities without judging our appearances, personalities, backgrounds, and where we come from but focusing on what we can offer as a person. I am always overjoyed when I read comments from people praying for blessings upon me. This is a person you have never seen or met but they pray for your well-being. That is deep and it always challenges me to believe that they see so much in me and I always try not to disappoint such people.
I love you so much and I pray that God keeps us alive so that each of us can achieve our dreams. Keep working hard and pursuing your goals. I wish you what you wish me and the best of luck in whatever you do.