Flavia Tumusiime: A star glowing on account of humility

Behind the microphone at Capital Radio studios at Kamwokya, where she has worked since 2006 when she was 18 years old, four years after her first appearance on WBS’ Teens’ Club show. Her broadcast roles have since grown, as she is now a hot item on the international television market, too. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa.

What you need to know:

The young girl who graced our television screens as a teenage presenter is today shinning on international television as the Guinness Challenge co-host. It is the same way she has grown on radio; progressively and surely, leaving most of her colleagues in the industry either stagnated or dropping out. So, what is it exactly that has seen her steadily soaring in the broadcast industry? To Darius Mugisha, she admits that looks may have a hand in it, but that alone would never have gotten her where she is today.

The year was 2002, when a young, cute face with a killer smile graced our TV screens. Her name was Flavia Tumusiime and she was only 14 at the time. Tumusiime and a few other teenagers hosted the weekly Teens’ Club show on WBS TV.

Four years later, Flavia received a call from HOT 100 FM, a new radio station then, but she was there for just a few months before she received another call from Capital Radio. “I found a family at Capital Radio till today,” Flavia says.

But along the way, Flavia has done several other TV stints some on international channels. Born on February 11, 1988, she is a girl whose star seems to glow brighter than her and she knows it. “Yes, I do believe my achievements and work have grown beyond me,” she acknowledges, adding, “I don’t think I have sat down to take it all in, and realise where I am; I just keep going.”

Drawing out her career path
In 2010, she was chosen to replace Karitas Karisimbi as the host of K-Files show on WBS TV. And in 2011, a new chapter began for the then 22-year-old; she became the official Channel O VJ for Uganda.

As a VJ, she provides any music and entertainment content that appears on the channel and she also hosts various events and features for the channel. She also updates the channel with any new music videos from the region that meet Channel O standards.

A few months on the job, she was chosen to co-host the Guiness Football Challenge Show that airs annually on DStv. “By the way, the Guinnness Football Challenge is back for another season. I believe those two opportunities on continental channels have pushed me beyond Uganda and opened remarkable doors.”

Last year, Tumusiime was chosen to be the first East African to host the opening event of the Big Brother Africa show.

What is it about Flavia?
Some people think it is luck, others exceptional talent and skill, combined with a hardworking personality. Tumusiime says she has a lot of faith in God and she never forgets to say her prayers. “He is the reason for my blessings. Well, I agree there is a certain element of luck in all this, but you can be given opportunities and not make much of them. So, I have also done my best with what I have been given.”

More than anything though, she attributes her success to humility. “I have since learnt that it is humility. I have gotten exposure working with major productions and talents on the continent and they say that my ability to never be louder than my abilities is my skill. Always let your work speak for you and never let pride take over.”

Humility aside, Flavia is undoubtedly beautiful, a quality which cannot be ignored, especially its possible contribution to her success in an industry where image counts.

The 25-year-old, however, puts it clearly that she works hard and smart. “People see you before they hear you most times and so your image matters a lot, but that’s because its showbiz. So, obviously image plays a big role in getting you some opportunities. How you use the opportunities is where the success is though.”

Her beauty, too, she percieves with humility. “They say image is everything but again I say beauty fades and you must possess qualities beyond just what you look like.”

And she knows better than lean on this quality that fades for success. Instead, she emphasises her faith. “I am a big believer, I pray about everything and anything and I constantly talk to God because sometimes it gets hard to deal with overwhelming pressures and opinions against you, so you must find solace and that has made my relationship with God a strong one.”

The good looks
In person, Flavia is not very different from the person we see on TV. She flashes her beautiful smile throughout the interview, coming off as friendly, and although firm when she speaks, she is also gentle with a good sense of humour. She is in other words, not much different in person from the way we know her on television.

And, yes, her beauty is so captivating I cannot help but wonder out loud whether it is something she perhaps inherited from her mother. To this, she, of course, laughs, then answers, “Yes my mother is very beautiful, but I am not half as beautiful as my parents. Hopefully it will be my kids who will take after their grandparents!” She adds, “I would still make it without good looks though. Above and beyond what people see, it takes hard work and dedication to be successful at anything you do and I have both. So, I would certainly survive.”

Unaware of the magnitude of her achievements
The television star was an only child and she concedes that she grew up a loner. However, when she got to school, she loved making friends and doing everything she could not do back home, “At home, I would keep to myself but at school I was a headache. I got into a bit of trouble in my primary school. I later behaved but I had my moments that my mum cannot forget.”

She says she never dreamed about all she is today. “I always thought I would be stuck behind a desk in a suit, but that was before I auditioned for a slot on Teens Club in 2002. I was just 14 then and I was, luckily, given the job! I discovered I had a passion for it and from there I took the interest to learn more about it and perhaps see how far I can go with it, safe to say it’s been great.”

Flavia says she does not feel any different and she is not surprised that she has come this far. “I don’t feel big at all and I am not sure how big the world sees me. However, I’m not surprised because I put so much time and effort into what I do; most people think all it takes is waking up and going to smile on TV or just talk on radio...It takes preparation, dedication and an open mind,” she tips.

Love-life and future prospects
She refuses to discuss her future plans, saying that such a question should be directed to God. “He (God) knows where I want to go and where he has planned to take me.” She does mention though a desire to start a public relations firm. All she is willing to offer about her love-life is that she has been so lucky in love. “I haven’t experienced heartbreaks or the sort. My past relationships ended because we lost the reason we were together in the first place but not out of anger and we still remain friends.”

And she finds nothing special about being hit on, even though in her case, she is approached by both men and women. “It’s normal to be hit on. I am no different from any other girl getting hit on! Man or woman, it is just attraction and they are honest about it. It’s not like they are stalking me or anything.”

So, what is the craziest offer the beauty has gotten from a man? “Everything! From six Range Rover offers to ‘I will buy you a house every month you are with me!’ It’s funny, sometimes but you can’t blame them, they are made to believe every girl defines love with someone’s money.”

Unfortunately, not this girl as she can, and is, evidently, making her own money.

Born February 11, 1988. She is an only child.

Education background:
Flavia went to Kisubi Girls School until Primary Three, and moved to Arya Primary School, where she completed her primary schooling. She joined Kitante Hill School for her O and A levels. At the university, she pursued a degree in International Business at MUBS. Last year, she upgraded it with another degree in Public relations at Cavendish University.

• Started out on Teens club in 2002, and joined Capital FM in 2006, where she today hosts the Am-to-PM show. In 2010, she replaced Karitas as K-Files presenter.
• 2011: Chosen as the official Channel O VJ, charged with hosting some of the chanel’s events and providing the station with music and entertainment from the region. She was the same year picked to co-host the Guinness Football Challenge. Last year, she became the first East African to to host the opening act of the Big Brother show.


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