Women have been chasing after me since childhood

Saturday June 8 2019



Denis Duke. Courtesy photo

Denis Duke. Courtesy photo  

By Gabriel Buule

Who is Denis Woniala?
Many call me Denis Duke but my real name is Denis Woniala. I am a television journalist who hails from Mbale but my ancestral home is in Bulambuli.
I am a father to a seven-year-old daughter. I went to Tunyi Primary School in Bulambuli, Mbale High School for O-Level and Mbale Senior Secondary School for A-Level. I later joined UMCAT School of Journalism and enrolled at Ndejje University for my degree in Public Relations. I started working in 2012 with Total Uganda as a customer attendant and later joined WBS TV in 2015, as a sports news reporter. I worked with Urban TV as a news reporter and anchor. Currently, I work with NBS Television as a news reporter

What is life like as a journalist?
Life as a journalist has been a hustle. Journalism as a profession, demands utmost commitment. Sometimes journalists have to work long hours. Some are never paid for the services offered. The pay itself is meagre. It takes sacrifice to do journalism. But I am passionate about the profession. In my world, journalism comes second after my life.

Share your experience of working on television.
There is a lot I have been able to learn from colleagues but also teach others, including interns. Television means that everything journalists do is visual. In some cases, it is hard telling stories when the source does not want to reveal their identity. Television requires a set of skills. One should be able to go to the field, shoot video content, write a script, voice, edit the content and be on time. I have been able to learn all this and I am perfecting the skills.

Do women hit on you?
Women have been running after me since childhood. If they did run after me then, imagine now. But over the years, I have managed to handle advances from women. I focus on my work.

Why do we have few female journalists in Uganda?
The profession does not provide an enabling environment for female journalists to flourish. It needs fierce, ambitious and aggressive people and very few females can live up to the expectations. Women have also fallen victims, to sexual harassment in media houses. Men continuously use girls in exchange for opportunities, which has scared away great female journalists.

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Do journalists extort money from sources?
Some journalists take money from sources. Journalism has been commercialised. In instances where sources have a hidden agenda, they use journalists.

Is it decent for a female journalist to wear a pair of trousers?
I have no problem with female journalists wearing trousers. The question is, when and where. People judge us by our physical appearance. For example, would you go to interview the Kabaka or his wife, the Nnabagereka wearing very tight or damaged jeans? Journalists must pay attention to what they wear.

Are you married?
Uhmmm! I am not yet married but hopefully, I will get married when I meet someone who truly understands me.

Would you marry a journalist?

Considering what we go through as journalist, I would not consider a journalist for a wife. There are times I have been away from home for days, weeks or even months. And to me, this is not good for family’s growth, survival and development. Therefore, having a woman in the same profession like mine, would be suicidal.

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