By Gloria Haguma
Solomon Kaweesa is a Luganda news reporter working with NTV Uganda, a Nation Media Group company. He spoke to Gloria Haguma about his career journey and social life.
1. What did you want to become when you were a child?
I always wanted to become a pastor or priest. These men of God exuded the highest degree of humility and they were knowledgeable. But my mother did not support my career aspiration and I later abandoned it.
2. Who then inspired you into journalism?
My father. Although he was an engineer, he always wanted us to be informed. Reading newspapers, listening to and watching news at home were compulsory. This is how I started falling in love with the profession.
3. You read news in Luganda with so much ease. Did you undergo some kind of training?
It’s just a talent. I love telling stories. The only training I got was doing a journalism course.
4. Let’s talk about Luganda idioms that you use every time you are reading news. Do they come naturally or you spend time rehearsing them?
Much as I have many of them on my fingertips, I take time to choose the idioms to use on a particular day. All I need is concentration to ensure that they flow the exact way I anticipated.
4. How do you respond to criticism?
Positivity is key. Those who criticise me want me to be a better person.
5. There is a section of people who think you are extravagant with proverbs and idioms.
Those who understand Luganda appreciate the use of idioms in news reporting. I have also learnt over the years that you cannot please everyone.
6. If you are not doing journalism, what else do you do?
I am a farmer and I when I am not at office, I spend time at the farm. I also do music and emcee at different ceremonies.
7. Which house chore do you hate doing and why?
I hate ironing. Give me a heap of clothes to wash any day but not ironing.
8. Which media personality do you look up to?
Locally, it used to be the late Francis Bbaale. Frank Walusimbi takes the second position. He is skilled and has a way of being humorous whenever he is reading news. Internationally, I love Christian Amanpour, a chief news anchor for CNN.
9. What would you tell a university graduate?
Don’t think about journalism as a money-minting venture. You are bound to be disappointed. Think of it as a service. Passion is also key.
10. Which book would you recommend a friend to read?
Carcase for Hounds by Meja Mwangi. He’s a Kenyan writer. Besides being my first ever novel to read in Primary Four, the storyline is interesting.
11. What legacy do you want to leave?
I share my blessings and talent with many. I want to be remembered as someone who used my talent and time to mentor others.
12. You have been in this industry for some time. What lessons has it taught you?
When you do something you love, you do it so effortlessly. Never expect to become rich or wealthy with your eyes only on journalism.
13. What do you find attractive in a woman?
I am attracted to intelligent, eloquent and polishedwomen.
14. If you had to change anything about the media in Uganda, what would it be?
Institutions should invest more in building hands-on skills of the students they train. Many students have good grades which they cannot defend in a typical workplace. Media houses ought to devise means of retaining good talents.
15. If you had to go back to school, which course would you do?
Perhaps I would study medicine. I have met many people with health complications that make me wish I were a doctor to save their lives.
16. Have you ever regretted your profession?
I am doing what I love. I would have regretted if I joined any other profession.
Much as I have many idioms on my fingertips, I takes time to choose the ones to use every particular day. All I need is concentration to ensure that they flow the way I want.