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Selector Williams worked for 250k

Selector Williams (R) with his fan Bashir Amar in studio. PHOTO BY Isaac Ssejjombwe

Hi Selector Williams. Who inspired you to join radio?
I would say Jimmy Katumba played a very big role because before I joined radio, he told me I had a good voice for singing and presenting. Besides that, I was also a good instrumentalist but he advised me to do presenting because I would then be in the driving seat overseeing the rest. I chose radio.

I have listened to most of your shows and you are quite knowledgeable. How are you able to pull it off?
In 2010 after I was fully entrusted with the show, I decided to do things a little different. I decided to do research about artistes in Congo and South Africa and talk about inner details that people didn’t.
My boss liked it and so did the listeners. The programme became one of the most listened to despite the awkward hours it used to air. So I would say doing a lot of research makes me different because up to now, you will leave my programme having at least learnt something new.

From being a producer to a presenter. Did your salary increase?
I was earning Shs250,000 when I joined Suubi FM but when I became a presenter, there was no deal signed so I continued earning the same salary.

You didn’t ask for more money?
I didn’t because I wanted to first work on my brand before anything else and besides that, I knew the programme wasn’t bringing in any money because of the time it was airing.

How long did it take for your brand to grow?
I continued to work and after some months, another presenter who was doing a weekly show also resigned and the boss told me to sit in.
From the early morning programme on Saturdays, I also started doing a daily show from 8pm to 10pm.

That is when the salary increased I guess?
No it didn’t. But it was the responsibilities that increased. I remember the boss called me one evening in 2010. We met at a restaurant and he told me that he had appointed me the programmes director. We didn’t sign anywhere and I had no contract. The listeners thought I was earning Shs3m but I was still earning Shs250,000.

Why all the patience?
Well, because I had given myself five years to work at the station. That was what I was waiting for.

How did you leave the station then?
After the five years, I remember taking some days off to do my personal stuff and during my leave, they called me for a meeting and told me they couldn’t work with me anymore. I guess it was what the boss was waiting for.

What happened next?
In May 2014, my friend Kasodde texted me to join him at Sapientia and after giving it a thought, I knew that was the place I needed to start afresh. I was previously advised to join Super FM, Akaboozi, among other stations but Sapientia was the place I needed. I listened to some programmes and went to the managing director, who told me that he was looking for someone who could change the station. Because of the experience, contacts and vision I had, I asked him for only two days to judge me.

How did you change the station in two days?
I came with my music on a hard drive and trashed all their music. Their Facebook page had 100 likes but I managed to make it more engaging and in those two days the numbers shot up, I taught the presenters things like strippers, intros and so on and also instructed them to only play old music. This worked out perfectly.

You were doing all this as who?
As the technical director. The position wasn’t there before.

JOINING THE RADIO BUSINESS
I have always loved music from the days when I was at St John Bosco Seminary Hoima in 2000. From there, I started working at VCL Studios where I got to know many musicians who used to come for video shoots and recordings.
In 2004, Kato Lubwama opened Kato’s Records in Kabakanjagala, where I became a producer. In 2007, a man called Bwogere Masembe came to Kato’s Studios and when he heard me talking, he thought my voice would work for his radio station called Suubi FM. In 2008 I joined the station in the production department but I felt that whatever the presenters were doing, I could do too. One of the presenters of ‘Suubi classics’ called Sembusi left the station and during restructuring, I filled his slot but the name changed.

OTHER JOBS
I am a presenter on CBS FM, where I do a show every last Wednesday of the month. I am also the station manager at Radio Sapientia and I have an eight-year contract.

About Selector Williams

Married? No
If he wasn’t on radio… Audio production.
Football Club? Manchester United because I got a chance to go there.
Best song? Gear Nene by Martin Angume

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