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How to be…Alex Ndawula the radio legend

ADIEU ALEX: He joined radio in 1993 when FM radio hit Uganda and to anyone, there is no doubt that Alex Ndawula is a legend. He has made his bark and even as he bowed out, not many really wanted to let him go. Whatever his life will be like without radio!
After 23 years on the airwaves, legendary radio presenter Alexander Ndawula finally bowed out. Certainly not from radio per se, but Capital FM where he has dedicated two good decades mashing up Ugandans with some masterful deejaying and ear-gripping presenting. Truth be told, this guy ruled the airwaves back in the day. Once he belted his deep croaky voice into the studio microphone, you instantly knew it was ‘Alex Ndawula time’. Ndawula was original to the core, nothing like the many ‘parrots’ we hear on radio these days who are plastic and misplaced. His show, The Dance Force was religiously followed every Saturday and he kicked major DJ’ butt for years. In the studio, he was untouchable, arguably the best in the business. Out of it, Alex Ndawula was an enigma, often accused of being a heavy drinker whose life and world revolved around the bitter froth that lives in a beer bottle. Jokes were made about how you could literally smell the alcohol off his breath through your radio. Haters! Who cares anyway? We can be glad to say we grew up listening to his voice that brought dull weekends back to life. Capital FM should literally close after his retirement. They will have no business in the market.
To be like the maverick radio presenter, here is your guide.

Longevity
Thou shall not chill whatsoever. The child that was born the same year Alex made his debut on radio turns 23 this year. Whaaaat? 23? That’s crazy. His workmate at Capital FM, Flavia Tumusiime, was probably still gagging her mum’s mammaries when he started out on radio. The aging Alex Ndawula has lived to see the radio industry go from legends like Alan The Cantankerous to clowns like Daniel Kanyerezi. He has seen it all. Presenters losing their Wakiso accents for cosmetic American ones. He has seen the radio industry degenerate from shows full of content to becoming a ground for theatre. Comedians are treating us to a platter of swashed up jokes. He has watched it all yet he refuses to go home and rest. The studio has been his home for so many years. Many of us are throwing in the towel on our first day at work. We can’t last a heartbeat. We complain about the weather, the bosses, the workload, the pay, basically everything. Guys are even resigning their jobs because their offices don’t have WiFi. Would you imagine that? Our generation is doomed. You are going to have to suck it all up and work. Stick around. Let children jump out of the womb, become your workmates and watch on. Make Sevo feel like he has someone giving him a run for his money. Quitters are garbage. Hang onto to your job until your grey hair can’t get any greyer.

Born For Radio
Let’s face it. Not all of us can entertain. Some of us are a bunch of boring folks who would rather sit miserably alone at bars. Watching paint dry would surely be a more interesting pass-time. Others like Alex Ndawula, Alan the Cantankerous, Rasta Rob were born entertainers and they surely did radio justice. Alex Ndawula’s taste for music is only rivaled by his taste for a cold beer. Alex on a ‘height’ was nuts on the decks. The music was insane and his judgment even more insane. Guy would legit lash out at listeners, no jokes. He was the whole package. A bowl of fire, a talented DJ and an all-round entertainer. However over the years, his grip on the industry has waned with age, but you can’t dispute his talent.
To be like Alex Ndawula, you will have to love your job. Love it in such a way that it will become your first and only focus. You will fall head over heels in love with it. Love it foolishly the way you love some of your girlfriends. Put in enough time the way you chaps chase some chicks that don’t give two hoots about you. Love your job like you would do your local pub and carry some pints to work. If you love your job this job much, it will start to show in your performance. You will be a star performer with a few mishaps. You can’t worry about that too much because we accepted Alex Ndawula the way he is.
Be real
If everyone was as open and candid as Alex Ndawula, we would either be in jail or a priest. It works two ways. Honesty in this country has never been warmly received. Speak the truth and you are called a hater or propagandist. Ndawula says it the way it is. The kind to straight up tell a chick that she is fat and urge her to work on it. It is the kind of truth that could get you sleeping on the couch at night or get you potentially dumped. For Alex, it has made his name cemented in radio folklore. Guy doesn’t play.
To be like Alex Ndawula, you are going to have to leave the country. Ugandans lie too much and don’t wanna hear the truth. Alex is a rare one. Tell it as it is. No additives.
There you have it. Go be like the legendary Alex Ndawula.

@InK_era35
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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