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Matrida, the voice Elgon celebrates

Matrida Kihunde

PASSION: Matrida Kihunde was recently awarded the most outstanding performance in media service in Elgon Region awards. The Step FM radio presenter talks about her journey to radio and what it means to her. OLIVIER MUKAAYA writes.

Who is Matrida? Iam Matrida Kihunde living in Mbale but hail from  Kanyambeho, a village in Kabarole District and a mother of three beautiful children. How and when did you get into the media industry? I got into media as a volunteer with Top Radio Mbale in 2004 while in my Senior Six vacation. When I joined university in my first year, I joined Step FM officially as a radio presenter for the The Pillow Talk show, which turned out to be the most famous programme in eastern Uganda.  How long have you been in media?For 12 years now.

What would you say was your breakthrough moment?That was in 2007 when The Pillow Talk show was the talk of town and people had many different ideas of who I was and how I looked and when I was recognised for Outstanding Performance in the east by Elgon Region Media Awards.  What did you study in school?I have a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Uganda Christian University, Mukono.

Which show do you present?The mid-morning show Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm and Step sessions every Sunday from 10am to1pm on 99.8 Step FM.  Both are relaxing music programmes. How challenging is a night show?I do not do the night show anymore due to health complications. But it was quite challenging to move to and fro work in the middle of the night. That is what made me change a different programme with the consent of management. The new show runs Monday to Friday from 9pm to midnight. What keeps you going besides radio?I do not thrive on presenting alone, I have a number of different ventures; some bit of agriculture and I also run a guest house. What do you think of radio personalities in Uganda?Well, Uganda has quite a number but unfortunately most of them have misused the platform. However, there are those who have mastered the secret in radio.

Who do you look up to?Apart from my father, Christine Mawadri and Juliana while they were still at Capital FM. They inspired me to get into radio and I have not looked back since then. What makes you different from other Ugandan radio presenters?I am me. I do not try to be someone else, but above all I care about my audience and the relationship I share with them while behind the microphone and when I meet them.  Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? On my farm somewhere in Fort Portal providing consultancy services to radio stations. Any achievements? Yes, from a teenage presenter to a station manager and above all being appreciated by the community that I serve.

Working on radio 
Challenges: Funny but I have not faced challenges because of my gender probably it’s because of the team that i started with and still work with. We look at what one can offer and not what sex they are.Word…Be you. Be honest and always put God first. The rest will work out perfectly.

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