Allan Bbale, a businessman selling general merchandise around town and at the same time a student at Mubs, meets his number one celeb Suhail Mugabi, a reporter at NTV.
Who is Suhail Mugabi in a few words?
Suhail is a free, fun loving person and a senior journalist/news reporter working with NTV Uganda, reporting on general news issues and judiciary/court.
Which schools did you attend?
I went to Buganda Road Primary School, Kibuli SS for my O’ Level, Gombe SS and Kakungulu Memorial School for A’ Level before joining Makerere University for an IT degree, which I later dropped to opt for Mass Communication at IUIU.
When did you start doing Journalism?
In 2009. I first worked with Media Plus under the mentorship of Bart Kakooza, a senior journalist and CNN Award winner and it’s from there that I joined NTV.
Who is your best reporter?
That would definitely be Richard Quest of CNN. Quest means business. He has looseness and freedom in character which expresses confidence and knowledge. I also like Piers Morgan.
Which Football club do you support and why?
I’m one of the greatest Arsenal supporters you will ever find.
What is the difference between you and the other reporters?
When it comes to reporting about court matters and the judiciary, I’m the guy in most cases to do that, but I can also deliver news on issues like crime, conflict, politics, education, human interest and health.
Which programmes do you enjoy watching on NTV?
I watch several like Deception, Ninja Warrior, Unbeatable Bazuke, Fourth estate, On The Spot, U-Turn, The Beat and Mic Check.
Most times I see reporters in risky situations like riots and so on. Don’t you think you put your lives in danger at times?
Yes it’s risky but it is our job to deliver what is on ground to people out there. The joy is always to survive all obstacles to deliver a wonderful piece based on research, confidence and facts. I think that is the reason NTV is the leading station in the country.
How have you benefited from this kind of career?
A lot. I recently won an award for the Best Criminal Court Reporter 2013, organised by the Legal Brains Trust, an NGO run by lawyers and the Uganda Court Reporters Association.
What story made you win that award?
The story was about the recent Bombo murder where 10 people were killed by a UPDF officer. I followed up the story from start to the end.
Who else won during those awards?
It was basically about NTV winning awards because even Sudhir Byaruhanga, a fellow reporter took home two awards.
If you are to go on holiday, what would your dream destination be?
Uganda being gifted by nature, I wouldn’t travel outside Uganda. Jinja especially the source of the Nile, waterfalls, Ssese islands, and Shaninga Lodge in Fort Portal are the places I would choose.
What’s your comment about the state of journalism in Uganda?
There is a lot of competition. Journalism has been liberalised, whereby everyone has been given the platform to speak their mind, but there are still some restrictions.