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Date with a celeb : NTV presenter Ismail Kigongo meets fan

Kigongo (L) and Flavia Oketcho. PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWEIsmail Dhakaba Kigongo is a sports presenter popular for the NTV lunch time Sports Show (Omumuli Gw’emizanyo). He meets his fan, basketball player Flavia Oketcho.

Hi Isma. Please tell me about yourself?
My name is Isma Dhakaba Kigongo, a sports journalist. I am the fourth born in the family of Muzamil and Mariam Menhya who are both retired education officers.

What best describes you?
I’m basic, selfish for things I want, patient, never angry and hardworking.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received from anyone?
“Do whatever you do with passion and try to always keep time.” Dr William Kalema said it to me as I was interviewing him for the Golf 100 magazine.

Why sports journalism of all jobs?
I love sports so much.

What is your best sport then?
I love cricket.

Which sport do you play?
Surprisingly none. I never really had the talent while growing up. I tried to play many but never perfected any.

How do you prepare for a show?
I normally spend the minutes before the show joking with people to help me forget about mics and cameras. The rest is watching as much sport as I can.

Who inspired you to do sports broadcasting?
Growing up, I listened to Russel Fuller on BBC sports World and my brother Rajab. Then closer to home, Mark Ssali and Joseph Kabuleta changed the face of sports presentation.

What makes you stand out from the rest?
I think I’m audible, speak with confidence, calm and objective and have a wide knowledge to most sports.

Which schools did you attend?
I went to Hill Road Masaka, Fairway Mbale and Iganga Boys before joining Kibuli Secondary School, Kako Secondary School and St Henry’s College Kitovu for my A-Level. I did a Bachelors of Economics at Makerere University and, I am currently doing a Bachelors in Mass Com at UCU Mukono.

Who is your best sportsman ever?
I have a few like Sachin Tendulkar (cricket), Diego Maradona (football) and Muhammed Ali (boxing).

Who is your best presenter?
My best presenters are not really into sports. I listen, watch and follow a lot of politics. Christiane Amanpour is my best.

Why NTV?
They offered me a job and I said why not. I previously worked with NBS, WBS and Channel 44, but it’s NTV that turned me into who I am now. I also worked for Akaboozi and KFM in a period of five years.

Which team do you support?
I support the India cricket team, the Argentina soccer team and all the best sportsmen. I also wish Liverpool and Inter Milan well even if I can’t see myself being a fan anymore. I don’t have that blind faith other fans have.

Which TV show do you always watch?
I watch and listen to politics. I listen to Kiliza Oba Ganna on CBS, Fourth Estate on NTV and also The Beat, still on NTV.

What is your comment on Uganda Cranes coach Micho?
He loves Ugandan football, but picks some players I can’t mention who can never improve the team.

They say sports journalists earn little in Uganda. How true is this?
That is largely untrue but it’s tough to earn in sports, reason being Ugandan media houses don’t care, but if you are patient and have passion for sport, you can earn big.

Which Ugandan football club do you support?
SC Villa.

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