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I won’t settle to being a man’s side chick

Tinah Teise says she has learnt to treat celebrities as her clients because it is the only way they will always respect and take her seriously. PHOTOS BY Esther Oluka

OFF CAMERA: Although she gives out a little more mature persona on TV, Christine Kyomujuni Mweteise aka Tinah Teise, is only 25 years old. She blames the early loss of her parents for making her grow up fast. The NTV Login Xtra presenter shared her story with
How did you get the Login Xtra job?
I shared the concept of the show with NTV and management loved it. That was it.

What were you doing before you became the presenter of the show?
I was still presenting at NTV but hosting a show called Loud and City before it was revamped to About Town. I started presenting at the station around 2014.

At what point in life were you in 2014?
I had just graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. But even throughout my three years at university, I juggled work and studies. I worked during the day and headed to class in the evening. I worked at different organisations, including a bank, telecom company and radio station.
I have watched your show and noticed that the scenes are usually shot in the night. Is that when you mostly work?
Yes.
How are you finding that kind of life?
It is tricky. Somehow, your whole being is restructured. Imagine people are sleeping while you are working. Then as everyone is heading to work in the morning, you are heading back home to sleep. It was tough in the beginning but I adjusted over time.

This reminds me of a post on your Facebook timeline sometime last year when you were attacked in the night. What exactly happened?
I was attacked in Kiwatule, a suburb in the outskirts of Kampala. This was after I had dropped off some of my colleagues to their respective homes. It was a horrible experience but thank God, I came out of it alive. The incident happened last year in October. I was driving and when I slowed down on a hump, someone threw a stone through the co-driver’s window. The stone hit my hand and I braked. Before I knew it, a man opened the co-driver’s door and jumped inside the car and pushed the gear from drive to parking. A few moments later, other two men entered the car. They made off with some of my things, including a handbag and phone.
With the ongoing insecurity in the country, what precautionary measures are you taking now?
I do not park in strange or abandoned places. I do not take shortcuts and usually, I have a trusted person on the co-driver’s seat if I am going to work late.
Is your work as glamorous as it looks?
The 30 minutes of the show is what we edit for you to see. It is the party highlights accompanied with the glitz and glamour. What people may not know is that the real hard work goes on behind the scenes, including the field work and the long-dragging nights. Therefore, despite the many events I cover, I am actually working and not having fun as many people assume.
What kind of person are you off camera?
I love being indoors when I am not working. Some people say I am anti-social, a perception I find false. What those people should probably know is that I am the type of presenter who will attend a function alongside my team, figure out what we are supposed to do, shoot the scenes and head back home.
Which celebrities have you previously interviewed and have found very likeable?
One of them is Koshens, the Jamaican artiste. He is so cool and down-to-earth. Irene Namubiru is another kind and warm-hearted person. She is a totally different person from the one you see on television. I love her.
Unlike his singing partner, Radio, Weasel is also another really cool guy.
Any celebrities you have established friendships with?
Yes. Jose Chameleone is a one of my good friends in the entertainment industry. Before I became a presenter, I used to fear him because of the negative stories I used to read about him. But along the way, we have become good friends. There are times he will call just to check up on me. Cindy is also a good friend and that girl works very hard; She is talented and very honest. She is an open book. You will ask her a question and she will give you an authentic answer.
Some tabloids have linked you to different artistes and socialites, including SK Mbuga.
I work in an industry where I rub shoulders with all kinds of celebrities. I am not a celebrity. I just do my job. I call these people my clients because I have to work around them. So, sometimes you will be at a place and a picture is taken of you interviewing someone, giving them a hug or even saying hello and it will be interpreted the wrong way. I do not really care much about what they write about me as long as they do not involve any of my family members.
What happens in instances when these celebrities make inappropriate gestures or express interest in you?
As a person who has been in this industry for some time, at the back of my mind, I know that once you start messing around with the people you get your business from, they will never take you seriously. You will lose your respect. If you slept with one person, word will go around and before you know it, everyone will be talking and in the end, you lose your respect. I do not want to be known for that. I treat these celebrities like clients, nothing more.
Have there been moments when you have wanted to quit your job?
That happens in every profession. There was a time I actually woke up one day and quit being a presenter of the show About Town. It was not because I was tired but I felt demotivated. I was fortunate to have landed the Login Xtra job immediately after I left my previous one.
Is Tina in a relationship?
Not at the moment.
Why are you single?
90 percent of the men who express interest in me are married. It is not because they want to leave their wives but rather they think that girls working in the media want the good life and they think they can avail you with that. They want to buy you a car, take you on holidays, cater for your bills, give you money and that’s it. I would not settle to being a man’s side chick because I have the qualities to be someone’s number one. I would not take second place, No.
Also, the guys who would date me; my age mates, those in their 20s are intimidated. Probably in their minds, they think they cannot afford us. Then, there are those who finally get the courage to make a move and when we finally accept, they become insecure probably because girls like me are either too independent or desired by many other men. Before you know it, the fights start and things get out of hand. I have decided to wait as I keep praying to God to avail me the right man.
When was your last relationship?
About two years ago. Things did not work out because of his insecurity and he cheated on me.
Has presenting always been your dream?
As much as I knew that I was going to fall somewhere in the media, I did not know it would be on television or in any other platforms including radio or newspaper. I wanted to go and study Literature at the university but my family members advised that I do a more marketable course… and that is how I ended up doing Social Sciences.
What inspires you to do the work you do?
My family. I do not come from a privileged background. I lost both parents when I was very young, so I never experienced that parental love. So, after they died, life had to change. It changed in a way that I did not have a second chance. If my siblings and I were lucky to get school fees, it was very important to go to school, focus on our education and pass. It was all about self-discipline. Most of my life choices were because I was responsible for myself. I have older siblings but everyone was vouching for themselves, hustling and finding work for the better of the younger siblings. I am independent and strong-willed. I grew up too quickly after they died. We learned to take care and fend for ourselves. I have five sisters and five brothers.
Any career advice for people who want to venture into your field?
It is always important to have passion for any job. If you are not zealous about your work, you will not keep going. Passion is what keeps you going even when things are bad at work. Personal self-discipline is another important aspect and that includes time keeping. You have to be updated constantly with what is happening in the entertainment industry. Then, when you finally get the job, never let the fame get to your head. Learn to stay humble and desist from stepping on other people’s toes.
I have seen you acting and being a vixen in music videos?
Yes, I have acted in NTV’s Second Chance and I was a video vixen during my earlier days at university but opted out when I became busy with books.
Five-year plan…
I hope to have developed the biggest production house in the country.
Your parting words…
To anyone reading this article, I want to emphasise the need that you always need to believe in yourself because no one will. People will encourage and pray for you but if you do not have that self-belief, nothing will ever work out. You need to tell yourself every day that nothing is impossible. Another thing to never forget is that never allow the devil to steal your hope. Any man without hope is as good as a dead man. You need to always believe that things will always work out. You need to be optimistic.

Family and education background
Christine Kyomujuni Mweteise was born 25 years ago to the both late John and Annet Mweteise. She has 11 siblings, five sisters and six brothers. She attended Uganda Martyrs Primary School, Mbarara and finished Primary Seven in 2003. She completed senior four in 2007 at Crested Secondary School, Kampala and Senior Six in 2009 at Lakeside College, Luzira. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Makerere University.

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