Luweero’s go-to: Culton Scovia Nakamya is only 24 years old, but when you hear her report the news, she does it with such maturity. The second last born of seven children raised by a single mother, Nakamya has made and continues to make her presence on NTV count. SHAMIM J. NAKAWOOYA caught up with the Masaka reporter and she shared her journey to joining the media business.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
My name is Culton Scovia Nakamya, a 24 year-old journalist and correspondent for NTV-Uganda based in Luweero District. I come from Kakiri, Wakiso District. I have a passion for journalism since it helps me amplify development and human rights issues.
Tell me about your education?
I went to St Pius Naddangira Primary School, St Andrews Primary School, Balibaseka Secondary School, Uganda Film and Television Institute, as well as Makerere Institute for Social Development.
When and how did you start reporting news?
My media journey started in 2013 when I had gone to Nakaseke to do my internship with Kiwoko-based community radio. I realised that in the communities we live in, the “village” people have stories to tell so I made a decision to work here. After my internship, I moved to Luweero to start working with Pepper Publications and since then I have not looked back.
What inspired you to join media?
In Primary Six, I was privileged to present a school report before the then vice president Gilbert Bukenya. I saw about three big cameras facing me as I read the report. The following day, it was aired on UTV (UBC now). That moment inspired me and I started praying so hard that one day I should be the one behind such cameras to tell people’s stories.
What time do you wake up and what is your typical day like?
I wake up at 7am, check social media because nowadays, it breaks stories faster than radios. I later pitch my story idea and by 9am I am in the field.
How different are you from other news reporters?
Two things; I know myself, I am self-driven and so aggressive. I always make sure my story is delivered on time because news is timely. Besides, I find it useful to expose the plight of the many desperate people in my community and other stories that influence decision-making and make at least a slight change in people’s lives. I do not focus on negative things all the time, journalism is more than just lamenting. People need stories of hope, solutions to their daily problems and stories that help them make better, informed decisions. Those are my areas of interest.
What are some of the challenges you face in the field?
Well, as you know, upcountry journalism is not easy. From struggling with means of transport, to network access and then dealing with people who have a negative attitude towards journalists.
Apart from reporting, what else do you do?
I do radio production and piggery.
What is your dream media house?
Locally, it remains NTV.
What is your marital status?
I am still single.
Any benefits or achievements since you started reporting?
I have achieved a lot. My career has developed and I have made some beneficial friends.
What are your future plans?
I have a personal slogan. “My story must change”. This is my driving force. I want to keep my plans private but when I wake up every day, it is a song in my mind that the story about my life must change and it is me to change it.
What lessons or tips do you have for young women who wish to join the media?
Media is good and currently dominated by men. There is a lot of space for female journalists but you must be hardworking, self-motivated and focused. The field is not easy, you must be tough to survive because many would want to take advantage and step on your toes. It requires a lot of determination to challenge such.
What have been your happiest and worst moments in media?
It is always a happy moment to me when I do a story and it creates impact. The worst was when I was hired to anchor the news at one of the religious radio stations in Kampala. They knew I am Catholic but wanted me to change. Then one day I was alone in the newsroom, five minutes to the bulletin when the top boss came in for monitoring. I was writing a story and all my attention was on a computer. The boss was happy that he had found a busy employee and thanked me. The following day, I was grilled on why I did not kneel down to greet the boss. I quit the job. They crossed a line.
What is the best advice you have received?
When I was leaving my mother’s home, she told me not to rush into marriage.
What do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy videography.
Who is your role model and why?
Every successful woman is my role model. It is always an inspiring moment for me to see a woman at the top.
What annoys you and how do you deal with it?
It brings me down when I see people taking advantage of others’ moment of despair. Also people who take advantage of my weaknesses. I am short tempered, so I avoid reacting and ignore then deal with it later.
Tell us about your best childhood memory?
In my P.2, I forgot to wear my knickers and that day we were supposed to have physical education (PE). I suffered an embarrassment from fellow pupils and canes from the teacher.
What is that one thing that you hate about your job?
You can fail to get time for personal things because you are running up and down for a story. I really hate it.
If you were not a news reporter, where would you be?
[Laughs] I would be a midwife.
What is your best dish?
I like rice and pork.
Who is your best musician and favourite music?
I love Maro and the song is I’m Not A Star.
Nakamya’s on the newstroom
Crazy experiences in the newsroom:
One day I was alone in the newsroom, five minutes to the bulletin when the top boss came in for monitoring. I was writing a story and all my attention was on a computer. The boss was happy that he had found a busy employee and thanked me. The following day, I was grilled on why I did not kneel down to greet the boss. I quit the job. They crossed a line.