RADIO MAN: Innocent Ogwang, aka MC Dogo, was born in Orum Sub-county, Otuke District but he moved to Lira Town hoping for a chance to better his life. Today, the 26-year-old former street child runs a radio programme on QFM.
How did you get into the radio industry?
Being an entertainer, my dream has always been to utilise any opportunity that exposes me to the world. I joined the entertainment industry in 2008 at Comboni College as a dancer before forming a dance crew called Vampire Dance Crew at Lira Town College in 2010.
I always wanted to do radio and TV but unfortunately, there is no TV station in northern Uganda.
How long have you been in the industry?
Since 2015, when I met Easy Bash, who gave me my first deal as an emcee and that is when I started hosting events. That deal gave me a lot of experience and exposure. In fact, I won an award that year. So altogether, I have been in this game for nine years as an events host and close to three months as a radio presenter.
What is your Evening Flight show all about?
Evening Flight is about celebrity news and gossip. It is a two-hour show that runs from Monday to Friday. The show also promotes artistes from northern Uganda, especially those who are still new in the industry and are finding it hard to build a foundation. I came up with the programme concept because I have been in the same hustle for almost all my life. I know how hard it is for our local musicians to market themselves and that is the challenge that the show addresses.
What is life like as a radio presenter?
Considering the kind of life I lived on the street in the past, I feel honoured to work as a radio presenter.
I understand there are many people out there who have this dream but have not been given that chance. We need to be promoting one another. The more we lift each other up, the more we shall grow. Since I am also good at emceeing, I am becoming more popular but the challenge I face now is that it has increased the workload as I cannot go out in the evening to host events if they fall during my show.
You talk of living on the street, how did you get to the street?
The LRA war that ravaged northern Uganda affected my family so much. Things were tough at home, so I left for the street life in the hope of finding a better life. My friends happened to be street children already and they used to come to collect scrap from the rubbish bin near home. I chose to leave because my mother could not raise money to pay my school fees and there was no food in the house. I joined my friends and started collecting scrap, which I would later sell to buy food for my family and pay my school fees.
What did you learn from the street?
I learnt to be independent, right from Primary Six. I was able to survive on the street for many years. I also learnt how to be a good counsellor and also developed unique talents of emceeing and dancing and how to interact with people through begging on the street. I also learnt that God is always there for you in whatever situation you are in. Street life also taught me a life of saving and caring for others.
Tell us about your education background.
I completed my primary education at Ojwina Primary School and sat for UCE at Lira Town College, before joining A-Level at Vision High School in 2014. Child Restoration Outreach, an NGO, took me off the street, which offered to start paying my school fees.
Do you see yourself becoming more productive?
I see a lot of progress in my life. I own Concept Unplug Night, a night that has survived for a year now, happening every last Sunday of every month. It is also aimed at promoting local artistes because we give them time to perform.
There are four students I am providing bursaries for at secondary level and two at primary level but I do not feel proud of talking about that. It is what God has put in me; I should not die before changing the life of others who are in need.
What benefits can you count from this industry?
I have gained exposure and I have also won four awards consecutively. The popularity both in rural and urban centres has given me confidence about my abilities.
What is your ultimate dream?
The biggest dream I have right now is to open an orphanage that will help children living on the streets access parenting, education, health and live a better life. This, to me, is the only way I can give back to God for getting me out of that situation.
My other dream is to work on TV and get more exposure so that I can challenge those without hope that they can be something in life. All in all, I aspire to be someone the young generation will look up to as an example.