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I might turn around and thank my ex-boss for kicking me out- Fat Boy

 

Fat Boy pictured during an interview with KFM’s D’Mighty Breakfast CO-host, Brian Mulondo (not in picture) on June 12, 2020. PHOTOS BY JOSEPH BEYANGA

 

 

Kicker: Fatboy, real name James Onen is at the centre of an accusation of leading a strike and walk out by fellow presenters at Sanyu FM. He denies it all. In an interview on Kfm D’Mighty Breakfast ‘Superstar Friday’ segment, hosted by Brian Mulondo this morning, he clears air and also shares about his 21-year journey on FM radio and how he moved from fat to slim boy.

EDGAR R. BATTE brings the interview- verbatim .

Yo, Fatboy here aka F Bizzy, hanging out with Brian, Superstar Friday Baibie, Uh, ha ha. Oh wow, this is crazy, ha ha ha, why are you making me do this? (Brian chuckling in the background) So you wanna give me your job? (both burst out laughing) Just like that, huh. Brian has been replaced (both continue laughing)

I don’t know if I will have my job after this but regardless we move, like young people say, if I die, I die…

Yolo, you only live once

Good morning Fatboy, welcome to the show…

Good morning, how you doing?

Welcome to the show…

Glad to be here.

Eh, I will be the first to tell you that yesterday, when we announced that you’d be here, people were like ‘Mulondo you’re finished, Brian you are finished. This guy is going to take your job’ (both laugh out loud). How is covid treating you?

Well, covid is the reason I am unemployed (both laugh). Covid took my job, men.

Yeah, you will always remember covid?

Oh, 2020, what a year (both continue laughing as the deejay plays Bad Boy 4 Life by P. Diddy featuring Black Bob & Mark Curry in the background. It was a signature track during Fatboy’s Alive & Kicking show on Sanyu FM, aired every Saturday).

What a year for you! Did you see this coming?

Ah, no, not really. Everything just sort of happened all of a sudden in way that is so erratic that it has left a lot of people scratching their heads. It doesn’t really make sense and as more of the facts emerge and people learn more of what actually happened, they are going to scratch their heads harder because there’s just so much shenanigans that took place that just makes no sense. And when you find out the actual story, you will just shake your head and say what were these people thinking. It is so crazy.

 

It is so crazy. We will get into that in a little bit but you have done 21 years. Man, that is crazy. And when I saw your tweet, I was like, what? That is such a long time. Let’s go back to the start, how did you get into radio?

Well, it was never my intention to be on radio. I had no interest of being on radio. I didn’t care for the job. I never dreamt of being on radio or a star. Mine was more like an accidental arrive, so I happened to be also unemployed at that time. It seems to happen to me a lot. I was trying to run a small business, people were still renting and buying video tapes so I had a video tape business and I was struggling to make ends meet, so I happened to be listening to radio one night at the station I worked at. And the guy that was on was so horrible. He could barely string a sentence together so I said, ‘wait, if that guy can get a job, if that guy can find work on radio, surely I can’ because I had confidence that I could at least speak better than him. So I went to the station. I walked up the hill. At that time, it was on Naguru Hill. I spoke to the people in charge and it just so happened that there was a vacancy available so they subjected me to a voice test and I was told I would be notified in a few days as to how that went. I was called back and they told me, ‘well, congratulation. We are now going to train you and put you on evaluation and probation. However, we’re testing someone else also. So depending on the outcome of the probation, depending on the two of you and who is better, that person is going to get the job’. And that person happened to be Crystal so Crystal and I were in competition with each for that one available vacancy so we were rivals. I remember, ‘oh, look at that cute brown girl. She is so cute, I like here but I needed to crush her, and sorry I need this job. It is a do or die’. Fortunately, towards the end of the evaluation, one other presenter who is called John Miles, who is the brother of Peter Miles, decided to quit and to go to Jamaica where I believe he still is, so now that there was an extra vacancy, they ended up taking both of us so we both started working there in 1999.

Wow, and you did a show with Crystal?

Yes, my first show was ‘The Afternoon Drive’ and I think Crystal was doing the evening show. Eventually, they put s together to do a breakfast show and that is how we started working together on the same show and I think it lasted about two years.

 

And you stayed on the show?

What happened is that I left the station to join an advertising agency so at the time I thought I would spread my wings in the corporate world. You know, that was my next step. Then I tried the corporate world for two years and I hated it.

Too many rules?

I hated it. I don’t want to slam it too hard but I think maybe it is just that certain types of people thrive better in a corporate world. I wasn’t comfortable with a lot of intrigue, the politics, the pretense, the butt kissing; you know, always taking the blame for the decisions of others, there was so much pretentiousness in it and it just didn’t appeal to me so I found my way back into radio which ironically here. I had a brief stint here in 2003 while it was known by a different name- Monitor FM but I was more on the managerial side of things. Then, after that, in 2004 I found my way back to the old station so that is where I’ve been until two days ago.

Ha ha ha, he is unemployed but he looks good. When we come back, we will talk about your weight loss. How did that happen because your brand literary matched who were and all of sudden…? The Snoop Lions have rebranded. Why didn’t you rebrand to like, Slim Boy? You have rebranded several times…

The way I put it is more like an alter ego. At some point, I decided to jump into the game; the hip hop game. I started rapping and releasing rap tracks and F Bizzy was born. That’s what you gat. I am a full package.

I will never forget when you recorded yourself on a date with a girl… Oh, that was crazy. That is so long ago. And hey, a lot of people loved it because I was taking people behind the scenes as what happens in the world of dating. Some of these ladies are shady. Ladies these days, are ruthless.

 

Fat Boy and KFM presenter Brian Mulondo

You eventually never dated that girl, right?

No, but I was able to catch up with her about five years later and I had her on the show, on Saturday and hey, we sort reconciled. By then, she had started her family. She had two kids so I guess there wasn’t much of a future for us. She had a life with some new guy but we remain friends to this day, even after that ordeal.

Is there a Mrs. Fatboy?

A Mrs? Well, I don’t believe in marriage so there will never be a Mrs.

 

Who don’t you in believe in marriage?

Why would anyone get married? See all the problems married people are experiencing; the divorces, the cheating…I wouldn’t manage it. It is just too stressful. And also, for the reason that so many ladies don’t want to do their traditional roles. They don’t wanna cook, don’t wanna look after a man and kids…the maid runs the home anyway, so what purpose is there to having a wife? You would rather have a girlfriend you like and get along with then have and hire someone to maintain your household. For me, that just keeps it simple, it makes it less complicated and if you get problems with the person, well that it- adieus.

 

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. A few days ago you posted that you had been fired. What happened? You wake in the morning and find out your job is not there anymore, after all this time at the same address and you’ve been carrying two show for all this time? What went wrong?

Well, let’s start with the perception that is being presented. It could be that the management is trying to get ahead of the story and it is putting forward a narrative that they wish for people to believe, and that is the claim that we rejected the salary cuts that were happening. You know, across the industry many businesses, media, elsewhere were subjecting their workers to staff cut in lieu of the challenges poses by covid-19 and the lockdown and so forth so the story they are selling is that we rejected it and that we went on strike for it and so we were so ungrateful and greedy and thus they decided to get rid of us and to hire new blood. Now, the problem is that that is not actually quite true. The fact is that we had accepted the cuts. Even though we were never notified of the cuts in writing, as I understand is a requirement, and there should be consent given but we continued working, even after receiving that cut, of course begrudgingly like most other people in similar circumstances. You know, you look at your pay slip, your bank balance, it is a little bit less and you’re like, ‘that’s too bad, let’s hope for better times ahead. That is the attitude all of us had and we were continuing to work. It is just that certain machinations started cooking in the management side of things which led to us being told to not go to work.

 

Oh, so you didn’t abscond from work and being reported?

No, our heads of department told us to not to go work.

 

2020, what a year! And for Fatboy, he will always remember it (both laugh Well, it will be tough to beat this one. 2020 has not been a joke.

 

In case you’re just joining us. I am here with James Onen aka Fatboy and the story that is trending is that Fatboy is fired, currently unemployed. Our desire today is to understand the 21 years he has done, like what a journey and many of us who are on radio right now, listened to Fatboy. You came in during the ear of Mich. All you guys did such a phenomenal job.

Oh, thank you.

But before we go even ahead and talk about what is happening right now, take us back to some of your greatest highlights of these 21 years of radio. You caught literary the entire city in the morning and on Saturday morning Alive & Kicking baiby.

Oh, I rocked that Saturday morning.

 

Of the two shows, did you feel more alive on Saturday?

Oh, and people have asked that. I feel the two shows allowed me to explore two different sides of myself. The breakfast show, the weekday show was more of a thoughtful one. There was more of the debate and discussion and things like that which was more interesting and important and enjoyable. I enjoyed the discussions that I would get into with my co-hosts and we tackled issues. The Saturday was one where I was more relaxed and there was more of me letting loose and having fun, bringing out my fun side and I enjoyed that. If you ask me which one I like more, it is a difficult one to answer because I like both of them equally. In truth, I think I liked Alive & Kicking a bit better (laughs).

 

We could tell from the way you sounded and the conversation. While some of the conversations were serious, you enjoyed more?

Yeah, because it was less structured. For the weekly show, it was segmented. Every five minutes, there was a segment, a sponsored segment, an announcement to read. It was structured and constricting. Saturday was mostly reign. I would do whatever I want so that allowed me the freedom to dig into myself and find something crazy and share it with everyone. For a period of time, people liked it.

 

You have been accused and I have been watching online to bully your co-hosts, all the people you did the show with, how do you respond to that?

Well, huh, do you know how to harden metal? You put I through fire. Ha ha ha. That is how you refine and harden metal and if you ever see what happens in a steel mill, that’s what they do. Now, was I tough on some of my lady co-hosts over the years, definitely but guess what? They became stronger for it. They would fight back, they would argue back and callers and people on social media would be like ‘yey, today you finished him. Today, you finally got him. You showed him’. And I was quite proud to see the growth that many of them experienced because a number of them were newbies at the time they started to work with me and so to watch them go through that journey, to change and to grow, and by the end of their run turn out to be these powerful, strong, formidable women, I must say I am proud to take credit for that. And if bullying is what it took to get them there then I guess it served the purpose.

 

Do you ever look back and say, well, I shouldn’t have done some of these things?

Wow. Well, there were a few occasions when I crossed the line. There was a time I crossed the line with Seanice (Kacungira) who I worked with for some time and I hurt her feelings badly. She was very sad and upset with me for very many days (ha ha ha) but I was like, ‘hey, it is for the show, everyone is having fun) but she was like, yeah but you shouldn’t have said that. I realized that I was very rude.

 

That even went off air and with you guys, it was real ‘beef’?

Yeah, so for a period of time, there wasn’t much love between us but eventually we made and I guess, we got on with our jobs. She was a true professional. I think of all the ladies that I have worked with, she was the most experienced and also the most professional. Her approach to it was quite phenomenal which is why to this day, she is still praised. She did great and still doing great though I know she is doing different things.

 

And a mother…

Yeah, surprise, surprise. I never ever imagined that she would ever be a mum.

 

Really?

Yeah, I think it’s two kids now. Wow. Amazing.

 

Why would you say that?

Well, she never struck as much of a settling kind. I thought she was a bit of a free spirit, especially to have been married for this long. For me, I actually lost a bet. I did make a bet with someone.

 

Yes, you did…

I gave her two years but she has been married for much longer that. Unfortunately, I lost that bet, ha ha ha.

 

Ah, look at you? Right now, everyone is looking at the entire team. First of all, did everyone from the presenters to even some of the guys in operation leave? What is happening?

Really, we were all terminated but the way it was done was interesting. I think in the wording and language that was used. We were told that we had absconded from duty, that we had voided our contracts, therefore we are no longer employed so rather than say that ‘this is your termination’, they are saying that by not showing for work, you have voided the contract thus you are no longer employed with us. So they made it seem like we brought this upon ourselves which definitely is not really the case. This is something they engineered, that they brought upon. And the strangest thing is that the management had communicated to the heads of department and there are letters that people are sharing online that show this, that they had indicated desire to meet with heads of department to discuss the issue, to explain the issues and ultimately to resolve it. That meeting was supposed to take place on Thursday; yesterday but then on Wednesday, they are sending out emails telling us we are no longer employed which is just odd. Like how do you communicate in writing that you’re gonna meet to try and resolve the issue and then the evening before, you fire everybody or tell them that they are no longer employed.

 

It’s quite baffling?

It’s quite baffling and my guess would be that it was a power play. I think they wanted to reverse the balance of power in this equation so that instead of the Thursday meeting being about employees trying to assert their rights and make their demands to management, now it was going to be about, ‘hey management, can we have our jobs back?’ and that would cause them to be able to assert their terms upon the staff would now be begging for their jobs back.

We are live on Facebook and Twitter, at the same time. Good morning, and this morning, we are hanging out with the legend, Fatboy, F Bizzy, ha ha ha, what other name did you give yourself? Ha ha ha Jack Beur?

Aha, I don’t know how I should feel about the term legend. I mean, it is an honour to be referred to as such a thing but, you know, it sorts of makes me realise I am old, ha ha ha because it has been 21 long years since I sat behind a microphone and started yapping away. I have talked to people who tell me, ‘I used to listen to you when I was a child. My parents used to drive me to school with you on the radio. Now, I drive my kids to school wit you on the radio’, ha ha ha.

Yes, you’re old…

Yes, that is how old I have been in the game. I am so old, man.

But you are turning 45?

Yeah, I turn 45 this year.

Oh, when?

Ah, this week

What?

I was fired in the week of my birthday, can you imagine?

 

Wow, wow…

I will be drinking water on my birthday since I can’t afford anything else.

Interesting. You were telling us that you got letter telling you that you were fired, that you’ll no longer come back. What happened then?

I want to set the record straight. Number one, it is not true whatsoever that the staff rejected the pay cuts. This narrative is false. Let it be known that it is false. We had been anticipating that there could be a pay cut because our station and just like many others has been hit by the economic effects of the lockdown and covid. So we have been hearing murmuring that there could be a possibility so we were bracing ourselves for it. When it finally happened, which by the way, we were not notified in writing, and consent to it, we looked at our payslips and bank balances and said ‘oops, it has finally come. Let’s look at better times ahead.

So what you’re saying is management sent you salaries without telling you, ‘guys this is what is going to happen’?

Right., so we just checked our bank accounts and it showed we had been paid 25 percent less.

Did you guys ask management to explain what had happened?

Well, not to my knowledge. Like I said, we had been anticipating that it could happen because the media industry has been hit by this and other places had effected these sorts of deductions. We were only hoping it happen. Well, it finally did at the end of May and when it happened we kind of shrugged our shoulders. ‘That’s too bad guys. What to do, let’s hope things improve’, that was our attitude and we were still showing up at work and we were still working. So I want it to be known that it is absolutely not true that we refused to work because of the salary cuts. This narrative is false, 100 percent false.

So when do you guys stop working?

We only stopped working after we were told not to show up to work. So let me explain how this works. Think of a thee tiered system of hierarchy. At the top you have got Indians who are the owners, in the middle you have got heads of department and management. These would be the Ugandans that are sort of in the management positions, these are the chief operations officer, the programme’s director, news editor and people like that and then there is the rest of us, the staff that report to these heads of department. The managers are the ones who initiated the protest against the pay cuts. It did not come from the staff.

It did not come from the presenter?

No. we were going to work nonetheless. We were not happy with the pay cuts obviously, like everyone else was but we had accepted it as inevitability. We were like, hey, damn, but what to do. You gotta go to work’. And we were going to work but then management drafted a protest letter indicating displeasure at the deduction that were made and seeking redress for it. So the letter was presented to all of us to be signed. The letter had the names of all staff with a space next to our name where we were supposed to sign and so the heads of department took these letters they created and sent to all staff. We signed it and the reason for that is we assumed that since this was coming from management, that perhaps management had a better understand of the inner workings of the business, perhaps they had some leeway with the owners. So they give us the letter and say sign it, it is all gonna be good and we say, well, if you say so. Then, we imagined that the negotiations would continue as we were continuing to work. None of us had any intentions of not working. I want that to be made clear to everybody. No single staff member said, ‘I am not going to work because they reduced my salary’. That did not happen.

What we are seeing online, is that you were the team leader and led your colleagues to strike. Is that true, and I see Kampala Sun has come out saying you’re not the ring leader. What is the actual truth?

Ah, ye. I feel like I am being scapegoated because they need a fall guy, okay. I think, and again, this is my speculation but I imagine this was a power move on their part because like I said earlier, they had indicated a desire to negotiate or to meet and discuss the issue with the heads of department and the workers to explain why the cuts were effected. In the letter, it indicated that the meeting that was to take place on Thursday, they would attempt to find a resolution and a way forward. It was very consolatory only to have the evening before them sending us these letters telling us that we are no longer employed at the station. It was management that told us not to work.

Do the owners know this?

I don’t know. This is why we are asking ourselves, where there a breakdown in communication, are they not reporting the full story to the owners? I got a call. I was preparing to go to work the next and my immediate supervisor calls me and says, ‘so tomorrow don’t go to work’ and I am like ‘hey, wait, what, really?’, ‘Yeah, this is the action we are taking. We are making progress in our discussions with management. We’re going to be meeting on Thursday so what we’ve decided is that until then, no one should work so please Fatboy please don’t report to work’.

Did you attend yesterday’s meeting?

Well, I did not and I am not even aware if it took place or not. I am not in the loop on that so I can’t comment on that, of whether it took place or what transpired in it. I wish you could understand that I was told, we were all told by our supervisors, ‘don’t go to work’. I, Fatboy, had absolutely nothing to do with that decision and I am being painted as the fall guy. I am being accused by the owners of having misled into the strike. So the strike isn’t the strike in the common understanding. It was all a stunt that was engineered by management as a way of trying to gain leverage over these discussions and they ended up throwing us under the bus so imagine that the people telling us not to go to work, are then sending us emails telling us ‘because you have absconded from work, you’ve voided your own contracts’. Does that make sense? It is messed up.

Are members of management at work now?

I have no idea. I mean, I have just unplugged from it all. I am just thinking of my life ahead. Just on the face of it, because what I have told you now is information that I don’t think everyone even knows, a lot of people saw problem with it. I mean, I have been getting phone calls from lawyers from all over the place saying, please, please, please, can I take on your case’.

And for your fans who will miss you on Alive & Kicking, because tomorrow will be the first Saturday when you are off the show, I just want to give you an opportunity to, you know, present to them now, ha ha ha…

Really, ha ha ha (deejay plays Bad Boy 4 life mental) …’going nowhere, I ain’t going nowhere, I can’t be stopped now cos I’m Fatboy for life, yeah).

Oh, that’s how I used to rock it every Saturday morning, except that I did go somewhere, didn’t I? (both burst out laughing). I have to change the song. I ain’t goin’ nowhere until covid. (Brian laughs on). Oh, this is awesome, I love the beat.

Going back to your career as a presenter, you are Fatboy and somehow the name resonated with your actual size and boom, you posted pictures when you had cut everything. Tell us about your journey with weight… Well, it just happened all of a sudden.

I was beginning to feel as if my skin was getting too dry and my lips chirpy then I met a friend of mine. She had just opened a restaurant and she kept telling me to go and see her new business so I went there and noticed she was carrying a big bottle of water, the same bottle I am carrying now (shows a mineral bottle of 1.5 litres). I asked her, ‘you gonna drink all that?’ She looked at me and told me she drinks two of them every day, at a minimum. I was like wow. She asked me, ‘how much do you drink?’ and I was like, ‘eh, ooops, nothing’. I thought that could help me with my lips and dry skin so I started drinking water. I started by drinking 1.5 litres every day and surprise, surprise, within a week, I had lost some weight. I was like wow, ‘this is incredible’. I later got to understand that the more water you drink, it helps with your metabolism, you burn calories faster and that was having an immediate effect on my weight. In a week, I lost one and a half or two kilogrammes so obviously, since I started to see the reduction, I got encouraged to try other things to speed up the process. I started re-evaluating my eating habits so I started taking out certain foods. I started to eat less frequently and more healthily and then the weight just started going. I wasn’t doing any exercise rather than what my daily routine was. And then when it stopped. That sucked. I wanted to keep going. I was happy with the progress. Then I came across information about keto diet which I decided to try. It is one where you just remove the carbohydrates from your diet. The African cuisine is unfortunately is just carbs; rice, matooke, pumpkins, potatoes, chapattis, Irish chips, you name it. I realised that if I wanted to do this diet to lose the weight then I had to stop eating carbs and then no sugar anymore so no tea or coffee with sugar. The idea is that you eat a protein and healthy fats which is why avocado is part of the keto diet. It has a high amount of fat but the healthy kind of fat which can easily be transformed into energy so the diet, if you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, the body looks for other sources of energy so the body is tricked into attacking the fats in your body for energy. It is shocking how you see the fat going.

 

You know what? I started this keto diet yesterday. I had fish with vegetables. I am going to first do two weeks and see the results. Those on twitter can see my stomach. 

I want to let you know that I was able to lose 30 kilogrammes so I went from 107 kilogrammes to 79 in a space of a few months with bare minimum exercise.

What are you going to miss most about your Sanyu?

The fans because that’s who I did it for. The other reason I would wake up so early in the morning, forego all the pleasures of life because if you are waking up for o’clock in the morning, among other things is not getting much action before you leave the house, and as a married man you might be able to confirm that the nice action happens in those wee hours of the morning.

 

Right. I’ll tell you that I have communication from one of the people you worked with. This person is saying that you’re actually telling the truth.

I gotta represent.

This 12th day of 2020. What a year!

Oh 2020, it will never be forgotten.

 

This morning, hanging with James Onen aka Fatboy and as the story is, two days ago, him and other presenters were fired from Sanyu FM for absconding from work. That is what is reported but the story as we’ve come to know is that management told the presenters not to come back to work. What is next? I’ll tell you this, I am not sure if I am at liberty to say or if I am allowed. Covid has hit the media industry so hard. Even us, we got a pay cut and we were very angry about it but we were told, ‘guys, musale puleesa. Things will be okay very soon. We will work through this’ and that’s why we are at work but of course we are not happy That is exactly what we did. If your boss told you not to come to work, what would you do.

 

From what you’re telling us, management messed up and there was a power play as you have said, what are you going to do? Are you going to sue? We saw on the twitter page that you were threatening legal action, calling all lawyers that could take on the Ruparelia Group to help. What is really happening?

In respect to that tweet that went viral, I have to say, even us, on our side, we are baffled as to who was behind it because we were asking ourselves, ‘do you who put that out?’ We have no idea who wrote that tweet so we don’t know if it was hacked.

 

You never took over the page?

Let it be known that the presenter had nothing to do with those tweets in which someone was threatening legal action against owners of the company so that didn’t come from our side. But even then, I can’t know for sure. I guess there are ways of investigating. The company can contact twitter and find out who had access at that time. That is easy to find but that is if you believe their version of the story.

Photo taken I 2003 shows then Monitor FM programme manager James Onen

Are you going to sue Sanyu FM?

Well, here is the funny thing. I am not a very aggressive person. I am not confrontational. I am the kind of person who likes to get on with my life. What phone has not stopped ringing. Even now, it is on silent. I am getting calls from lawyers from all over the place. Given the facts that are already known even what I have revealed, invite all sorts of potential legal. A lot of people are rallying behind us to take action and assert our rights. We are talking to each other about evaluating our option. At this point I can’t say for sure that we are going to take any action. All I will say if that for me, I like to look forward. If action is taken, I guess we’ll see what happens.

 

You and David have literary declared that you’re leaving the station. Today, if management called you back and gave you your jobs back…

Absolutely not. Never. I mean, why would you even want to work in a place that would treat you like that. I mean, I have been loyal to this station. how many years of my life have I given to it? And then they just kick me out like a dog without even giving me a chance to explain myself or to give me a hearing, they’re treating me like I am trash. Now, of course, I have been thinking where I may place the blame but my understanding is that the reigns or running of the company have been taken over by the son- Rajiv. That he is in charge. I don’t know anything about him. I mean, I have heard stories about his management style and I guess you can say it is a mixed bag; some good things and some not good things. I feel as though he just acted so erratically and just so carelessly and I wish he was more willing to listen to voices of moderation that would have made him think twice about this action he’s taken because, just like on the face of it, it is full of potential legal problems and all lawyers talking to us are advising that there is a lot that is actionable based on what he did. You know, it is just unfortunate that there wasn’t someone to reign him in a little bit, to check his excesses. Now, this is gonna go down. This story is gonna go down. It will be taught in schools as what not to do as a company with staff.

 

Radio as it is right now, there are so many kids, even as we are here, you have received so many phone calls from people telling you, ‘I was listening to when I was a child and now am on radio presenting’. What message do you have for them especially now to fill those gaps, what kind of industry are they coming into? What would you tell a child who is so passionate about this industry, now?

Well, hey, I feel it is a lot harder now to get into the industry because there is saturation. Back when I got into which, I guess even you, radio stations weren’t that many. Also, we weren’t competing for attention with all kinds of new media that now exist and keep people entertained. A lot of people are happy to spend four hours staring into their phones, laughing at WhatsApp status, Facebook posts and Tik Tok videos. In my day, when I was in the game, people used to make appointment to listen to radio show, ‘oh, wait, it is 4pm, guys, bye, I am going to sit in my room to listen to my favourite radio guy’. Now, radio is something that just keeps people company in the background as they are going about their lives, as they are driving to work…it is a medium that people are consuming more passively than actively as they may have done in the past which means breaking in now might be harder but it is not impossible. To do that, you just need to pay attention to personalities that you feel are good then try and see if you can learn from some of the skills that they have. Try to incorporate the good aspects into your style of presentation and then make it unique to you and be willing to present that to any radio station that you are willing to work at. If you’re serious about it they will probably give you a shot.

 

Fatboy thank you for coming through. I can now say my job is well protected… I am not coming after your job. ha ha ha. Can I say that while I was still doing the breakfast show at the other place, you used to make us sweat. We kept an eye on you.

 

You guys were doing crazy things here and we were like, ‘you guys, look what Kfm is doing, you better step it up’. So you gave us a lot of pressure. And you do a great job here.

 

Thank you

So keep doing what you’re doing. Where is your partner? Where is the lady?

She is taking a break but she is not yet fired…ha ha ha I see

Her percentages are still intact

(both laugh) but it is amazing what you guys are doing here.

 

Fatboy, there are lots of questions online. I don’t even know how to start and I am going past time. When will you enjoy your retirement benefits, someone here is asking. Are you going to be teaching some people how to join radio?

So right now I am thinking about my options of what I want to do. I mean, there is so much that I have to consider, there are some projects I have been working on for some time and it looks like this incident might have given time the final impetus to make it go live, like get activated. You know, it can be a blessing when things like this happen because, I predict that it is going to open doors to even more exciting things for my life. So who knows I might turn around and thank Rajiv for kicking me out. (both laugh). I don’t appreciate him calling me the ring leader of this strike as they are referring to it, I don’t appreciate him saying that I misled staff. I mean, did you wanna be making statements that are false because why open yourself up to potential action based on such statements? Yeah, throughout I have been conciliatory and I am only coming out to speak the truth about this because I was tired of being maligned and I am seeing all these online blogs that are painting me in such a negative light. This is when I learnt that a lot of these online bloggers are mercenaries for hire. It seems to like they will sing a tune of whoever is paying them.

 

There is a question, who was your favourite co-host?

Wow, ha, it is like someone who is their favourite dolphin. I feel that the different people brought different trends to the table but I have to say that the person I enjoyed working with the most is Melanie. I really enjoyed my combo with Melanie. I thought that we had some more frantic, crazy moments. Of course, different people like the different ladies and they were all amazing but twisting my arm and asking me who did I like the most and the answer would be Melanie.

I wanna give you an opportunity. Usually in moments like these, when it is your last time to work…I still remember my last day on TV; I said what I had to say, I still remember my first day on radio and you never got a chance to sign out and I wanna give it to you Thank you (deejay plays Move On by Praz featuring John Forte).

One of the saddest things that transpired is that I never even got a chance to thank my fans for listening to me for all the years. It was so unceremonious how everything just ended. My fans deserve my deepest, most heartfelt thanks for sticking with me and supporting me. I am eternally grateful but I am not ready to say goodbye just yet because you never know. I might rear my ugly head somewhere somehow in some fashion. I might just end up being part of your life and really I couldn’t have asked for a greater honour to have been part of many people’s lives. They invited me into their homes by tuning in to my programme. They invited me in their morning routine for 10, 15 years or more, waking up and listening to me, being driven to school listening to me, now driving their children to school while listening to me. It is an honour that I can’t even find words to describe. For that I just say thank you so much. I won’t disappear. Just look out.

rbatte@ug.nationmedia.com

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