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Upclose with Andrew Kyamagero

 

He is an early riser. Up by 5am, Andrew Kyamagero’s day starts with a gym session which usually goes upto 6:30am and by 7.30am, he is set for his business meetings that he usually has either on Skype or Zoom. At 9am, he signs into office.
Articulate and a generally jolly person, Kyamagero prefers to be identified by the moniker omuntu wawansi, loosely translated to mean common man.
The one thing that will first strike you from interacting with the NTV news anchor, is his laughter – unapologetically loud and yet infectious!

As we share a meal, he strikes a straight gaze before explaining his choice of moniker, saying it is the zeal [of the common man] to change their storyline. He adds that in his line of work, a story that amplifies omuntu wawansi, brings a smile to his face.
The most touching stories he has seen was about their plight; the lack of timely medical attention. “For me, health is a critical priority,” he adds.
Fans have devoured the passion he exhibits while anchoring the news but for Kyamagero, it is no joy but rather an opportunity to represent the people he identifies with.

I tease him about how far he would go beyond paying lip service, he shakes his head, reaches for his handkerchief and clears his voice in what seems a fair attempt to make his point loud and clear.
To amplify it, he elucidates a plan to fully integrate what he calls Omuntu Wawansi Initiative, one to inspire people to change their livelihood and transform their lives and others around them for better.
A recent visit to Home of Hope, a charity organisation in Jinja, drew his humane side.
To the children he interacted with, it was an exciting moment seeing a familiar face yet for the celebrated journalist, there was unspoken heartbreak as they shared stories.
Well, the stories shared by the children would not leave you the same, and would certainly speak to a fragile spot in your heart.
The visit to Jinja was thanks to his friend and Swangz producer, Vincent Musisi, who interested him in joining the charity group.

There is a visible pattern in the people Kyamagero takes on as friends. Many of his buddies value what he values – the family unit. If he meets someone who values their children and spouse, it is a connection.
He subscribes to the notion that a nation is built from a family unit.
“If you don’t have a family unit, you don’t have a support structure. And I don’t mean someone married. If someone respects and supports their parents or guardians, that is a support structure,” he says.
Together with his wife, Linda, the couple is taking it upon themselves to mentor and nurture their children to appreciate their country and the continent.

“We tell our son how we operate as Baganda, first, and as Africans. One, if you are a man, you don’t wail. You find solutions. I tell him that people are going to challenge him because of the colour of his skin. It is this confidence I am building right now that will enable him stand tall,” the journalist explains.
He observes that the fibre of Buganda culture is important in building confidence and esteem in children. When leaving home, he tells and empowers his son with the reigns.
“I give him money and tell him that I have gone to work but while I am away, it is your responsibility to take care of the household,”
Kyamagero argues that in the event of his demise, his son will be empowered enough to take care of his mother and siblings.

Family man. Kyamagero enjoys playing with his children. PHOTO /COURTESY

 

In the digital age, he has embraced platforms like the KunTa channel which make African animations that tell continental stories. He has subscribed the Riddle App where he gets riddles from Bunyoro-Kitara and shares them with his children.
That withstanding, he has taught his son, Mandela Enzo Kyamagero how to introduce himself. He will tell you the name of his father and mother, his heritage as a Muganda from Uganda.

At home, Kyamagero loves washing the dishes and bathing the children and once in a while, he will put on the apron and head to the kitchen to make a meal for the family.
That is a day when macaroni and rice will be the culinary treat. For hobbies, travel is a major.
“I love travelling around the country,” he chips in as he playfully engages the children on this Sunday afternoon.
The broadcast journalist is also a familiar events emcee and on an average day, taking a ride in his Honda is a practical revelation of the other purpose it serves – an office.

To his confession, without it, he would get stuck. As he adds, he never offers ‘lifts’ because his phone is connected to the speakers while he drives.
He does so in respect of the private conservations he holds. “The car has lots of sensitive documents at times. I never lose battery while in my car as my phone is always on charge until I reach my next destination. Thanks to the technological improvements of recent years, you can now do more in the car than ever before, so you can be more productive when waiting in parking lots,” he explains.
And true, Kyamagero is constantly on phone, with his social media turned on at all hours. He says it is out of respect to his fans and the need to bring them close. To the presenter, humility is mother’s milk to greatness.

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