New Kid: Mostly known in the comedy circles, Collins Bareija Magezi, alias Emeka Collins, the Romantic Mukiga joined KFM last Monday as a presenter on the K-Drive show alongside Becky. Isaac Ssejjombwe sat down with him in an exclusive interview.
Welcome to Nation Media Group. What was your first day like at KFM?
I received a warm welcome and the people are really awesome. I was welcomed with a cake, the staff were all happy to receive me, they greeted me and really showed me that this is home. I have never received such a welcome in the places I have worked.
The memorable part of it was that all the listeners that were calling in were so happy to hear my voice. Those who did not know me were excited that there is a guy on the show after some time.
Were you nervous on the first show?
The eagerness from people on social media before the show made me nervous. I felt like I was being put on a litmus test and a lot of things were going through my head. I was asking myself what if I fail, but the nerves eased when I went on air.
How would you rate yourself on a scale of 10?
I would say 10 because I felt like I had worked with Becky for a long time. We bonded and the feedback was really good.
Does that make you comfortable?
It does not but challenges me to work harder, be better and grow a legacy.
What do you have to say about your co-presenter?
I had listened to her during her time at Power FM and I believe she is great and I am honoured that I will be working with her. I believe we are going to team up well. She is one of the people that welcomed me and when she learnt that we were going to work together, she was excited. We are creating a chemistry.
What is Emeka bringing to the table?
Humour, great vibes, after all I am great vibes and more growth to myself, to the programme and to the station.
From a Luganda-speaking radio station to now an English station, what is the transition looking like?
Before going to the Luganda speaking station, I worked at an English station (Hot 100) but the reason I joined Galaxy FM was to pull the corporate and urban side, which I think I did well. I did my best and left a mark. So coming to KFM is like coming home.
Why did you leave your previous work stations?
I was at Hot 100 for two and a half years and then Galaxy poached me. I hoped to continue working there but a greater opportunity came by through KFM and I could not turn it down.
Why do you think you fit in the KFM family?
I believe it is because of my brand, my abilities as a presenter and I am a hungry person who loves what he brings to the table. I think I will bring a lot of value to the show.
How would you describe KFM?
Home; a great place to work, a place you can grow your career, a place that can push you to greater heights.
What did you know about KFM before?
I was always hooked on K-Zone when I was home. The music and the problems people go through every day and of course Easy Sunday. And even when I was working the other side I was always listening to Hour of Power, where I would pray while driving.
Did you ever see yourself at KFM?
It actually crossed my mind one time when I was driving and a friend pointed out how I listen to KFM a lot and in my head I thought ‘What if one day I work for KFM’, but I never gave it much thought and even when they approached me in March, I was like okay, the thought has come through.
Tell us the story of how you ended up at KFM.
Joseph Beyanga DMed me on Twitter: “Young man. I need to talk to you but I am an old person and I do not normally do Twitter inboxes. Just give me your number, I want you to do something on KFM.” That was around the time Peterson and Maritza had left so I was excited. The first day I came and talked to Mr Beyanga, he introduced me to Becky and we did a voice test to see how we would connect and the second time I did a voice test alone and that was it.
There is a lot of poaching happening in media. What assurance can you give to the KFM listeners that you will not abandon them soon?
Right now, I cannot see anyone poaching me because I am at a big brand and that matters a lot. Before moving, I put a lot into consideration.
When the possibility of working for KFM came to you, what programme did you want to do?
I really wanted a morning show but I got the K-Drive and I took it.
Why the morning show?
First of all, I am a morning person and the other thing is that the gigs I do usually happen during the day and so when you have a morning show, you have the rest of the day to do other things.
Now that you are doing an evening show, will it affect your side gigs?
It is not that I have these gigs weekly. Most of these gigs are during the weekends but I will have to forego those few, especially emceeing gigs that come on Fridays and do my job. My comedy gigs usually happen after 8pm but I am putting stand-up on hold for now because I have so much to do. What I am doing now is demanding, I do not have time to think of new jokes. I also have a TV project coming up.
Your comedy journey was starting to do well, why would you choose radio over comedy?
Sinc childhood, radio was always my passion and I really do not think there would be any better way I would get to radio if it was not for comedy. Even if it was not for comedy, I would have found a way to be on radio. In fact I used to listen to the radio a lot. I would listen to Ben Mwine on the morning show. Even when I was in primary school, we used to get campuses, squeeze them on the table, add our pencil to the campus and use them as microphones and start conversations.
There is a wave of other comedians joining radio; Richard Tuwangye, Ronnie Mcvex, Isaac Kudzu, previously Salvado and others. Do comedians make good presenters?
Not every comedian can be a good presenter but a comedian who is a good radio presenter is something extraordinary. It is all about the talent and what you are bringing on the table.
Who is your best radio presenter?
Allan Kasujja. I loved the way he led the show, his presentation, the pranks he used to play, the way he carried himself around. He inspired me to be on radio.
Inspire an upcoming presenter who wants to be like you.
Believe in yourself, do not fear and sieve what people tell you but above all trust God and pray a lot because it has got me where I am.
Where did ‘Emeka’ come from?
From a Nigerian family whose daughter Ijoema was my best friend. They said I look like Ike Emeka, a famous Nigerian actor. The woman started calling me Emeka and it stuck.
And the Romantic Mukiga alias?
It came from an ex who broke up with me and said she had never seen a Mukiga who was so romantic.
So does Mr Romantic have anyone special in his life?
I have a fiancée but prefer to keep her out of the media. We have been together for a year but known each other since 2019.
I started at Pr Jackson Ssenyonga’s radio known as FMJ now Kampala FM from 2015 to 2017 then went to Hot 100 in 2018 up to 2021 then from 2021 up to early 2022 I was at Galaxy FM and now at KFM.
I started comedy in 2014 in my Senior Six vacation with the Punchliners and went on and performed at Pablo Live, Fun Factory, I performed at the Churchill show in Kenya, in Rwanda, Zambia and I have been nominated in South Africa along with Basket Mouth and Salvado.
I am the first born of three siblings. I went to Goodtimes Primary School, Baptist High School and St Lawrence University.
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