By Annah Nafula
Commonly known as Khasadha Byakika on radio but real names, Ebony Waiswa today announced his retirement from radio after 20 years of great service in broadcast media. The renowned presenter came to Beat FM in 2007. We met Waiswa who shared with us his experience as a broadcaster for the last two decades.
Waiswa has for a long time presented in his local dialect which is Lusoga. He came off humorous because olusoga sounds like broken Luganda.
On the first look, Waiswa looks rather reserved and often minding his business when alone but gladly responds when drawn to a conversation. He remembers his first time on radio was when he was persuaded to join Green channel FM then. “I was acting in theater plays, when the late Jerry Wampamba who was the director of Green FM saw me. He persuaded me to join Green channel FM. I was so excited and I remember I was not paid at all but worked with gladness because I was gaining experience,” says Waiswa.
Waiswa says by one year, he had started mastering the art of radio and he moved to Greater African Radio in Kamwokya. Here he was paid fifty thousand a month which was a good elevation in this newly embraced career. He later also worked at Monitor FM which ushered him into Beat FM.
There has been a tremendous contrast between radio then and radio now. When Waiswa started, radios used to play music on a reel then later Compact Discs and now everything is digital.“Ugandan radio has come a long way!” exclaims Waiswa. He explains that in the past radio was about more talking and less music but the gradual shift in listener’s attention spans has caused many radios to device more appealing strategies to keep their listeners hooked.
Waiswa cannot overlook the fact that radio has been beneficial to him. He says he has been able to see and meet so many people some of whom he mentions Stella Nyanzi and Late Sgt.Kifulugunyu. He says he might have never seen these people up-close and personal if he was not a presenter. “I also did voice a number of adverts with formidable companies, which earned me some extra pennies.” He adds.
Some of my most memorable moments as a presenter are when I stepped out of the morning show that ends at 10am at 9am. “I think I was absent minded that day, I thought the show was done, only to see my cohost’s call as I approached Wandegeya, calling me to finish the show,” recollects Waiswa before bursting into a hearty laughter. He also cannot forget the day they hosted Stella Nyanzi, they didn’t know what she would say next. “We literary kept our hands on the console to control her microphone in case she started hurling obscenities.” Waiswa explains.
Working on radio has been quiet challenging. “For the most part I worked as a morning show co-host. I found this so hectic and quiet pressing especially on my social life. Much as I had more opportunities to socialize. I had to go to bed by 9PM and be up by 3am to prepare for work,” Waiswa narrates.
From his experience, Waiswa says that he drew a number of lessons including to value patience and hard work. He learned to be considerate to others especially workmates and mindful of time. “Radio works on time, every second counts. You find yourself learning to programme your life similarly.”
He retires totally satisfied that hr did a great job as a broadcaster. He is excited that he will be able to rest and catch up with his family and his boys for a bit longer than usual. “But as you know, a man doesn’t stop working till his last day on earth, I will be in Luuka, taking care of my orange orchard and perhaps any other things that may come up.” Waiswa says