A Chat With KIU Alumnus and XFM Radio Presenter, Ken Katuramu
If you don’t know X-ZIT on XFM, then you don’t love radio! Because if you did, it would be impossible not to know one of the best radio shows in the nation! For the second edition of The KIU Giraffe Times, we caught up with Ken Katuramu aka KK to chat about what it’s like to be a celebrity media personality.
KGT: Hey, KK what’s good?
KK: It is such an honor to be invited to do an interview for The KIU Giraffe Times. I think KIU is an impressive University. I studied at KIU for a couple of months in my search for belonging, many years ago. That same year, I remember England won the rugby world cup, and Arsenal were unbeaten in the English Premier League.
The university was still young and growing with a memorable basketball team with the famous Isaac Afidra in it. Good times. I didn’t stay long as I was trying to find my calling, one that took me to other places in pursuit of my passion.
If I had my way, I would be playing in the NBA, or acting on Broadway. But here we are, on radio and I love it as I shall be making ten years this October.
KGT: We’re glad you found radio because you’re a genius at it. What inspired you to join?
KK: I needed a quick job because I was tired of studying all these other things in search of a ‘real’ job. So, I joined a radio station that was recruiting.
KGT: Who do you consider good radio presenters?
KK: Flava from EA Radio (retired) and Fareed Khimani (from a Kenyan radio). Witty, quick and hilarious.
KGT: What about Locally?
KK: My workmates at X-FM are pretty good.
KGT: Do you listen to other radio stations?
KK: No, I actually don’t anymore because I lost my earphones. Back then I used to so as to pick out materials that I could use in my shows, of course doing them better.
KGT: What’s the best thing about radio?
KK: Outside of your show time – which is maybe four hours or less – you have time to do other things.
KGT: And now the question on my mind, is the money good?
KK: The salary is just ok, but the opportunities are immense if you do it well. Media in Uganda is something you do purely out of passion as the money is never a big factor because there is hardly any.
Don’t get me wrong, the money can be great if you ignore the basic salary and keep your eye on the bigger picture – the opportunities it opens for you – only if you do it right!
KGT: They say TV killed the radio star, what’s your take on that? Is TV better than radio?
KK: Radio because it is the theater of the mind. I can spin a story and make you believe it instantly while texting my mom about grocery shopping. And I can do that in my shorts in the studio.
TV requires makeup, lights, rehearsal, several takes…Do you catch my drift?
KGT: I guess you’re not about that TV life. You have such great content on your show. Where do you find all that content?
KK: It is everywhere! It starts from when you open your eyes, from the news, research, a TV show you are into or even something a boda-boda man said or how he said it.
KGT: Back to Radio’s survival. In a world of podcasts and multimedia, are you worried about radio’s demise, does radio have a future?
KK: They said radio would die when MTV premiered music videos, they said it would die when the iPod was created, and the internet and so on. But it’s still here, is it not? And still here for a long time.
KGT: Okay, assuming it does die. Just kidding. How do you imagine a life after radio?
KK: Priesthood or become an Imam– I need to detox all the music I have played over the years – I am serious.
KGT: No doubt you would make a good priest KK. Tell us one thing you’d advise anyone?
KK: Do not let them tell you that no one will get it. If you have a burning passion or an insane talent, then make it count.
I have a buddy called Joseph who did a bunch of things on local radio and TV that largely went unappreciated. He finally found his true calling – writing for Trevor Noah on the Daily Show on Comedy Central – find your calling!