An Open Letter to Media Houses in Uganda – I

I miss writing letters. Not writing letters where you have to make it clear that you are writing a letter. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the luxury of opening a Word document and typing away but I miss the process that writing a letter with a pen involved. From choosing whether to use scented paper or not, what color of pen to rubbing sweaty palms on a cloth to avoid scribbling unclear words. When all decisions were made, you’d practice on 1 or 2 papers (that you’d get to smash and throw away after), and then write the final letter. When that was finished, you’d saliva that envelope and place a stamp on it. If it was extra special or important, you might wear your Sunday Best to drop it off. After that, you’d wait for a reply, as you wondered whether the letter got delivered in the first place.

I miss that.


Dear NTV Uganda,

First things first, I’d like to appreciate the great work that you do. You really turn on our worlds.

Now that that’s out of the way…

I just watched an episode of The Timeline show, and the first question that ran through my mind was, ‘Is Brian Mulondo truly the best presenter for this show?’. Not merely from an age perspective, although that might influence other factors but also from a lifestyle perspective.

The question that followed that was, “Even if Brian Mulondo is the best presenter for the show, is he the only one that can present the show?” Why? Well, that’s because as a country, we seem to have an unemployment problem on our hands that we can’t quite seem to shake. If Brian Mulondo is on NTV throughout the day, well… It obviously goes without saying that if Brian Mulondo is that good, then maybe he should have as many shows as possible even if it means him being on air, 24 hours every day.

As it stands right now, Brian Mulondo is doing a lot of programmes for one station, by many standards. So my next question is, what would NTV do if Brian Mulondo left tomorrow? (P.S: Emphasis on if, because this is not based on anything). But if he left, who would replace him? If there is someone that is currently employed in case something like that happens, maybe that person should take over some of the programmes. If there isn’t, well… Also, I am no expert on brands, but I think having one presenter doing many programmes might compromise a brand’s ability to ever be a love mark if they are competing with personality love. Think of it like this, do you think as many people would support Mercedes (Formula One) if Lewis Hamilton moved?

The same applies for other presenters doing multiple programmes.

I am also curious about the factors that determine whether a programme goes on air in the first place, stays or is cancelled. Is it the happenings in everyday life? Is it the ratings? Aren’t those a bit compromising as they include the number of viewers which might be high for a programme because of how bad it is? Or doesn’t that matter?

Again concerning the unemployment situation, the turnover at NTV seems to be a bit high, by its own standard that it seems like employees at NTV wake up one day and leave (although it seems like there is always a scandal in the mix). What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that other organizations have a turnover as high, and yours are noticed more because of being in the spotlight? Have the turnover numbers at NTV not increased greatly but it only appears that way because people have just started paying attention?

I know that you are very busy, so I won’t let this be longer than it needs to.


I hope to hear from you soon.


Yours Sincerely,

Pearl Gahwera


Image Source.

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4 Responses

  1. Nev says:

    You have quite some questions here! Interesting point though is “Also, I am no expert on brands, but I think having one presenter doing many programmes might compromise a brand’s ability to ever be a love mark if they are competing with personality love.”

    On the Lewis business, sports is a different matter altogether but you have a point. When Top Gear’s famed presenters moved, Top Gear has never been the same. Same thing happened to Jam Agenda when Nana and Colin left. Same thing for Showtime when Karitas left.

    Anyway, I hope your letter receives a reply.

  2. I think Brian represents a breed of employees that are open to try new opportunities. A do anything attitude and flexible character will do at lot to boost one’s profile in a company. If you remain comfortable in what you were paid to do and not willing to make the bosses coffee, then your usefulness to the company maybe will be limited to your position. We all know how far those who go out to impress reach..

    In the meantime, ask Mr Patrick Mukasa if he can host Login.

  3. Angela says:

    I’d seen the promo of The Timeline making rounds on my TL. Had never clicked on it ’cause truthfully, idk why I need to be told what’s happening if I already do spend my time on social media. But maybe I’m not the target market? When you mentioned Mulondo being presenter, even I was like, him again? Wow. Does he have to do every show? Hmm. Very valid points raised. And I agree, he’s too old for this. Why can’t NTV hire some fresh blood out of university and put them on-screen if they’re good for the job? Why are young TV presenters only relegated to music shows, especially since those never even hire personalities that went through formal media training?

    (Sidebar: The title was misleading though, this was more of an open letter to NTV haha)

  4. Kakoma says:

    Writing letters back then was indeed quite a ceremony; some bits were fun, others, not so much. The wait for a response was particularly not fun

    I agree with Angela on this being a letter to NTV…:-)

    Maybe the discussion on whether Brian’s the best possible host should be separated from the nation’s unemployment challenges. If he’s not the best (which is very subjective), let someone else do it. If he is, by all means, let him do it. Contributing to solving unemployment needs a bit more concerted work from a number of stakeholders

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