“At University I spent a few hours, 2-3 days a week, mostly in the mornings at the Campus Radio station before or after I was done with my merchandising job (which paid for my course handouts and transport to University). Then from 4 or 5pm, I’d attend my Information Technology classes. I did that for most of my first year at the University.” – @JoyDoreenBiira
Campus Radio, the University’s FM Radio station was used as a training platform for undergraduate and post graduate Mass Communication students. However not many students frequented the place. I did. And interacted with some of those who were regulars at the station. There, I met Archie Luyimbazi , at the time he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Mass Communication and was directly in charge of the Campus Radio. I also met Jared Ombui , in his final year as mass Comm. student and programs head at the station (who now works with Kenya State Broadcaster KBC) and many more – a village of supportive people.
They allowed me to interact with the equipment there as well as engage the mass communication students, most of whom were nearing their final years in the course. Some were training to be presenters, photographers, videographers, public relations and communication experts, jingo producers, music producers, researchers et cetera. Each time I was there, I learnt something new – well, anything. I spent a few hours there, two to three days a week mostly in the mornings before or after I was done with my merchandising job (Merchandising paid for my course handouts and transport to University). Then from 4 or 5pm, I’d attend my Information Technology classes. I did that for most of my first year at the University.
At the beginning of my second year at university, Brian, a fellow course mate and friend of mine at the Faculty of Computing & Information Technology in Makerere University said to me, “there is a new TV station doing auditions – if you’re interested, come along, I’m going for auditions.”
I remember responding to him very fast, “All I know right now is Radio and that is a little about it. I know nothing about TV. I have no idea what happens on TV neither am I studying Journalism.” Nonetheless I agreed to accompany him to the auditions as morale booster.
We arrived at the audition venue. His turn came and while I waited for him to come back and share his experience, a gentleman, one of the staff at the TV station found me in the hallway and after saying our greetings, started convincing me to give the audition a try. From the appearance of those I’d seen coming down from the audition room, it was evident from the make up and dress code, of both male and female auditions’, a degree of planning and preparation had gone on prior to them showing up at the TV station.
If I’m being honest, I was dressed in cowgirl jeans, ankle boots and a simple shirt. My ‘sunnies’ or sunglasses were hanging from the side of my jean pockets. I had kinky braided hair. I said to the gentleman convincing me, “come on now, take a good look at me, do I look like I came in here for an audition?”, as I ran my hand through my kinky braids and looked down at my shirt, jeans and ankle boots. He insisted, “You’re young. Take a risk!” In that moment I thought to myself, “I’m young. What do I have to lose if I gave it a try?” At a younger age, not much thinking goes into decision making for many! I was no different. So, into the audition room, I walked…
Read Part 1 here https://biiraonline.com/2019/02/11/my-career-journey-prt-1/
“At 19, I joined Makerere University in Uganda, after being admitted for Bachelor of Information technology… my first choice was Mass communication, Industrial Fine Art the second, and Information Technology the third… I’d make time in the morning hours to sneak into the mass communication radio department and attend my Information Technology lectures in the evening”