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VOA radio/Tv presenter gives advice to Tanzania’s journalists

DU7A1371Voice of America’s (VOA’s) Straight Talk Africa programme, broadcast live every Wednesday simultaneously on radio, television and the Internet, was ‘aired’ in style in Mwanza in the recent past when its host, Mr Shaka Ssali had paid a courtsey call to UTPC offices.

Accompanied by US Embassy’s Public Affairs department official, by the name of Rogers Chidosa during his one-day famliarization tour of Mwanza, the Ugandan renowned Journalist held talks with UTPC staff.

 In a brief but interesting ‘lecture’ he delivered in the presence of handful Mwanza Press Club leaders, led by the association’s Chairperson, Mr Deus Bugaywa, Mr Ssali contended that  for local journalism practitioners to be effective enough, they ought to have an extremely strong desire to serve the voiceless people and not about getting rich.

“If you want to make money, look for another job”, he said affirmatively addint that they must also do whatever they think is right; look at themselves as servants and in fulfilling day-to-day obligations, they have to do a bit of research first.

“Always do your job without fear or favour if the people are to respect your professional intergrity; people will respect you only if they know for sure you are not involved in envelop business”, he stressed.

Mr Ssali, himself a Ugandan born American journalist who holds a doctorate in cross cultural communication and history from UCLA in California, expressed his personal feelings of great love for Kwameh Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda and  Nelson Mandela for having served their citizens selfishlessly.

The aforesaid former presidents, all of whom are founding fathers of respective nations, must have believed strongly that everyone has an equal right to a share of the country’s wealth, according to him.

“Journalism practitioners, as mass - communicators, are supposed to be persons who have the entire society at heart, which is the real meaning of life (i.e. existence, social ties and happiness)”, he advised.

Mr Ssali singled out the late Mobutu Sésé Seko as among African presidents who haven’t left any legacy behind except that he reigned during the Rwandan


Mobutu became a journalist and later served in the army before reigning the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly zaire), where he formed an authoritarian regime and formed an authoritarian regime from 1965 to 1997.

Ultimately, he died disgracefully in exile in Morroco in 1997 amid sentiments that had he been alive still, he would have learned that his personal wishes did not take precedence over his peiople’s needs.

Currently in a private tour of Tanzania, Mr Ssali is a former Ford Foundation Fellow and has received numerous honors, including a United Nations Peacekeeping Special Achievement Award in International Journalism.

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Other awards include VOA’s Best Journalist Award and Kigezi College Butobere’s first ever Highest Achievement Award in International Human Communication. Butobere is located in Kabale, southwestern Uganda, and is Shaka’s alma mater.

During his career, Mr Ssali has interviewed and hosted many presidents and prime ministers. Among them: General Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President, Nigeria; Levy

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