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Unearthing the brain behind NBS’s LIVE at 9 news bulletin

Bonita NAKALULE

When NBS tv was founded in 2008 it started out with a totally different programming schedule from what they currently have.

The English bulletin for example was run at 7pm and it was called Sunset news (yeah that’s right) and Amasengeje the Luganda bulletin aired at 9pm.

In 2015 a mega transfer happened in the Tv business in the country, NBS tv signed Solomon Serwanja the award winning investigative journalist from NTV Uganda.

The Serwanja transfer sprang noticeable changes in the NBS programming as he recently revealed in an interview on YouTube channel Extradigest Mugobansonga that he was responsible for switching the English bulletin with the Luganda bulletin from 7pm to 9pm respectively.

Not only did he convince his boss at the time Kin Karisa to have the English bulletin move to 9pm, he also came up with the new name for the bulletin, LIVE AT 9. In his own words, Serwanja said NBS’s Live at 9 is his baby!

“When I got to the then Kamwokya based station I signed a good contract and Kin told me let’s start serious work. But I told him I couldn’t work alone, I needed a support team so I recommended a few others that were also brought on board.”

“The likes of Rukh – Shana Namuyimba, Charles Nsibirwa, Sam Walugembe who was in graphics all joined me and we started working.”

“I went to Kin and told him you can not compete with NTV akawungezi with your English bulletin, likewise you can’t compete with their NTV tonight when you have the Luganda bulletin at 9pm”

“So I told him we are going to switch the two to be able to compete with NTV. He was hesitant at first and said it’s not possible but I insisted. He then consulted with the board who did not buy my idea but he came back to me and said he was taking my advice because he believed in me.”

Next was finding a name, he talked to the top management and they proposed names, then he called me and told me, it’s you who told us to move the English bulletin at 9 so what do you want it to be called?

“I told him let’s call it LIVE AT 9 and he replied live at 9 it is. (I named that bulletin live at 9) Every time Kin meets me tells me you put a brick on Next Media and you will never be forgotten.”

Serwanja the winner of the prestigious 2019 BBC Komlar Dumor award, left NBS tv last year to concentrate on his African Institute for investigative Journalism found in Kira Bulindo where he is the founder and executive director.

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