Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Uganda Thomas Tayebwa joined millions of Ugandans to pay glowing tribute to the fallen radio superstar- Alex Ndawula who died at Nsambya hospital on Monday evening . He was 59 years old. DJ Ndawula who has been ill for a while suffered a kidney failure .
Ugandans of different age groups who listened to music played by the late Alex Ndawula for over 20 years starting in the early 90s expressed grief and paid tribute to a man they described as radio legend .- Ndawula popularised the FM airwaves across the country – while presenting his signature –dance force- weekend program on Capital FM – a radio station that was started by Mr. William Pike and his longtime business partner Patrick Quarcco.
“A legend has gone to sleep. Rest in Peace Radio Legend. Sleep well. We shall forever celebrate you Alexander Ndawula,” Patricka Osman the Capital FM producer and news anchor stated on her social media platforms . Nandawula retired from Capital FM in May 2017 after over 20 years of service.
The Speaker of Parliament ,Hon. Thamas Tayebwa -posted on his official twitter handle thus : ” Thank you for the good times DJ Alex. I remember those days I used to almost sleep in our banana plantation every Saturday night because it was the only spot where I could get @CapitalFMUganda to listen to Dance force in Bitereko. You brought Kampala close to us. RIP Legend.”
Sports and Business veteran journalists -Mr. Stephen Ouma remembered Ndawula’s good old days and the music he brought live in people’s homes . “So sad indeed. He was the face of Capital FM entertainment program ” “Dance Force” and leading entertainer, brilliant and captivating , a promoter of popular drink, Smirnoff,” Ouma stated adding that -Alex Ndawula was DJ when Congolese and South Africa musicians still commanded the African music scene and the Ugandan music industry was picking up too -in the late 80s and early to mid 1990s.
” Alex Ndawula would play African music by great artists such as Kofi Olomide, Luchiana Mobulu, Lokito Ngoma, Kanda Bongoman, Lucky Dube, Bozi Boziana, Arlus Mabele, Fede Lewn, Brenda Fasie, Monique Seka, Shala Mwana, Yondo Sisters , Madilu Systems, Chak Demus, Mbilia Bel, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Pepe Kalle Franco Luambo Makiadi, Tabu ley and many others,” Ouma recalled .
Another veteran journalist Timothy Kalyegira who together with Alex Ndawula were the pioneer employees at Capital FM shared a photograph which reflected -a piece of Ugandan radio history: A photo taken at Capital Radio on the third floor of Baumann House along Parliament Avenue, Kampala in July 1994, 28 years ago during the first year of private FM radio broadcasting in Uganda.
Kalyegira stated “Left: Alex Ndawula, presenter of the “Good Morning Kampala” breakfast show which he took over from Richard Mulondo, who then was re-assigned as the News Editor.
Baby-sitting Alex on her lap is Nanfuka (“Nanfi”) Nagenda, who used to present the children’s programme, the “Capital Kid”, on Saturdays. In school uniform next to Nanfi is Lillian Nagenda, younger sister to Nanfi, both nieces to the New Vision columnist and presidential advisor John Nagenda.
Towering over Lillian Nagenda is the late DJ Berry, formerly a Disc Jockey at the Tropicana 110 night club at Udyam House in Kampala and a presenter of the weekday evening drive show, the “Happy Hour”, on Capital. Alex Ndawula, DJ Berry and Peter Sematimba were Capital’s three biggest stars. Seated at right is Timothy Kalyegira, at that time a news reader at Capital Radio and founder, 20 years later, of the Kampala Express.
In the background facing the camera is the overnight receptionist Fred, who used to write down announcements, take phone calls and late into the night as “DJ Silent” make sure the machines were running. The angle from which this picture was taken suggests it might have been by the then Capital Radio station manager, Derek Banyu.”
The week day Capital Radio line up in 1994 was: Alex Ndawula on the breakfast show, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m, followed by the late David Bruno from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Then came Shanks Vivie D from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m, DJ Bruno from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m when Peter Sematimba took over until 9:00 p.m. and the day’s programming was completed by the late Bob Bashabe from 9:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
On his twitter handle Allan Ssenyonga said ,” “A true legend has signed out. He set the FM waves on fire in the morning and even more, during his Dance Force mixes. At the peak of FM radio, the dance weekend space belonged to Alex Ndawula. Fare thee well Alex Ndawula.”
“A unique voice, legend, and one of the larger-than-life Media Personalities on Capital FM Uganda who made us fall in love with this whole thing we now call a career,” said Allan Tashobya
Ndawula was born in New York USA in 1963 but relocated to Uganda after the passing of his father when he was a young boy aged eight. he went to St.Mary’s College Kisubi and Namasagali for his high school before joining y Nakawa Technical Institute where he studied marketing.
‘My idea of fun as a child centered on playing basketball, swimming, playing music and I loved to read. I would collect comics and novels from friends after all, we used to have standard books which everyone or at least most of us in class had to have read. This upbringing has had an impact on me because in my scope of work, I have to research and be well informed, fortunately, it all began when I was a child,” he was quoted in a rare interview in 2012 . Few journalists grant interviews .
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