By Dr. Joel Isabirye
Richard Mulondo, one of the pioneering voices of privately owned commercial radio in Uganda, has passed on. Like most deaths today, the news filtered through in the night.
The deep voiced (but not exactly baritone) Mulondo who initially worked with Radio Uganda, the state owned broadcaster where he did the ‘Music While You Work’ show was poached by Radio Kampala (Capital Radio) when it went on air on 31st December 1993. On Capital Radio he did the Good Morning Kampala radio show (the flagship breakfast show) and worked in the news department.
Facing stiff competition from Radio Sanyu (88.2) which had gone on air on 18th December of the same year, Capital decided to drop all its presenters that had been poached from Radio Uganda (including the late Elly Wamala) for “being too boring.”
On Sanyu, they had youthful voices like Chris Ireland, Alex Ndawula, Gloria Kamba, Christine Mawadri, RS Elvis et al., who had been recruited from either the university, the corporate world or the night club scene. These were no match for the rather conservative line up from Radio Uganda that had been modelled on His Masters Voice kind of programming.
Richard Mulondo was sent to the news department to anchor and edit news, and he was replaced first with Alex Ndawula (who did the show as Good Morning Kampala) before the station changed the title of the show to Morning Crew, first co-hosted by Irene Ocwo, and then Christine Mawadri who had been poached from Sanyu.
The Morning Crew then became hosted by Alex and Christine with the Comedian Fenekansi (Fred Senoga, who had been the Cartoonist for Snoggie that appeared in the New Vision). The three ruled the airwaves, however Mulondo’s seminal role as a pioneer of morning radio in privately owned commercial radio could never be forgotten.
May His Soul Rest in Peace
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