KAMPALA – Media houses in Uganda have been challenged to leverage technology and produce unique content that promotes African cultural values and programmes.
Speaking during a panel discussion in Kampala last Friday, various discussants lamented how local media houses are so intent on reproducing foreign music, sports, and cultural programmes and only air local content that portrays Uganda in a bad light.
“Our media is a creation of the Western world and the Western world is about hysteria; which story sells. But there is changing from that, especially with the social media today” said Mr Emmanuel Ewaku Alio, the director of investments at the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme.
He added: “We have a lot of success stories. But most of the TV stations here devote most of their time to music and if it is movies, it is an imported movie. There is a lack of local content creation here.”
Mr Stephen Rwangyezi, the founder of Ndere Troupe, called for more investment by media houses in local content creation to ensure the Ugandan story is told by its people. He said one of their successes has been to bring to the scene something that was not in the dancing ballroom, which are traditional dances.
Mr Yusuf Muziransa, the public relations officer at Equal Opportunities Commission, said Uganda longs for a media house that reports local content in its locality and originality.
“The challenge is that our media tend to focus so much on the negative per- haps because of the background that journalism says that a bad story is a good one for people to know out there. But there are very many positive stories committed through government programmes and projects,” he said.
The panel discussion preceded the launch of Alkebulan TV (AKTV), an online streaming platform dedicated to promoting African culture, tourism, agriculture, and economic resources in Uganda.
Mr Moses Kazibwe, the founder and chief executive officer of AKTV, said he opened the platform because there was a lot of untapped potential in agriculture, tourism, and cultural heritage.
“With the launch of Alkebulan TV, we have a platform to celebrate Africa’s richness and showcase its economic potential to the rest of the world,” he said.
The State Minister-in-charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ms Justine Kasule Lumumba, who launched AKTV, lauded Mr Kazibwe for investing in promoting local content.
“The success of the Ugandan story will be the success of the country and Africa at large. We need to tell our own stories or else somebody else will tell it and we might not have the power to change how it is told,” she said.