Capital FM presenter Flavia Tumusiime is among a new bunch of Channel O VJ’s whose brief is to give viewers a peek at the different cultures and spaces within Africa. They will also be required to show how African music and musicians are reshaping the entertainment arena and standing up for recognition. The VJs will be going behind-the-scenes and giving viewers a wider picture of what goes on in the music and entertainment world that is rapidly growing in Africa as well as internationally. Viewers can look forward to coverage of events like countries’ Independence Day celebrations, interviews of who’s who of the African entertainment circuit , red carpet events and vox-pops of the man/ woman on the street about the fast-growing African musical talent.
Flavia, a 23-year old university graduate is also the current host of the Guinness Football Challenge. “My passion is in television, it’s where I feel my best,” says Flavia who cut her screen teeth as a presenter on WBS TV’s Teens Club. Whereas her most of her contemporaries at the time disappeared into the sunset, Flavia went on to try her hand at radio and hosts the weekday mid-morning show from 10am to 3pm on 91.3 Capital FM. She bounced back on TV as a replacement for Karitas Karisimbi on the lifestyle show K-Files (WBS TV, Wednesdays 8.30pm) when the show’s host took maternity leave. Flavia’s other new Channel O peers are Nigeria’s Edun ‘Denrele’ Olufemi (28)- host of Glo Naija Sings (28), Tanzania’s Jokate Mwegelo- a model and film actress, Kenya’s Joey Muthengi (26)- a radio presenter and TV actress, Ghana’s Stefen ‘J.Town’ Menson (27)- a recording artist and South Africa’s Maya Wegerif (19)- an intern at Channel O.
Channel O Africa’s [Ugandan-born] Manager, Leslie ‘Lee’ Kasumba says choosing this young talent will see Channel O further embracing the music loving population within the continent. “Each one of these VJ’s is awesome in their own right. Not only do they have a fundamental love for their country and music from their countries too. They also have a love for what is happening around them and can see African Urban music in the global space, which is exactly what Channel O Africa is about. They are passionate, hardworking individuals and as a team, they will take Channel O Africa to new levels,” says Kasumba.
Channel O launched as a 24-hour music outlet in 1997 but has of late lost some of its shine to competitors like MTV base and regional copycats like EATV and Sound City that mostly mostly East African and Nigerian hits respectively. It had thinned out presenter-format shows preferring to play [country and genre-specific] music back-to-back. The channel’s VJ announcement could be a desperate attempt at wooing back continental viewers who had shunned it for favouring music video works from one country.