The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Quick Talk - No Wedding Bells for Karitas

interview

Former TV/radio queen Karitas Karisimbi has been off the social radar for some time.

Quick Talk decides to seek her out at a city hangout. But Quick Talk nearly runs out of patience after she makes him wait for over an hour as she talks to her buddy Barbie, wife to self-styled ghetto president Bobi Wine.

When she finally moves over to Quick Talk's table, he can't help but ask:

So, what took you so long with Barbie?

[Apologising] It's about the reality TV show Omubanda Wa Kabaka, which I direct and co-produce with her under our joint company, Big Ideas. We were discussing this week's show. But Barbie is also my good friend.

[Quick Talk remembers she was once also friends with Zuena, Bebe Cool's wife] What's your current relationship with Zuena?

[After a long hesitation where she seems to suppress bitterness] I don't want anything to do with Zuena or Bebe Cool. In fact I consider them insignificant [Quick Talk encourages her to continue after she attempts to change the topic].

They are very ungrateful people who repaid my generosity by bad-mouthing me [Bebe Cool once accused Karitas of 'spoiling' Zuena who had sought refuge at the former's crib following marital problems] I am sure Zuena knows the favours I did for her.

So, where have you been hiding?

[Suddenly lighting up] Taking care of my twins [Karitas' twin sons, fathered by an anonymous USA-based Nigerian businessman, will turn two at the end of this month] Being a first-time mother, I am learning on the job.

I am now a totally changed person. My babies are the best thing to ever happen to me. I recently took them for circumcision [She goes on to explain how circumcision is healthy and how it sharpens a man's sexual prowess. Sharp tools in her shed, those two, huh!]

Don't you miss the night life?

I am no longer the same Karitas you used to know or read about in the papers; everything about me has changed. I am now a grown-up woman; I am above 25. If anything, I was really never that much of a party animal like the media portrayed me to be.

I only partied because my work as a TV and radio presenter called for it. But now I have to work hard and fend for my children. [Eh, doesn't their wealthy dad offer child support?]

What is your relationship with your baby-daddy?

[Hesitantly] I wouldn't call him my lover as such; he's just my partner and that's why you won't be hearing of any introduction or wedding. He is a great guy and I wouldn't mind having other babies with him. He often comes to check on us. I have never met his family though we communicate on phone.

How many men have you dated in life?

['Blushing'] Only four [Quick Talk expresses his doubts.] Seriously, they are four, although I won't give names. But I am sure you know some of them like Chris Cotton, my former boss at Capital FM [the duo had an eccentric romance characterized by late night partying and a famous defamation law suit against The Red Pepper.] Red Pepper by the way paid us very handsomely [she cautions me not to misquote her, seeing as she knows how to drag papers to court.]

So, should we say you are now done with the men drama?

Well, I am happy where I am. But of course you never know what tomorrow might bring. Nevertheless, I will never date any Ugandan man again. It is safer to date foreigners, because it protects you from media scandals.

What happened to your salon business?

I passed it over to my younger sister so I could concentrate on my TV production career. I have a forthcoming entertainment show that audiences should look out for. But I miss the mainstream media, especially Capital FM and WBS TV.

Last word?

I don't have beef with Bebe Cool. He has beef with me [join the queue!]

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