The Observer (Kampala)

16 December 2012

Uganda: Kaliisoliiso Crew Steps Out of CBS Studio

The Bible says: "Man is made in God's image".

This remained true to former Buganda deputy Katikkiro Godfrey Kaaya Kavuma, until he met the three men behind CBS FM's Kaliisoliiso sports show weekday mornings.

"There is no way these 'goons' could be made in His image. If that be true, then one has to change their idea about God," said Kavuma, jokingly.

Despite his swipe at the triple brigade of Abby Mukiibi, Abu Kawenja and Kato Lubwama, Kavuma, also CBS' Managing Director, knows very well that the station would not be what it is today had it not been for these 'goons'. The trio has created a well-packaged Kaliisoliiso brand that has for the last 15 years retained its loyalty as the most popular morning show in Uganda as indicated by the Synovate 2012 survey.

"On a serious note, there is no team I enjoy having on my side as the Kaliisoliiso crew. They have the passion and the zeal to go forward," noted Kavuma, who officiated at the crew's annual corporate dinner at Royal Suites hotel, Bugolobi, last Friday, where more than 200 fans interacted with their favourite radio presenters.

People listen and get tired of programmes, but not Kaliisoliiso, a sports programme loaded with comedy and laidback banter from the presenters. The secret for the show's popularity is its unpredictability; information, analysis, advocacy and to many, it is a stress-reliever.

"Many people see me laughing as I drive along with my wife in the morning; sometimes it's not because we are happy, but it's for these three," joked Gaster Lule, an ardent fan of the show.

Mukiibi attributes the show's success to its audience ranging from the corporate, civil servants, students, children, and low-end Ugandans and even the non-Baganda. Julian Kanakulya, working with Madhvani group, has had to deal with her friends labelling her 'local' for listening to Kaliisoliiso instead of an 'affluent', English-speaking breakfast crew.

"To me, Kaliisoliiso is a necessary rise. Maybe it explains the reason why [my friends] are stressed and I'm not," says Kanakulya, whose most cherished part of the programme is Moto y'amaka (family motto).

Some have called it a programme for the insane. But if people like Capt Mike Mukula, Gaster Lule, Prince David Wassajja, Charles Peter Mayiga, David Mpanga, Godfrey Nyakana, Prince Chrispin Jjunju and others love it, then 'insane' could be a happy place to be, after all!

Even the English-speaking Sanyu Breakfast crew couldn't help but be sucked into the 'insanity'; remember that April 1 prank when the crews switched studios, reeling in may April fools?

Over the years, Kaliisoliiso has been at the forefront of championing many projects such as the Kasubi tombs fundraising, the heart machine, the MTN marathon, the cancer run and the Tegula project to reroof Namirembe cathedral, among others. And now comes the Kaliisoliiso Education Trust, aimed at helping vulnerable children to acquire education and life skills.

"We have been involved in educating children - we are currently educating 23 - but we want to expand with the support of our fans," Mukiibi said.

The trust will be open to donations from willing fans and also next year's dinner will be a charity dinner where people will have to pay some money as a contribution to the trust.

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