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Ciara Kansiime - Thank you so much Flavia for sharing your life journey. All your words are very inspiring and encouraging. Be blessed. I know that if I can pick a leaf from you, I can live my dreams.
Day 2: Today I tell you about my little journey to NTV. In 2012 I received a call by then manager at NTV Kenya, he and i had a long chat about how he had watched me on Big Brother Africa and was proud of me and believed that my next step should be towards news and that i would grow into a very good anchor.
I said NO. My reasons were, I wasn't interested and that i had never even considered it and that my career was going another direction. We spoke for long and he sounded disappointed but at the end of the call he said to me "you will do this one day and i hope when you do, you remember our conversation".
Well, see how God works, Maurice Mugisha a long time friend had also persuaded me to go since he was working there and i said no still. This year we sat for negotiations with Maurice who now is my boss to join as a news anchor and i slowly reflected and was grateful, that the position was always mine, just not the timing.
Here is my word to you, you know what you want to do and what you want to be, but are you selling yourself short? Are you dreaming small? Are you speaking greatness?"
Day 3 - So in 2011, I won the competition to become Uganda's first Channel O VJ. I was so happy, then became overwhelmed at how big a platform it was. We were 5 VJ's for the continent and in a team building meeting in south Africa, our boss asked for our strengths, she intended to get us opportunities that would help us grow bigger in the industry.
Everyone said their strength except me, because I didn't know what it was. I came back to Uganda and while at capital, one of my colleagues said..."now that you are on channel O, toloba, make sure bakulaba and you leave a mark kwegamba you even push obele ku bigbrother Africa" lol he is dramatic.
Anyway, I told him that i was a small fish and no one would skip all the choices of presenters, to let me get on bigbrother Africa. 2 months later, they were in meetings looking for a guest host and my boss suggested me, and as you saw in 2012, I ended up chosen. One day I asked my boss why i was chosen out of curiosity and she said to me.." they looked at all your work and felt you were talented and a new face, and also, one of the directors of the show worked with you on Guinness football challenge and he said you were professional and a pleasure to work with".
Wow! I had no idea. Here is my message to you from this, be good and respectful to everyone no matter how small or big, rich or poor, manager or cleaner, educated or not. You never know whose review of you will take you to your next opportunity. Your network is your networth.
When I was fresh off teens club, I had the first rough year with the tabloids. They were constantly painting me as the former teens club presenter who was always out smoking and drinking, falling and embarrassing herself and dating my former co-presenter. Then in my first year at capital, they ran a story that I was dating my boss and that's how I got the job.
One day Capital had organised a party and called media personalities and journalists, i asked one of the tabloid writers, why he chose to write false stories about me. His response.." I write what am given, your own friends and colleagues sent in those stories" he even proceeded to show me messages as proof. Wow, bless him for having been so honest but i told him that wouldn't help clear my name and he gave me advise that i use till today.
"Flavia, you cant change what is said or written about you by talking...no one believes that, people believe actions. So if you ever want people to see you for who you are and not the lies, live a true life and eventually people will believe actions not words." It took me so many years to be true to myself and trust me I have made many mistakes but I choose not to broadcast them.
Here is my word to you, people talk, and talk and talk some more, good or bad. Never build your success on peoples' words or even break it because of their words
Today I will share a harsh truth. As girls and women, we are faced with more difficulty in the path to success, some our faults, others just the claws of temptation. A few years ago, I was starting to grow in my role as event emcee, I was being offered gigs and even though i wasn't getting paid much, I was happy to be working.
Then one day a job got recommended and i took it. But the person who gave me the job wasnt too familiar with my work and didn't actually know much about Flavia Tumusiime. He asked if I could send him a picture of me and at that moment i got suspicious but he brushed it off as a joke. Anyway I went for the gig and before i got on stage, the guy asked if we would be going somewhere after...i cringed and told him he was making me uncomfortable and i would leave if he continued his advances.
His response: " you think you are special? So many gals can do this job its just talking on stage and if you want to act like a kid, I wont give you any more work.". Well after that gig true to it he never hired me again. Well its okay i walked away with my dignity. But you see, us gals or women face so many hurdles because before you talk, some people rate your value on your looks and body. Its okay to be beautiful and proud of it. Its also possible that many opportunities will come thanks to what you look like or dress like...
BUT my word of advise is...prove to them you are more than the looks...improve yourself, work hard and never let your beauty be all you have
When I left teens club, I was exposed to a growing celebrity culture. There were cliques and all and who was hanging with who. I was excited i wont lie, I enjoyed hanging with all the famous musicians that people saw as untouchable and it got to my head. I started to want to be like them...well not the singing part lol.
I wanted to dress like them, live lavish and just fit in. A friend of mine, a local female artist had a very trendy hairstyle and i told her to recommend the salon, i got there and was treated like a star.
After my hair was done, they gave me a bill fitting of a star...lol I took a double look but I paid and it took most of my cash in my bag to sort that bill...all for hair that I couldn't keep after a week because celebs don't do that. Anyway after that, the pressure was on, I would spend every coin i made just to look like or copy a certain friend and what I thought was cool.
Then I woke up and realised i had nothing to my name except the cool shoes and bags. So I started to save...my first meaningful salary was 450,000. I started to knock on doors to give me any gigs or work to supplement my income since I was paying my own tuition at university.
I made it work, with my salary and side work. Obviously things have changed today and I can afford a certain life but even then...more money more problems. Here is my word to you, its not and will not get easy in the battle to keep up appearances, but at what cost? I hope the next time you make a decision, you start with what YOU think before you bother with what anyone else thinks
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