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Faridah Nakazibwe: Happiness is an inside job

Her sexy sense of style, with body hugging outfits, is just one of the many things that captivate her multitude of fans. In real life, Faridah Nakazibwe who is one of the leading TV news anchors in Uganda is as soft spoken, humble, and glamorous as she appears on TV screens.

Surprisingly TV was not her thing until 2006. At some point, her parents thought she would end up in fashion or something related to it as she always loved good clothes and taking care of herself. She says she has always been very quiet a perfectionist in everything.

“I looked at all the options in journalism and the times we tried out the camera at university, I realised that I felt free in front of it,” she recalls, “Then someone commented that camera is good on you.”

Nakazibwe graduated in Mass Communication from the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) Mbale campus and first worked as a waitress for close to a month until she joined the WBS TV in 2006. Initially, landing the job was not easy as her voice was considered bad for a news anchor. So she settled for being a news reporter for two years.

When NTV Uganda opened, Nakazibwe chose to try her luck and applied as a news reporter and editor. During the interview, however, the panel asked her to read something and she won over everyone. Her contract as news anchor was signed in September 2006 and she started anchoring in December. Nakazibwe is also the host of ‘Mwasuze Mutya’ an idea she birthed but only managed to convince management about three years later.

She talks of her 10 years at NTV as an experience of growth and self-discovery, during which she has learnt that it’s only her who can prove to the world that she can actually do something.

Growing up in Sembabule when it was still part of Masaka district, she says her early life revolved around school and home. The second born and first girl in the family of seven, she says her parents were very protective. Even at the university, her parents would check on her. It only stopped when her father passed on while she was at the university.

“My mother was a disciplinarian who would at times use a cane but dad was softer to the extent that teachers and children nicknamed him inspector. He used to travel to different regions depending on the season and he would pass by school and bring food and other eatables for almost everyone at school,” she says.

Nakazibwe fondly recalls that she was 18 years old when she left she left home to travel on her own. It was her Senior Six vacation.  Living such an unexposed life, Nakazibwe’s first love would later turn out to be the father of her two daughters. She met Dan Nankunda at WBS where duo worked and together they have two daughters. Nakazibwe says she moved out after noticing that the relationship was based on what she calls blind love.

“There are things I know I wouldn’t have done if my dad was still living,” she says, “Like being in a relationship with a non-Muslim or moving in with someone without my family’s approval.”

She says it was the same with her relationship to the leading politician, Hajji Moses Kigongo. Her mother did not approve and she had to let go in what she says is one of the most terrible situations in her life. She is now married to Dr. Omar Ssali.

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