Kampala, Uganda | AGNES E NANTABA | Karitas Karisimbi insists on being referred to as `Nalongo’ – for having had twins eight years ago. Three months ago, Karitas returned to TV screens; specifically NBS TV, after a break.
She says it’s partly because her twins are now grown and also because TV is her passion.
“During all this time while I was away, I matured,” she says, “I wanted to come back with a much bigger impact; with my own idea, having a finished product so I could have control of my show.”
She says it is her way of maintaining relevance but TV few stations were willing to allow her free rein. She says even NBS TV which liked her concept switched a few things in the `Chat room’, which is the name of her show. She hosts celebrities mainly although she says anyone with a relevant and influential story is welcome. She explains although the target audience is largely female, she doesn’t want to leave men out.
“I want to talk about things that are relevant such that my guests can answer the things that they never want to answer,” she says.
Karitas also plans to start something with the youth and one of the avenues is to share her life story in a way to inspire them. She says it is a work in progress.
“I am not where I want to be in terms of concept execution but I am too ambitious and know that I will get there,” she says.
Karitas hit Uganda TV in 2000 as a sizzling host of then famous `Show time magazine’ on WBS TV. She says she was working as a waitress at Hotel International in Kampala when she met Elvis Sekyanzi, a budding entertainment entrepreneur whose father Gordon Wavamunno owned WBS TV. After going through some test, she landed the `Show time magazine’ gig on WBS TV. She describes the three years on WBS as “amazing”. She met and networked with lots of people and has never looked back. While still at WBS, she joined Sanyu FM presenting a midnight. Then after she quit WBS TV she joined Capital FM and did an afternoon show and later a morning show. She also worked with East African TV until she quit the media to in 2006, to concentrate on her production, K-files and her hair products business.
Karitas is among the last of the nine children of Rwandan parents raised by a single mother. The family moved a lot under the care of guardians. That is how she ended up starting school in Nairobi, Kenya. She returned to Uganda for her secondary school at East Kololo and Namugongo in Kampala. She also went to City High, Royal College, and Hill Side International. At the time, she says, she wanted to be a lawyer.
“I liked speaking for others and helping them to seek justice,” she says, “But I realised that it was a very long journey so I took on a second option in the media something I don’t regret.”
She did a Journalism course in Nairobi and IT in UK.