The first time Junior Kazoora came to Rwanda was in 1997. Now, almost 15 years later, he is once again home-bound, from his other home, Uganda. And the reasons for coming home are something to smile about this time round, writes Moses Opobo.
This is only Kazoora’s second homecoming. The first was in 1997, and it was a sad kind of home-coming; one that is permanently eked in his memory.
He recalls: “The first time I came to Rwanda was for a sad reason because I came to bury my mum in 1997 and later standing in for weddings of my family members”.
One of those weddings was of an uncle of Kazoora’s named Lambert Sano. Kazoora says: “He (Lambert) was my very good friend while still in the Ugandan army.
“I remember his last days in Uganda they came home with a truck full of soldiers heading to Rwanda for the war. My mum gave them money and some of my dad’s old clothes and our blankets and stuff...and they were off for the war.”
Now, almost 15 years later, he is once again home-bound, from his other home, Uganda. And the reasons for coming home are something to smile about this time round.
Who is Junior Kazoora?
Kazoora was among the first crop of young, ambitious and talented TV personalities to grace Uganda’s private TV airwaves following liberalization of the sector. He made his name as host of Jam Agenda, a hit music show on WBS TV Uganda.
Aggressive and poised, with a natural inclination to entertaining crowds, Kazoora was soon not only a household name, but also a brand. He rocked more airwaves with stints on radio, and clinched MC-ing gigs at the cream of social events and music concerts in Kampala.
Although he pursued Marketing at University, Kazoora’s heart had always been in the realm of entertainment. From Primary school, he exhibited great passion for dance, and took part in several competitions, some of which he won.
Even with these early signs, his family wanted him to be a lawyer. During his Senior Six vacation, while waiting to enroll for University, Kazoora decided to plunge into the unknown, and started his own dance group.
Although it was something he did as a passion, he soon realized that the money was flowing in as well.
“While in my first year at the University, Collin, one of the very best TV presenters in Uganda at the time, quit his show, Jam Agenda, which used to air on WBS, and I replaced him. That’s how I ended up on TV and gave dancing the boot.”
This time, Kazoora’s return to his motherland has got everything to do with the passion of his life – TV. His production company, Buddies TV Production, recently inked a deal with new TV entrant, TV10 to generate content for the station. Of the twelve shows the Remera-based station currently boasts, six will be produced by Buddies TV Production.
Actually, production of most of the shows is already done, while some start to air soon.
And still Kazoora is talking big. According to him, Buddies TV Production will not be the limit to his TV adventures. He contends that, with the right partners, they should be up with their own fully-fledged TV station in the not-so-distant future.
“I think I am best at anything TV. And that’s what I want to concentrate on, at least for now, even though I know that I am also good at events. I don’t want to lose focus,” he revealed.
In an earlier interview he said: “I am looking for the right partners in Burundi and Tanzania to set up Buddies TV Production across the region. We plan on starting atleast four TV stations across the region.”
In the same press interview he said he also intended to acquire a Rwandan passport in the next few weeks and come back home – finally.
Who inspires him?
“I am inspired by Trevor Nelson (a British DJ and BBC presenter) and Ryan Seacrest (an American radio personality, television host, and producer).”
“The market we’re operating in is not competitive at all. In fact, we need more players. If we could have 10 more serious players, the quality of TV production would also improve greatly. The competition is there, yes, but the market is big enough for anyone to survive,” he says.