25-year-old Ange K Umulisa, is a former TV host and emcee, who has worked for several government and public companies. She is also wife to musician DJ Pius and together they have a two year old son. She had a chat with Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa on her career journey and family life as a celebrated couple.
Take us back to when you started. How has your career journey been like?
The journey has been amazing. I remember the first job I got as a TV host was from a famous Ugandan TV production company that had opened its branch in Rwanda in 2012. I had never done experiential TV hosting but I got the job and worked for 3 years hosting many shows. My first as emcee was in 2013, where I hosted a documentary by Kwetu called ‘Intore’ and since then I rose to hosting government gigs, private gigs, international companies, Breweries in Rwanda and telecom companies. I studied sociology but have been involved more in TV and radio, something that has opened me to many opportunities. I find myself doing lots of doing jobs maybe because of what I studied. I love being in touch with people and that keeps me connected to people. Anything that keeps me connected to people is what I do.
What do you like about emceeing?
The fact that I get to connect with people who are paying attention to me. If I ask them to smile, they will, and will pay attention to everything that I have to tell them. I love talking and therefore find it fun having a conversation with a lot of people.
What has been your biggest challenge in trying to juggle responsibilities with your career and family?
I married at a young age and most of my friends and age mates are unmarried. I get challenges as I try to fit in within my social circles because our conversations may not match because while they are talking about the trending stuff I’m talking about my son. Also, there are so many responsibilities that come with being a wife and it took me a year to adjust to it, because I was a daddy’s girl and I moved out of the house to become someone’s wife. Career wise I didn’t change a lot because even though I am a neurotic mother, my mother is quite supportive and when Pius is not working long hours, he’s actually home with me.
How do you deal with the fact that you and your husband are both public figures who attract attention?
When I first met him, it took me a month to realize that he was a DJ and has always caught the public eye. We haven’t really changed much since we started dating, because we just know that there are things that come with work like attention and so we just have to balance with our family life.We both have a mutual understanding and even though we have never discussed about it, we both believe that our work has got nothing to do with our marriage. Off course, being a woman, it gets to me sometimes where I may even react sometimes, but at the bottom of my heart I know that its work, and it will definitely go.It’s something we can easily work out.
Can you say that you have contributed to the success of your husband’s career?
I wouldn’t take any credit because the voice is his and the composition is his. He lets me listen to his compositions and I add a line or two because being a preacher’s kid, who sang in choir, I have a background in singing and therefore give my insight when asked to. My biggest contribution however is to be supportive. I know all his songs by heart and not because I am his wife but because I’m his fan who strongly believes in him and whose success is my wish come true.
Where do you see your career heading, a few weeks from now?
Having been married really young, I didn’t get to achieve the plans I had for my education, because I had to put it on hold and focus on my marriage and son.Now that he’s almost three, I’m thinking of expanding my business world and see if I can get work outside Rwanda and my wish is to start with East Africa. It will require me travelling for long periods of time but it’s a sacrifice that I am willing to make given that my mother is always there to help me and that I will be able to schedule it out with my husband.