It’s another Monday morning and the traffic as usual, is bumper to bumper, but there is one thing that sits constant.
All radios around town are tuned in. The anticipation of what or how the day will start is what awaits, this glorious occasion, as the clock ticks on.
It’s amazing how he entertains, every morning from six to ten. The anticipation that he keeps his listeners in, the excitement he rings to everyone listening and the pure entertainment that awaits fans every weekday morning is just a few of the things that define this great man. Tino.
Walking into the restaurant, one can easily tell that he is someone. He walks smoothly towards the table and gives a warm embrace accompanied with his million dollar smile. He sits down coolly as he greets the waiter in a friendly manner. The beginning of the conversation is purely random, as we speak of various things. It is easy to tell he is a funny guy, every word coming from him bringing laughter at the table.
Tino is well known for his voice on radio and his music. He started his career immediately after completing his senior six at Flash FM. As he speaks of his time at Flash FM, it is easy to tell he has a passion. Eight years down the line at Flash FM, the passion still runs strong in his veins for radio. He doesn’t stop there; he is also one of the voices of the group TBB, a music group that started roughly two years ago.
His group members, who he speaks highly of, have known each other since they were little kids. Tino hands me his mobile phone to listen to their latest track as he jokes: “I can never sing the first verse because I’m always late to the studio”. He has also had his fare share of on stage experience as an MC, being associated with companies such as MTN, SKOL just to name a few. He is also a sales person for legacy.
Tino is one man with strong opinions and a very professional view about radio. When asked what he thinks about radio in Rwanda he coolly says it is a very fast growing industry.
As a man, without his radio gear on he stands out. He says he doesn’t believe in having two people in one body, that is the radio person and you. ‘What you see is what you get’, is a phrase that would best describe him or in his case, ‘what you hear is what you get’. Tino has total and complete love for his fans ‘I’m real; who I am outside the studio is who I am when I’m in it’.
Asked to describe himself, he says; “I’m Martin Kalisa, 26 years old, fourth born in a family of six, black,” he says jokingly. Tino continues; “easy going, down to earth, God fearing, likes smiling , short tempered and very friendly,” If one was to expect to meet him, put all these qualities in a handsome package and you’d have got him exactly.
What inspires him to get out of bed every morning, ‘not to let Ginti down,’ is his first statement which shows his closeness and understanding between his co- host on the morning show. He also adds, “Working with someone who loves what they are doing.”
As a word of encouragement he tells people that want to break into the radio industry; “Radio as music requires passion, you must have passion for what you are doing.” Tino adds; “ There is nothing wrong with humble beginnings,” as he retraces his steps as a DJ on Flash FM for seven months before getting to the microphone.
As our interview comes to a close, its easy to tell Tino has not only wowed us because of his radio personality but because he gives us his all. Every minute on air we spend not just with Tino but with Martin Kalisa.