First of all, I am honored stand in front of all of you here today as we celebrate the success of prospective radio and television personalities plus tailors and fashion designers, from one of the finest training facilities in Uganda. Secondly, 13 February is World Radio Day — a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves. Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium.
Radio is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. As radio continues to evolve in the digital age, it remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide. At RTF, having our first graduation today was intended to coincide with celebrations worldwide, and as a personality so enthusiastic and passionate about radio, I wish you the best as you celebrate this day with friends and family.
One Friday evening in 2006 if my memory is something to go by, Iwas part of a group celebrating and washing off the sweat of a full year of teaching activity courtesy of madam Leticia. The guest of honor was the current state minister of higher education, Dr. Chrisestom Muyingo. During his speech on that day, he shared with us the state of the education sector by then. He provided statistics were possible highlighting the fact that as pupils and students progress to attain their dreams of higher education, there was an acute shortage of institutions of higher learning. He encouraged us as lecturers to start in any way possible and set up training facilities that would gradually grow into fully fledged institutions. And with what we have so far, I am glad I attended the party that evening.
Over the next few years I identified a challenge that was prevalent in most of the tertiary institutions were I lectured. This was the lack of practical training. We had the syllabus to follow, but not facilities to demonstrate what I was talking about. I knew I had identified my niche. I mobilized a few of my colleagues and in 2008 we came to start here. The rest is history.
Our dear guests, over the years, we have believed in true pluralistic media environment. Our mission is to ensure that students acquire the skills necessary to prepare them for employment in the professional broadcasting and audio/video industries. As a team we have trained enthusiastic radio personal the art of broadcasting that is exulted by many. This has been possible through the setting up of a model studio that has been a favorite place for many of these young men and women. In this studio we try to share our experiences as people who have served in similar capacities for years to the great satisfaction of any.
Furthermore our dear guests, our vision is to become one of the leading Media studies institutions of learning in offering training and skills of the highest quality possible. Quality is of essence at RTF. We believe that our desire for a quality brand of graduates should not be compromised on the altar of survival and expansion. We wish to be identified by the quality of our services and care. Many media organizations that have given our students a chance to intern at the establishment have already noted the difference. Our fresh graduates only need acclimatization and the rest will fall into place. This is what our ideals stand for.
We believe in a simple philosophy “Become the fittest you can be”. We believe that in this world, the best one can do is to fit. The range of qualifications and standards, the demands of the business world, the individual challenges and status quo, all enable you to just fit. By becoming the fittest one can be is to understand your purpose in the industry and the objectives of your would be employers. It is to focus on your goals and those of the organization, and working patiently towards achieving them. Today we boast of graduates in numerous media houses because throughout their training, we highlight their purpose in any organization as they strive to perform to the fullest of their capabilities. Becoming the fittest you can be means identifying available opportunities and trying to harness them whole heartedly for the end justifies the means.
Our main mandate focuses on media studies, that is, radio television and film. Our students explore the craft of radio production and broadcasting. We look at radio critically, highlighting all possibilities and challenges of the medium. We examine the history of the media, the laws and regulations that govern the industry, the ethics of journalism as a profession, video journalism where the individual is expected to be multi skilled and on their own, media research and entrepreneurship, commercial production of spot adverts, skits, radio dramas and feature programs, and media practices which entails some of the practices and tact’s that differentiate armatures from professionals. As an institution, we are also focusing more on the Role of the radio producer. The Broadcasting environment in Uganda is more fragile than ever before. You have to keep your antennas high. Special caution and responsible discernment is a must. Media managers today would rather have recorded programs as opposed to those broadcast live. At RTF, we are already preparing our students to fit in this shift of events.
Last year we introduced a new study package called Art and Design. This package focuses on the basics of tailoring and dress making, crafts design, tie and dye, to mention but a few. Successful candidates get a certificate in Art and design studies at the end the course. However they can also upgrade to receive a diploma in fashion designing. The package is conducted by professional fashion designers who have garnered accolades in the field and are already in the business. In future we plan to introduce more study packages including management, secretarial studies, multi media courses and Music Dance and drama training. We encourage our dear parents to take advantage of these study packages for they empower you sons and daughters to lead a comfortable and passionate life.
Our dear guests, in our ever unending efforts to provide a training package that befits the media industry, we have continuously come across numerous challenges. Our need to diversify the provision of demand driven packages and courses have been hampered by lack of enough space to accommodate the would-be numbers and the costs involved. Space has been a key challenge which in fact still denies us the chance for full accreditation by the national council of higher education. Plans are underway to construct our fully fledged establishment in Namusera wakiso District. I know this will take some time but one day we will get there.
However, amidst all these challenges, I would wish to take this opportunity to thank other institutions of higher learning especially universities that have given our graduates a chance to further their education. Most notable are Muteesa 1 Royal University and Nkumba University. These universities have offered our diploma students a chance to study degrees in mass communication. We are very grateful for this Endeavour.
Our dear guests, I would also wish to take this opportunity to thank our dear parents who have entrusted us with their sons and daughters. Today, the decision to join a particular institution is not a preserve for the children but parents want to be sure that their sons and daughters are to get their monies worth. Being in the industry myself, as serve as a role model to many youngsters. In me they see their dreams and aspirations and when they decide to join us, their parents have been very supportive. However, due to the financial challenges experienced by some parents, their slow and painful tuition contributions have greatly hampered our plans for growth and development. Our policy in this regard is that students are not allowed to sit exams if they have any pending dues. However we have on numerous occasions been painfully forced to alter this policy to have our students sit exams. None the less we have always done a good job.
To our dear graduands, congratulations. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel a less-traditional path. But I’ve managed to cover a fair amount of territory. There may be some lessons that I’ve learned that could help you in some small measure on your rugged road ahead.
I encourage you to further your education in any way you possibly can. Upgrade to all the levels of education you wish, diploma, degree, masters, PhD. They are all yours to explore. Our dear country can only achieve some level of development if the work force is highly educated there by harnessing the environment to their benefit.
I would urge you to continue your trust in your decision just like you had the trust in deciding to join us. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that has kept me going on is that I love what I do. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Be representative. Lift our name up high and be exemplary. Keep out of trouble and I know you can. Your prospective employers will love you as long as you keep out of trouble. With the understanding that you will face tough times and amazing experiences, you must also commit to the adventure. Just have faith in the skills and the knowledge you’ve been blessed with and go. Because regrets are born of paths never taken.
And now you’ve accomplished something great, honorable and important here at RTF, it’s time for you to move on to what’s next. You have an abundance of opportunities before you—but don’t spend so much time trying to choose the perfect opportunity, that you miss the right opportunity. We are fortunate to live in a country that accepts and even encourages experimentation and new ideas. Recognize that there will be failures, and acknowledge that there will be obstacles. But you will learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, for there is very little learning in success.
Remember, it is a free world out there. You are free to choose, and you are free to succeed. It just takes hard work and a dream. As you chart a course out for your selves, you are going to change this world.
Finally I have to stories to share with you. A famous American entrepreneur, Jim Rohn once wrote that Formal education will make you a living, but self education will make you a fortune. What you learn at school earns you a salary to accomplish your basic needs but what you are going to teach your self will earn you millions. Therefore, always be creative, venture into the unknown and start somewhere.
Secondly, a story is told about the methodology and practice at an airport. The pilot of the plane is expected to get clearance from the control tower, giving them the authority to fly from one country to the other, to land and or take off from the airport. And whenever it is safe and okay for the pilot to take off, the control tower personnel will pass on a simple message which says;
You are now on your own and good luck.
I thank you for listening.