Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Venancio Ssenoga

"Venancio Ssenoga for may years was training BBC staff from all over the Commonwealth and he was the first African to merit such responsibility", says Brother Francis Aganze.

In Uganda history we have a few people we can forget. For many of us, Veteran Journalist Venancio Senoga is an intellectual of sorts. This is one man who among other things made history in that he could come up with an answer to any question as posed by the listeners of Radio Uganda. His famous programme: 'Ebibuzo bya batuwuliriza". The Late Senoga is an Old Boy of St. Mary's College Kisubi. Senoga also presented another programme; "Biki ebiffa munsi". Given the nature of his programmes among others he was really a good researcher. Senoga last worked with CBS radio and as he showed real health problems, his son also known as Senoga took on the challenge of answering questions of listeners.

In one of my communications to the Old Boys of St. Mary's College of 14th April 2009, I wrote as follows; "Venancio Senoga a SMACK OB is ailing away

Venancio Senoga formerly with Radio Uganda Midland section where he was one of the presenters of: Ebifa munsi & Ebibuuzzo by'abawulirizza is an old boy of St. Mary's College Kisubi where he did his O' level. He was born in 1939 and makes 70 years this year. Senoga a resident of Bwaise is ailing and in need of assistance."

For the likes of Senoga we must be very grateful to the Founder of St. Mary's College kisubi for starting the school that produced and continues to produce useful International Citizens.
Venancio Senoga will be buried, Thursday, 2 June 2011.
May the good Lord grant Venancio Senoga eternal peace.

AN encyclopedia of radio journalism in Uganda, Venancio Ssenoga, is dead. One of his daughters, Imelda Ssenoga, said he died at Mulago Hospital yesterday after complaining of general body weakness. He was 73 years old.
Ssenoga joined Uganda Broadcasting Service in 1961 while in Senior Four at St. Mary’s College Kisubi.
“He loved his job. We never heard him say his job is bad. He was an inspiration to young and old journalists and was meticulous in his work,” said veteran journalist Mukalazi Kyobe.
His first major assignment was to cover the Independence day on October 9, 1962 at Kololo. But this was just the beginning of a career that later saw him carry out live coverage of historical national events.
They included the return of the late Kabaka, Sir Edward Muteesa’s body, the Organisation of African Union summit in Kampala in 1974, the swearing in of various leaders including Milton Obote in 1980 and Yoweri Museveni in 1986 and Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s wedding in 1998.
“Reading was his passion. Every written word meant a lot to him. He was one of the most informed people in the broadcast media,” said Charles Seruga Matovu, a television journalist.
Between the early 80s and 90s, Ssenoga was in charge of a popular programme, ‘agafa mubwengula’, (A glance at the galaxy), an insight of space.
He also hosted a Sunday afternoon programme called ‘biva Muntuyo’ (success comes from sweat) in which he featured historical facts.
Ssenoga had 11 children, three of them have since died.
Imelda described him as a loving father. He will be buried at Bongole village in Mawokota, Mpigi district.

Orphans and relatives of Ssenoga (inset) at the requiem service on Wednesday. PHOTO BY MARTIN SSEBUYIRA
By Martin Ssebuyira

Posted Saturday, June 4 2011 at 00:00
Fourty-nine years ago, on October 9, 1962 as the Union Jack was being lowered and the Ugandan flag raised at Kololo Airstrip for Uganda’s independence, he witnessed the hand over of power and covered the event for the nation on radio Uganda.
To many, he was a teacher while others describe him as a databank of radio journalism because of his vast experience that made him an inspiration to many senior and young journalists wishing to take on the career.
News of Venansius Ssenoga’s death spread far and near and many received it with shock because he had retired from radio broadcasting making people to temporarily forget him.
He passed on at Mulago Hospital on Tuesday evening after succumbing to protracted throat cancer illness. He was 72 years old. His family members describe him as a caring, loving man who always strived to make his family happy.
“All my life, I have seen daddy as a calm parent, consistent with his words and God fearing,” says Mr Maserino Ssekabira, 36, a son to the late Ssenoga.

He described his father as a non-discriminative parent who loved all his children equally despite having different mothers. “He strived to educate me and always reminded me that I have no place in the world without books,” Ssekabira adds.
Francis Ssenoga Ssebagala, 32, a head teacher at St. Theresa Kazo Secondary School, another son to the deceased, calls him a teacher who always never gave up on giving him knowledge.
“He was too calm, loved being up to date by reading all newspapers in the morning and taught me his job of broadcasting that earned me a job at CBS,” a tearful Sebagala says.
Ms Christine Joyce Ssenoga, the widow, says the husband was loving, caring, calm and God fearing. He was loved at Kazo Bwaise, our home place, Mawokota, his ancestral home and Kampala his work place, showing how down to earth his husband was.
“I have quite many things I have learnt from him and would leave not to forget,” she says. Mr Dan Kyazze, a renowned news anchor who formerly worked with Ssenoga for years, says the deceased was a unique person with attributes that no longer exist. “I have known him for more than 40 years having found him at Radio Uganda but I have failed to get anything wrong from him,” he says.
Ssenoga is a broadcaster the country will take long to have again for his special voice that could attract the listener immediately and did all his work diligently. “He was good in commenting on sports, politics and social events,” Mr Kyazze says.
“I took him like a father because he trained me at radio Uganda without having jealous that I could take over his job.”
Mr Lawrence Kyoloobi, 71, who attended primary education with the late Ssenoga at Mitala Maria Primary School in Mawokota, describes him as a career journalist who loved reading and writing at a tender age.
“We had few media that was Musizi and Munno but Ssenoga endeavored to always carry them at school to read them out to other students,” he says.
All his character symbolised that he was going to be a journalist who would leave a reputable legacy.
Mr Tofili Male’okweza, the Busiro Saza chief in the Buganda government, says that Ssenoga came to Bwaise in the early 1960s and lived with him until the time of his death without having any squabble or hearing a negative comment from him.

Too calm
“He was too calm that made him fit in corporate people, the old and young. I would take years to get a person of such character,” he says. Ssenoga served as secretary to St Kizito Catholic Parish church leadership committee and served diligently.
“I will never forget him for his principled life style and respect for cultural and religious morals,” Mr Male Busulwa, the CBS editor in chief who was co-presenter in Ssenoga’s programme ‘Ebibuuzo bya batuwuliliza’ (meaning questions of our listeners) on CBS radio said.
“He was too accurate, never commented on politics and tried to avoid things that would cause him shame and his company”.
He was too careful not to make mistakes and be accused or ashamed. He one time recorded a function of Bishop Adrian Ddungu in Masaka meant to be relayed the next day and relayed it that same day making his bosses at radio Uganda appreciate him and made him the Deputy Midland Section boss.
His love for religion was expressed when he traveled to Jerusalem and pressed the people to take him to Jesus’s burial ground and came out saying he has had it all and feels needs nothing else on planet earth.
Born on July 8, 1939, Ssenoga had his primary education at Mitala Maria Primary School before joining Lubaga Junior School.
He after went to Uganda Martyrs Lubaga and St Mary’s College Kisubi for his O-level before attending a primary teachers training in London, UK.
Between the early 80s and 90s, Ssenoga was in charge of a popular programme, ‘Ebifa munsi nemubwengula’, (A glance at the galaxy), an insight of space. He also hosted a Sunday afternoon programme ‘Biva Muntuyo’ (success comes from sweat) in which he featured historical facts.
He joined CBS in 1996 where he hosted a popular program ‘Ebibuuzo bya abatuwuliliza’(Questions from our listeners).
Ssenoga is survived with 11 children, three of whom have since died.
During a requiem mass at St. Kizito Parish in Bwaise on Thursday, the Rev. Fr Gerald Iga, the parish priest, said Ssenoga has died a devoted Catholic. He was laid to rest at Bongole village in Mawokota in Mpigi District, his ancestral home.

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