By Bryan Sabiiti Mckenzie
#MyAlexNdawulaStory goes way back to 1996. It was the first time I listened to him on my visit to Kampala. Then Capital Fm managed to get to Mbarara around 98 or so, every morning I was hooked. Zizinga & Christine were like my family members. My mom had given me this cassette and radio player, so I would record all the shows and listen all day. Every Saturday, I would listen to the best Deejay in Uganda, I used to call and he would ask how old I was because I had a voice of a P7 kid. Alex was my hero.
One moment I will never forget, on the eve of the year 2000, in Mbarara people thought it was the end of the world, but in my case, I had heard from Alex that it was all “Bull Sh*” so I listened to him present the biggest songs of the year 1999 and @rachel magoola ‘s Obangayina was Number one. I danced with my mom and it felt like Alex was there with us, I had believed in him that the world was not going to end. Then Oulanya Colombus came in and the game even got better. Best morning show by far. Okay besides Byg Kahuna & Mckenzie .
Fast forward, am working at WBS, doing Jam Agenda with Jkazoora, it was the time Micheal Jackson Died that I was tasked to go and interview legends in the industry about their opinion on MJ. The first interview was Alex at Capital. I almost passed out, I was so excited to meet my hero, my dreams were finally coming true, I wished I could call my mom and tell her “I told you so”. Nway, I head on to capital FM and have to wait for Alex, he was now doing the evening show, he sends someone to allow us in studio, I head over to greet him and he turns around without looking at me, he holds his headphones and asks what questions I have, as I start to talk, he interrupts and says…”Let’s get on with this thing, you have 8 minutes of my time.” Hooo… Camera guy starts panicking, the lighting is not working…Its now 5 minutes. Alex says, “guys I have no time”, so I quickly grab the mic and start the interview with no light, we talk and in just about 4minutes, the interview was done, so I had one more question and just decided to speak my heart.
“Alex, I grew up listening to you and am now working with Jam agenda and at Hot100, what can I do to get better and hopefully be like you…” Alex, turned around and looked at me… ” what’s your name!” He asked…”McKenzie”I replied… “well McKenzie you are never going to be like me, the things I have done cannot be achieved, go out there and do things that no one will ever achieve…Okay…Now go out please, am going on air, I need my time”. He put on his headphones and we walked out.
If there is anyone who we should celebrate in Ugandan media, especially radio, it is Alexander Ndawula , game changer and out of this world. No one will ever be what Alex is, the greatest of all time. Sad to hear he is retiring, I think he had a lot more in him to offer, but hey, all the best. I have never gotten the chance to have a conversation with him but I pray for one soon.
The writer is a media personality.
Story first published on his Facebook page on May 5, 2017.