25-year-old CHRISTINE KABAZIRA is one of the two students who attained a First Class Degree in Journalism and Communication. She scored a CGPA of 4.40 emerging second best in her class. Ms. Kabazira is one of the students who will be awarded degrees and diplomas of Makerere University at the 71st graduation ceremony scheduled to take place from 17th-21st May 2021. She appreciates the contribution of her lecturers but mainly attributes her success to her parents, who she says did not study to the highest levels of education, but valued education and sacrificed so much to see her and her siblings go through school. Ms. Kabazira looks up to Prof. Linda Goretti Nassanga and Prof. Monica Chibita, the only two female journalism and communication professors in the country, and hopes to do whatever it takes to become a professor in the same field. The CHUSS Communication Office had a chat with Ms Kabazira. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Ms. Kabazira joined Makerere University in 2016, from Kyebambe Girls’ School in Fort Portal. At A’ Level, she studied History, Economics, Literature- HEL/Submaths. Her best subject was Literature though she also loved Economics. From her childhood days, Ms. Kabazira admired the journalism profession. This inspired her to study hard and pursue the journalism and communication programme at University.
Question & Answer
How do you feel about the milestone – First Class degree?
I am excited, I feel proud of myself. I believe I am strong because it takes strength to have sleepless nights reading and researching. It takes strength to achieve goals and objectives and for that, I feel strong. I feel that my efforts have paid off because I worked for it and I prayed for it.
What inspired you to pursue this particular programme – Journalism and Communication?
I had always loved to do journalism ever since I was a child. I enjoyed watching Jackie Lumbasi (former news anchor at WBS) as she read news back then and I wanted to be like her. That was when I was a child. But along the way, my reasons for wanting to do journalism kept changing. I wanted to do more than read news on TV. I wanted to be an investigative journalist; uncover the wrongs in society for the good of the people.
Did you have any other programme in mind before joining Journalism and Communication?
I wanted to do Law but I knew it would not be possible for me to do it on private scholarship because I thought it would be too expensive for my parents to manage.
Tell us about your experiences during the four years of the programme (Journalism and Communication) – the good things and challenges experienced in the course of your studies
During the four years of my course, I learnt quite a lot, not just about class, but about life in general, about making the right decisions, doing what is right and important, learning to be on my own and being responsible for my future. Campus taught me that no one will push you to do something for yourself. You alone have to push yourself. No one will push you to the library, no one will push you to class, no one will wake you up for preps except yourself. So, I learnt that success in life is knowing where you are coming from and where you want to be and knowing how, or what will get you there. I learnt that University exposes us to so much freedom but how we come out of it depends highly on how we utilize our time.
I have been able to make friends; resourceful friends including both my lecturers and my coursemates. Building a network is very vital because you never know where it can take you.
There have been a number of challenges for example; I had no laptop of my own, and given the type of course that I have been doing, a personal laptop was essential. The challenge was that I had to borrow a laptop every time I had an assignment and that did not go easy.
Some time, in Fourth Year, we had too many assignments, just after the COVID 19 lockdown. It was quite a rollercoaster having to work around the clock to have all projects completed within the set deadlines but I’m glad I stayed focused and completed all the assignments in time.
Any regrets for pursuing that particular programme?
I do not have any regrets. I am 100% glad I did Journalism
What is your motivation from the Journalism and Communication programme?
Having studied Journalism for Four Years, I feel the need to do active journalism to change the way African stories are told.
There are a lot of misconceptions around the African Continent that I feel should change and I believe that I can use journalism to shift the narrative.
Trend of success – How have you been performing throughout your academic life?
I have been performing well in my academic journey. In PLE, I scored 9 Aggregates- Division One
**In UCE, I scored 22 Aggregates- Division One
At A’ Level, I scored 15 points and topped my school. This got me the Government Sponsorship through the District Quota Program.
Who do you attribute your success to?
I mainly attribute my success to my parents because even if they did not study to the highest levels of education, they valued education and sacrificed so much to see me and my siblings go through school. They offered all kinds of support that they could to see that we had a good education and that for me is priceless.
Any special message to those who helped you in the course of your studies?
God bless each one of them. They are so many; my parents and siblings, lecturers, friends that I used to discuss with and those outside class. I cannot mention each one of them.
What are your future aspirations? Do you intend to advance to other academic levels, Masters and PhD or that is the end of your academic journey?
I want to be the 3rd Professor of Journalism in Uganda following Professor Linda Goretti Nassanga and Professor Monica Chibita. Of course I may not be the third because by the time I get there, someone ahead of me will already have. Either way, I want and I will be a professor. I am currently applying for Masters Scholarships. I would love to enroll as soon as it is possible.
Who is your role model?
I have quite a number of people in the journalism industry and the academia that I look up to including Professor Linda Goretti Nassanga, and Madam Rosa Malango, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda
But most of the time, I have looked up to my dad, not to say he is the most successful person but because of his hard work, selflessness and sacrifices he makes to get the best out of my siblings and I.
Any message of encouragement to continuing students and those in lower classes?
My message to them is that, it is possible to get whatever you purpose yourself to get out of university. I am proud of myself because I told myself I wanted a First Class Degree when I was still in Year one. Therefore, I worked for it. So, if you work for what you want, God will never disappoint you
If you are a believer, Trust in God but also know that prayers alone can’t help. One has to work hard
Make use of the Library. Visit it and read some of the books. Lecturers may not give you all. The books in the Library and the Book Bank will
Engage in discussions. Discussion groups really help a lot because one might learn better from a friend than from a lecturer
Use your time productively. There’s a lot of free time, especially on weekends and also in the evening. No evening preps, no Saturday classes like in High school. Know how to utilize that time properly.
Above all, work and read hard and pay attention to the lecturers. Set your goal and work towards achieving it.
Culled from www.chuss.mak.ac.ug