Sanyu FM Owner Reveals Intentions To Start TV Station

Ruparelia Group, the conglomerate with presence in almost all aspects of the economy, is considering venturing into the television business in an attempt to expand their media investment in the country.

The Group already owns 88.2 Sanyu FM, the country’s oldest FM radio station, which it purchased from its original proprietor John Kato. Kato started the urban radio station in 1993. It first went on air on 18th December 1993.

Rajiv Ruparelia, the Managing Director of the Ruparelia Group, speaking at the finale of the Sanyu FM Hot Mic Search competition, revealed that the company is toying with the idea of starting a television station.

“We are going to change the (media) scene; we are going to be innovative and we are going to make sure we get the biggest following,” Rajiv said, adding: “And eventually if things go well, Ruparelia Group might enter the TV space and other media spaces,” Rajiv hinted on their possible plans.

Ethan Kavuma aka Eth Lawinsky emerged as the winner of the Sanyu FM’s Hot Mic Search competition. He won a cash prize of Shs3m and a 3-year job contract at Sanyu FM.

Ethan, together with the first and second runners up - Philo Mena and Timothy Code respectively -, Rajiv said will get jobs to work at Sanyu FM as on-air presenters.

Rajiv noted that Uganda is full of talented youth, explaining that the new presenters who are talented will come in hot and relevant to the youth of today and their challenges.

Ethan Kavuma Wins Sanyu FM Hot Mic Talent Search

The 88.2 Sanyu FM talent search codenamed Sanyu FM Hot Mic Search came to a blissful end on Friday with Rajiv Ruparelia, the station’s managing director, announcing Ethan Kavuma as the winner at an event which took place at Crane Chambers in Kampala.

Kavuma beat ten other finalists to clinch the top spot. He, in turn, won Shs3m and a job contract to work with Sanyu FM. The second runners up Timothy Code and first runner up Philo Mena will also get jobs at the radio station.

“This is the start of the journey of your passion; follow your dreams. You all have amazing traits individually and I would advise you to pursue your dreams. This is what you love to do,” Rajiv said.

“I always tell people that we are all the same. We are born with nothing and you work on your talent, you have to manage your talent. One of the greatest traits around me is to have good people,” he added.

“I would like to give three of you an opportunity to work with Sanyu Fm. It will depend on how determined you’re going to be and how much you are going to learn,”

“The day you stop learning is the day you will knockdown. Working with Sanyu FM is going to be tiresome and will need a lot of commitment but I want to see the best out of you,” Rajiv counselled.

Kavuma, an upcoming RnB artist said: “I am so excited. I didn’t see this coming. I am very happy to be part of a new generation at Sanyu FM. There is going to be a lot that I am going to bring to Sanyu FM and you guys are going to be excited,”

The talent search dubbed “Hot Mic Search” was launched last month and attracted over 1500 entries. The entries were later reduced to 50 contestants, then 20 and later the final 10 whose performance was judged by a judges’ panel of Chris Ireland, Don Miles and Roger Mugisha.

Each candidate was given a chance to showcase skills in lone presentation, co-presentation and topical discussions. The judges chose the topics from both local and international current affairs. Kavuma emerged the best.

Roger Mugisha the new program’s director at Sanyu FM says the radio management realized the need to mentor potential candidates for radio in an era where presenters seem to be recycled from one station to another.

Mugisha explained that young people are not mentored to take over from those that have been in the industry for so long. Sanyu FM was founded in 1993, becoming the first private FM radio station in Uganda.

Cannabis Business To Create Jobs, Bring In Foreign Currency- Says Premier Hemp Boss

The world is turning to cannabis not only for its medical values but also its trade benefits and Uganda cannot afford to miss out, Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of Premier Hemp, one of the local companies eying growing the medicinal herb told local radio in an exclusive interview.

 “It will bring in foreign currency, the global cannabis phenomena is taking off. Uganda has one of the best environments, it has cheap labour force, availability of land. So, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be doing this,” Rajiv said.

“Like I said we need to be forward-thinking not following every other nation. So, I am very proud of our cabinet, I am very proud of our MPs because they have taken this initiative to drive it faster than our neighbours and this is going to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Uganda.”

“If cabinet can sit down and pass this bill because it is going to be a game-changer for Uganda, it will inspire new industries to evolve and the speed at which they have driven this is phenomenal.”

Premier Hemp as part of Rupelia group of Companies plans to leverage its vast agriculture expertise - they own Rosebud Limited and Premier Roses who together control about 40% of Uganda’s flower export business – to grow Medical Marijuana on a commercial scale.

The company is one of over 20 companies that have applied for a production license that is pending cabinet clearance of policy guidelines on the production and processing for export of medical marijuana.

In January, according to Daily Monitor, the government sets strict rules for marijuana growing. Now individuals and companies seeking to grow or export marijuana for medical purposes will be required to present minimum capital of $5m (Shs18.3b) and a bank guarantee of Shs4b.

Investors will also be required to present a tax clearance certificate from the Uganda Revenue Authority, lists of employees and their job descriptions, a valid trading licence, evidence of value addition to cannabis and audited accounts.

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