Sometimes a prophecy is what you need in order to get on the path you’re meant to be on.
In the case of 24-year-old TV show host and digital marketer Aaron J. Tamale, one of the students representing East Africa at the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy, it flipped the switch on his desire to become a media industry professional.
Born in Kampala, Uganda, Tamale’s foray into television presenting was sparked by a prophetic message from Prophet Elvis Mbonye during a church service in May, when he was told that he would be an authority in the media industry.
This is wasn’t far from the truth, as Tamale had already chosen to follow the same path while in university. In his first year, a call to audition for a youth TV show on campus peaked his interest.
Over 50 students showed up for a chance at the role, including Tamale.
“We were all auditioning for each other. So if the people you were auditioning for [loved] you, you take the job. If they didn’t love you, you go back home. Getting on to this platform and then having that audition put me in the position of a television show host. For me that was my biggest break in the media industry,” said Tamale.
He won the role, and was catapulted onto national television at a mere 20 years old.
As the first born of nine children, his choices have always been under scrutiny from both his parents and his siblings.
While his mother is proud of his decision to work in the TV industry, Tamale’s father was yet to come around, and hoped that his son would have instead followed a different path.
For a while, Tamale followed in the footsteps his parents envisioned for him, but realised that it was at the expense of his happiness.
“I made a very conscious decision that if i’m going to do what I love to do, I’m going to go for it. So I went all out,” he says.
The rest of his family continues to be supportive and have been so since MultiChoice’s official announcement in August that Tamale would be one of 60 students chosen to be a part of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy.
This is from over 3 000 entries for a position at the academy.
Like his peers at the academy, Tamale wants to shape a more positive narrative for local television in Uganda, and introduce a new dynamic to it by also going digital.
“Apart from the people who do news [in Uganda], the journalists – it’s like [they’re always] sharing bad news. It’s very few occasions where you get uplifting stories,” says Tamale.
This prompted him and his best friend to create Barney and Barney, an online show that celebrates friendships.
The show is a means for Tamale to combine his love for TV presenting and digital.
Soon, he’ll be able channel the skills gained from the academy towards both his show and into Uganda’s TV presenter space.
Under the guidance of East Africa academy director Njoki Muhoho, who has over 15 years in the Kenyan TV and industry, each of the 20 students representing East Africa has learned from top TV and film industry professionals, and studied from a rigorous curriculum that is the first of its kind on the continent.
Aaron together with his classmates have been part of the much celebrated Coke Studio 2019 as part of the Production Team, worked closely with Mnet Show Productions and have just finalised shooting their two final feature films which are set to be part of the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards.
“One thing I know is that I’m doing what I love. I’m passionate about it. It’s my calling to be in this place. I know everything aligns to your calling,” says Tamale.