By Francis Otucu
Earlier this week, NBS TV’s senior investigative reporter and anchor, Solomon Serwanja, announced on his Twitter handle that he would be leaving NBS TV that was his home for six-year.
“On 31st July, I will be leaving NBS TV .It has been such an honour to serve for the last 6 years. Thank you Kin Kariisa and the entire Next Media family for the support. I will now focus on my new role as the Executive Director at the African Institute for Investigative Journalism,” he tweeted.
Congratulatory messages flowed in his reply. For others, the tone, however, could be taken for mourning. One of such is Samson Kasumba; Serwanja’s colleague.
He quoted Serwanja’s tweet and said: “As a country we have never bothered about the ‘danger’ of not being able to keep some of the rarest of media talent in the media. This chap has had passion. Many times on air he almost went to tears. I am not excited he is leaving because he did not have to. Sad day 31. 07. 21.”
To mourn is to express sorrow for someone’s death.
So many scriptures in the Bible talk about mourning and the reactions to death. Some of them are: Matthew 5:4, Revelation 21:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Psalms 34:18, John 11:25-26, Psalms 147:3, John 11:35, Isaiah 61:2-3, Isaiah 41:10, Psalms 30:5, 2 Corinthians 116:15 and so many others.
These mourners will be okay, as the bible says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Mathew 5:4).
Serwanja is not dead! He is simply in or going to a better place.
On September 30, 2019, a BBC website headline screamed: Uganda’s Solomon Serwanja wins BBC World News Komla Dumor award.
The award was created to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41 in 2014.
Serwanja’s win, the 5th of its kind, pitted him in the group of Waihiga Mwaura, Amina Yuguda, Didi Akinyelure and fellow Ugandan Nancy Kacungira.
And just recently, he graduated with a Master’s in Journalism and Communication.
But above all, six years in one environment, you would think either he was not going to do the same things he has done in slightly above half a decade or he needed a better approach to do something else, differently.
Serwanja, like many others, has grown in his career over the years. It was about that time.
After all: “Time limits are good things. No matter how good a dancer you are, you must leave the stage at some point,” said Patrick Lumumba.
But Serwanja is not simply deserting the profession; he is gone behind the cameras.
The African Institute for Investigative Journalism (AIIJ), his brainchild, has the capacity to identify, guide and bring out more Serwanjas.
In my opinion, therefore, Serwanja has gone to a better place – as the Executive Director, AIIJ, an institute founded and niched in the ideas of investigative reporting.
Francis Otucu is a student of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University.