From copywriter to President's ears: The remarkable rise of Gloria Asio

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From copywriter to President's ears: The remarkable rise of Gloria Asio
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PROFILE | On Thursday evening, several staffers at State House were left wondering who "Asio Omaswa" was.

The name was there as the new Principal Private Secretary to the President, replacing Kenneth Omona, who had been redeployed to Cabinet as Minister for Northern Uganda.

Nearly an hour into falling cups and cutlery later, Asio Omaswa was identified as Gloria Asio Omaswa, a seasoned communications professional.

The daughter of renowned surgeon Prof Francis Omaswa, chancellor of Soroti University, Asio's appointment has stirred curiosity due to her relatively low profile in public circles.

Patrick Oyulu, a former journalist and PR guru in Kampala, was pleasantly surprised as he took to social media app, Z, to congratulate the woman who had nailed things down when they worked together in Kampala in 2008.

"During my time at QG Saatchi & Saatchi, we produced great MTN adverts because of good copywriters in the creative department," he said.

Copywriters are responsible for producing engaging, straightforward text adapted to different advertising channels like websites or print ads.

Their job includes researching keywords to make interesting written content.

For clients like MTN, copywriters are the gems behind catchy advertising like those that used to parody topical issues in society  while marketing services and products.

"I am proud of the journey one of them - Ms Gloria Asio Omaswa, has made and continues to make. Her promotion today as the new Principle Private Secretary to President Museveni is music to my ears. All the best, Gloria."

Speaking to the Nile Post later, OPP, as Oyulu was fondly called during his heydays days in Kampala, said he was "also surprised" by the appointment.

"I am not sure how it came about," Oyulu said.

"All I know is, I worked with her while she was at QG Saatchi & Saatchi circa 2008 and when we had MTN account on retainer. She was a great copywriter," Oyulu said.

Although Asio's background lies in law, her passion for brand communication and marketing is unmistakable.

Oyulu fondly recalled her as a "nice young lady" with a remarkable talent for brand communications.

"She was one of the best, our brilliant brand communications copywriters," he added.

Oyulu's sentiments were echoed by many who knew Asio, praising her humility, friendliness, and dedication to her craft.

Asio's appointment comes alongside Irene Birungi, named Deputy Principal Private Secretary, as part of a reshuffle in State House.

She has joined the remarkable careers of Museveni's former inner-circle that includes journalist Mary Karoro Okurut, who was succeeded by Onapito Ekomoloit.

Others who have held this role include Sserwanga Lwanga, Amelia Kyambadde, Grace Akello, Mary Amajo, and Molly Kamukama.

With over two decades of experience in the communication industry spanning East Africa, Europe, and North America, Asio brings a wealth of expertise to her new role.

Having studied law at Makerere University and later pursued a master's in communication strategy at Virginia Commonwealth University, Omaswa's journey reflects a blend of legal knowledge and communication prowess.

She honed her skills at various prestigious institutions and agencies, including ZK TBWA Kenya and The Martin Agency, before assuming the CEO position at Kedajo in 2021.

As PPS, Asio will oversee the President's programme, heading the Private Office and Household of the President.

This pivotal role positions her as the chief coordinator and manager of related staff and functional units within State House.

With a deep understanding of communication strategy and consumer behaviour, Asio is poised to steer State House towards its communication objectives effectively.

Her appointment marks a new chapter in the President's administration, reflecting a commitment to fresh perspectives and expertise in governance.

As Uganda navigates through dynamic political landscapes, Asio's leadership promises to be a guiding light, ensuring effective communication and coordination at the highest levels of government

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