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UCU classroom and real-life experience propel student into media job

By Fiona Nabugwere and Joseph Lagen
Lucky Reuben Ereu had a long-time dream to work at a media house. This dream led Ereu, then a first-year student of Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communication, to 106.1FM Next Radio, to pitch a proposal for a radio programme.  

The year was 2018. Ereu had high hopes in his proposal because Next Radio had just been launched, so he knew there were slots in the radio’s programming. 

Ereu, age 23, did not just impress at the proposal pitching. He also was asked to present for a radio show called Crazy Town. The show is a fun, weekly show that features young inspirational personalities to show youths ways of creating sources of income while still in school. It airs every Sunday, at midday. He also is one of the content creators at the radio station. 

“My confidence levels have improved because of my work at the radio station and the presentations we always have in class,” he said. 

Courtesy photo of The Crazy Town presenters (left-right) Mark Munanura, Simran Merali and Lucky Reuben Ereu
Courtesy photo of The Crazy Town presenters (left-right) Mark Munanura, Simran Merali and Lucky Reuben Ereu

Ereu is excited about the practical projects they undertake at school because they offer him opportunities to improve what he is already practicing at Next Radio

“The UCU focus project that we did last semester opened my eyes about how news is produced, especially using mobile phones,” he said. “Before, I thought producing a news bulletin was so complex, but now I know that I can do it.”  

Because of such projects, Ereu’s performance at Next Radio improved tremendously to the point that he and his teammates were rewarded with performance bonuses at the end of 2020. 

“I use my monthly allowances for upkeep at the university and the performance bonus we received at the end of last year was what I used to pay my hostel fees,” said Ereu, whose first appearance on air was as a presenter on a TV teens show for NTV Uganda, said. His stint at NTV Uganda, which was in 2018, lasted three months.

He said former students of UCU, who are employees of Next Media Services, are always willing to guide and mentor him. 

One of the projects that Ereu is proud of having participated in is the 77 Percent campaign, a DW magazine for Africa’s youth. DW is a German public state-owned international broadcaster. The 77 Percent magazine focuses on reports, personal stories and debates on big issues that matter most to the African youth. 

Ereu, now a final-year student at UCU, says the three years he has spent at Next Radio have enabled him gain skills in operating radio and television equipment. Additionally, he says the Faculty of Journalism, Media and Communication has all the necessary equipment to enable students to practice what they learn in class. The skills Ereu has acquired, he says, have enabled him to get assignments for projects at the university. He says he videographed the university graduation in 2018 and that he currently does photography work for the E-learning team of UCU.

Passion for videos, photographs
Ereu shot his first film in 2012, while in Senior Two, using a friend’s mobile phone. He continued to shoot videos and take photographs using borrowed phones until he acquired his own smartphone a year later. Having noticed the passion he had for shooting videos and taking photographs, Ereu’s grandfather gifted him his first camera in 2017. That was the same year he began shooting videos for commercial purposes, during his Senior Six holidays. 

Ereu charges between sh200,000 (about $57) and sh400,000 (about $114) for birthdays and personal photoshoots. He also creates social media video clips for clients at sh80,000 (about $22). He usually posts some of his works on his social media pages: @simplyluckie on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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