Uganda Partners internship a ‘privilege’

By Irene Best Nyapendi
Kefa Senoga’s journey into the world of mass communication started with a desire to know and to be informed. His fascination with current affairs and politics, combined with his family’s background in journalism, led him to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication at Uganda Christian University (UCU). Senoga awaits graduation this November.

As a child, he was usually the last to get off the TV set with his biggest interest in the news.

“I was also intrigued by my father’s knowledge about everything,” Senoga said. “I knew it was because of his profession, so I was inspired by that.”

Growing up in a household where journalism was not just a profession but a way of life, he was deeply influenced by his father, who was involved in both journalism and teaching journalism. His father, Geoffrey Senoga, is a lecturer in UCU’s School of Journalism, Media and Communication.

Through his academic years at UCU, the younger Senoga has been a proactive student, seeking opportunities to gain practical experience. In 2022 he applied to Uganda Partners for an internship. He was successful and started writing stories about UCU for the NGO’s website. 

“Before I joined Uganda Partners, I used not to write much, but ever since I joined, I now write articles every month which has made me a better writer,” Senoga said.

He has gained insight into how stories are assigned and the persistence required to secure interviews. He said sometimes it takes immense determination to secure interviews with prominent figures.

 “Through my experience as a writer for Uganda Partners, I’ve grown to become assertive, learned how to build rapport with people from diverse backgrounds and capable of securing interviews,” Senoga said.

Balancing academics and internship
Senoga started writing for Uganda Partners in his second year at UCU. Unlike most internships offered during holidays or the off-studies semester, this one is offered concurrently with studies. Through the experience, Senoga learned that work/study balance and time management are essential. He learned first-hand that journalism is a profession that demands flexibility, efficiency and consistency with often overlapping  deadlines.

Senoga also had the responsibility of UCU Media Link Association president. 

 “I used to get caught up by time doing class work and the association work during the day, so I started waking up at 4 a.m. to finish the writing assignments,” he said. “I used daytime for academic work which I gave priority because I wanted to excel. I also used night times for writing my articles.”

He advises students to be proactive, inquisitive and seek out opportunities for growth and improvement with the understanding that people you need for a story or guidance “are often very busy with their own tasks.”

The Uganda Partners internship enabled Senoga to build a portfolio, network with professionals  and open doors to other career opportunities such as one placement at Vision Group, Uganda’s leading media organization. 

“It is a privilege to work with Uganda Partners,” he said. “Many students would want to be part of the team. I am grateful to my mentors for helping me to improve my writing skills.”

Constantine Odongo, Senoga’s editor and mentor at Uganda Partners and also an editor at New Vision, said writing has become an integral part of every professional’s life.

“Senoga is lucky that he has gone through the formal training on how to write, and indeed, communicate,” Odongo said. “I cannot wait to see him put this skill to use to help companies and corporations expand their frontiers in terms of profit and visibility.”