Around October of 2016, we reported that 89 Smart FM’s eye candy, Bahati Pascaline, was set to join the new Buganda Broadcasting Services TV, popularly known as BBS Telefayina. Our rumors were indeed confirmed in November when the light skinned beauty made it to the silver screen.
Amidst all this, Bahati was facing tough resistance from her overly possessive hubby and father of her girls, Henry Kakooza, an automobile spare parts dealer in Jinja Town. Unknown to us, Bahati was also facing resistance from her own at the station. Our writer, Ian Kiryowa Kabanga caught up with Bahati to put corners to the wall of rumors about her complete exit at 89 Smart FM, owned by youthful and embattled Jinja East MP, Nathan Igeme Nabeta.
What happened, why does it seem like you’re completely out of the Smart FM picture now?
What happened is that… by the way, there’s nothing like “bad/less/small money”, it was never my intention to leave Smart FM on the pretext that I had gotten a job with BBS; I wanted to keep both jobs. I actually wrote several letters to my bosses and we sat in several meetings to find a middle ground.
What happened is that the programming at Smart had just been changed and that’s around the same time I got the BBS offer. I pleaded with them (bosses) to give me back my weekend shows because the lies had become too much to keep up with; I’d lie that I had someone sick, had an accident with the kids… blah blah. I used that time I got to catch up with stuff at BBS; the interviews, screen tests and all that.
They (Smart FM bosses) refused to even pay attention giving the excuse that changes had just been made. I argued that it didn’t make sense to be on Emarine’s show today and fail to be there tomorrow, that would kill Emarine’s show.
I attempted to juggle the arrangement but I almost killed myself. Emarine’s show ends at 1pm and that’s when I would get a taxi to Kampala. I would sit through that afternoon Kampala traffic jam and the earliest I made it to BBS would be 4:30pm. Now, that’s the time the cameraman and my producer would be signing out. I got scolded and I was given an ultimatum to be there by midday and they had a point in there. They usually made 2pm appointments with celebrities. In between all this, there was the driving to the location of the meeting, dress up, make up, set cameras and stuff.
We tried to juggle and the last time, I was supposed to profile Santana Karma. We left the interview at 9pm and I was in Jinja at half past midnight. With all that traffic jam fatigue, I had to be at Smart FM by 9am and prepare for Emarine’s show. Amidst all this, there was the constant nightmare that I’d be called to BBS at anytime.
Jeez! That was a hustle…
So, that’s what really happened. There’s a day I returned at 1am, I called Henry to pick me up at the roadside but I noticed a guy following me. I didn’t know whether he wanted to snatch my bag or rape me. It wasn’t easy at all! I sat down and reflected on all this and I realized it was high time I made a choice.
I was needed in Kampala between Monday and Friday and it wasn’t a daily thing because I had to be at BBS twice or thrice a week, depending on the schedule.
It really looked funny and sabotaging to be on Emarine’s show today and not be there the next day. I couldn’t put BBS on tenterhooks to wait for me till the late afternoon; I had to be in Kampala by midday.
So, what did your bosses at Smart FM see in all this?
I literally pleaded with them to put me on the weekend shows since no one at BBS was going to need me on a weekend. It became tight when my top boss at BBS noticed my patterns. He asked me to make a choice. He counseled me that it was risky for me and it was a journey to get overworked over nothing. He made it easier when he asked where I wanted to be and how much I was getting paid at the radio. I told him what my Smart FM pay was and he promised that if I did a good job, he would have that figure doubled. I now started giving this a lot of thought.
I know… uhmm…
We sat in a meeting at Smart FM that had many of my top bosses and I was asked what it is I was choosing. I told them in all honesty that I really loved my radio job but it was getting tricky juggling between both jobs.
So, what’s up now that you’re not on bunkenke?
I now wake up early in the morning, do my wifey chores, prepare my kids’ food and juice and go on my errands confident of their welfare. When I go to BBS, I’m always back at home by 8pm… latest 9pm and sometimes earlier than Henry. I get enough rest and I’m now always prepared when called upon at BBS.
Don’t you miss Smart FM considering that it was your ‘first cut” in media?
The schedule was so tight but I really loved Smart FM and miss it so much. All this tension was in December and this is a new year; I have moved on after Smart FM.
In November, I was given a month without salary to sit and make a decision. I realized I couldn’t catch up. I haven’t gone back to explain but I have given up on Smart. I had a simple request that wasn’t granted. However much I would have explained to them, they would never understand it.
And BBS; how’s it there?
I host Selebu Wo and it airs every Saturday at 8pm. Life at BBS is good. We’re taking normal baby steps but we’re on a good course.