Darrel Bristow-Bovey, South Africa’s most famous plagiarist wrote an article (at least we think he wrote it) about the continuity announcers on TV that I read recently. In this article he (or someone else) said:
I have always been weirdly fond of continuity announcers, Continuity announcers were our first local TV celebrities. I was downright fond of Ashley Hayden, Peter Ndoro, Marius Roberts; they had a glamour and a presence bigger than their actual jobs. By contrast, over on SABC3, despite having worked the Monday shift for a mighty long time, that quasi-Australian Irene Bester still manages to pronounce Frazier as “Fray-zee-a”, rather than “Fray-zha”. I don’t get it. Do the station executives not watch her? None of her friends? Has no one ever set himself or herself the task of correctly pronouncing “Frasier” infront of her until she takes the tip?”
When I read this, my mind was immediately launched into wistfulmemories of my childhood. It occurred, this childhood of which I speak, in outside countries and not in Uganda. During my childhood, Uganda had no television worth remarking upon, and by the time the first station worth the electricity came on air, I was old enough to impregnate others.
No, I was in outside countries, such as Kisumu, where they hadexcellent television, and all of it was announced, continuously, by charming, well-dressed, attractive people, some of them so charming, well-dressed and attractive that we often watched them to the end of their presentation, even if we had no interest in the programme they were presenting (Mambo Leo or something like that).
By the time I left Kenya permanently there were no more announcers. Instead KTN (none of us cool kids watched KBC anymore) had replaced them with flashy graphics and instead of pretty people smiling we saw the station’s logo swirl around the screen for a bit, then settle, like a dove above a messiah, over the rising name of the programme coming next. I can’t believe we used to watch Hangin with Mr Cooper, but that is for another rant.
We don’t have announcers on Ugandan TV any more either, even though we only had them for the shortest of whiles and, though Kenyans can mourn the passing of the career, round here we say good riddance, do not bring them back. We do not want to encourage more people to speak on television.
We, as a nation, have reached that level of technological development that allows us to have lucid and intelligent radio presenters, especially on Sanyu, Radio One, Vision Voice (yes, I said Vision Voice) and parts of Capital, but the ability to select TV personalities who can speak intelligently in English has eluded our broadcasting firms almost completely. I could list those who only look like TV presenters: they have all the poise, posture and lipstick of TV presenters. But they sound like frontrunners in a gibberish competition, unable to construct full lucid sentences and even less able to say anything in their pidgin that isn’t stupid—I could list them, but it would take less time to just list the five Ugandan TV show hosts who don’t sound like they are going to introduce the virus dumbss.exe to your television just by talking. Well, one of them quit, so that makes four.
Do you guys remember Martias? The kid on K’la Wired, who didn’t just flame, he inferno’ed? Martias was so outrageously effeminate that he made the whole bevy of Miss Uganda contestants look like a rugby team, but I think if you had given him a chance you could have become used to it, but he did not deserve that chance. Because he was such a bad presenter, he had to be disposed of. Martias is the kind of guy who could run through a crowd at a Juliana show asking people, “so, do you like Juliana?” And then one of the people he asks would reply. “Yes, I do. That is
why I wrote this song for her.”
“And what is your name?” Martias would then ask.
Written By Ernest Bazanye