I am team natural and simple dresser

Saturday July 7 2018

Jackie Nake Lumbasi,

Jackie Nake Lumbasi, 39, a Kenyan broadcaster and motivational speaker in Kigali, Rwanda. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NMG 

By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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Jackie Nake Lumbasi, 39, was born in Kitale in Kenya, where she went to school.

She was inspired to study journalism by Shaaban Ndege, a family friend, who later joined the British Broadcasting Corporation, and her primary school English teacher Bernard Otieno, who also doubled up as a television sports journalist for the national broadcaster, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

After high school, she attended the UMCAT School of Journalism and Human Resource Management in Uganda, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

She has over 13 years’ experience in radio and television, in Uganda and Rwanda. She is also a motivational speaker.

She started her career in broadcasting in 2003 as an intern at Power FM in Kampala, Uganda.

She was briefly employed as a news anchor-cum-receptionist.

While still at Power FM, she joined Wavamuno Broadcasting Service Television in (2006) where she anchored news until 2007.

In 2008 she moved to the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation as a news anchor and also worked for Capital FM as a presenter.

Starting out as a weekend presenter, Lumbasi was promoted to the station’s breakfast show, which she hosted for close to 10 years alongside some brilliant young broadcasters such as Allan Kasujja, Ramesh, Gaetano Kaggwa, Oulanya Columbus and Markus Kwikiriza.

In March 2018, Lumbasi moved to Kigali’s Royal FM where she co-hosts the breakfast show "Kigali in The Morning", with Arnold Kwizera.

With her public speaking and people skills, Lumbasi runs outreach projects offering mentorship through motivational speeches.

She says her objective is to inspire the next generation.

She also recently started work on a magazine to capture human interest stories back at her home in Kitale, Kenya.

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What is your off-duty passion?

Volunteering at youth organisations where I offer counselling services. I hope to carry on with this in Rwanda too.

I also love cooking and just hanging out with friends.

In January last year, I started working on a lifestyle magazine, telling the real life stories of people back in Kitale.

I occasionally visit to conduct interviews and co-ordinate with partners on the pre-press production. Hopefully it will be launched later this year.

If you hadn’t turned into who you are today, what would you have been?

A beautician or a soldier. I have loved cosmetics since my childhood. I started wearing lipstick as a teenager when I used to “steal” it from my mom.

Between my high school years and university, I ventured into hairdressing and my father bought me a hair dryer. I set up a small saloon in our village and I washed, plaited and weaved hair.

After high school, I joined the National Youth Service for paramilitary training but I dropped out after only two weeks of intensive training — I couldn’t handle it.

Had I finished the six-month basic training, I would have joined the army eventually.

What signifies your personal style?

I consider myself very down to earth and simple. I keep my dressing simple and hair natural.

How do you manage your wardrobe?

I keep it simple with jeans, simple tops and flat shoes. I don’t do designer clothes and I buy what I fancy anywhere I find it, provided it suits my style.

Where in East Africa are you most likely to be whiling away your time on a Saturday afternoon?

Lately, at my home back in Kitale. I have been away for a long time and recently decided to reconnect with my people and share my life experiences with them.

Describe your best destination yet in East Africa?

Lamu, on the Kenya Coast. I have been told how it is a very quiet place, which still maintains this ancient heritage through buildings, way of living and culture.

The people there don’t travel outside the tours. I would love going there to learn more of the Swahili and their ways.

Anywhere else on your must-visit list?

Seychelles and Mauritius. Most of my friends have been there and describe them as beautiful and serene island destinations.

I would also love to visit Israel to walk where Jesus walked.

What do you see as East Africa’s greatest strength?

Its diversity. The people co-exist with their differences, some being loud and brash and others calm and polite.

The region will be a force to reckon with if all our differences are overcome.

What’s your best collection?

Neckpieces and necklaces. I have them in all colours, shapes and sizes, ranging from African designs to contemporary ones. Some I have never worn.

What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received?

The surprise birthday parties thrown by my younger sister Linda. She lives overseas pursuing higher education but she is always organising people around me to throw these surprise parties.

Every year, she uses different people to arrange these parties and they always catch me totally off-guard.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

That was a surprise party, for Linda, some years ago, hosted at a mutual friend’s place in Kampala.

She was happy and amused at the same time that we had cooked and even baked a cake for her.

We then invited our younger brother and aunty who live in Kisumu, Kenya to join us, which was a complete surprise.

On another birthday, my friends and I surprised her by inviting all our siblings and mother too.

Your last great read?

Lost and Found by Sarah Jakes Roberts, the daughter of US televangelist Dr TD Jakes, on facing up to the consequences of life. I can identify with her story.

Which movie has had an impact on you?

Miracles from Heaven starring Jennifer Garner. It is a story of hope. It confirms what I hear from people, and also what I believe, that no situation is permanent.

What’s your favourite music?

That would be Dancehall.

What’s a constant in your fridge?

Any brand of soda.