After Quick Talk waiting for almost an hour, a visibly tired Annatalia Oze finally arrives. The NBS TV presenter apologizes profusely for the delay, before telling all.
Hi, Quick Talk; my name is Annatalia Oze.
Oh!, Oze? Are you Nigerian, by any chance?
No! I was born Annet Nambooze. So, Oze is cut from Nambooze. [Wow! There is a Nwagi for Nakanwagi, and now an Oze for Nambooze. Clearly, gone is the old-fashioned way of shortening female Kiganda names with Naka, Naki, or Namu…take notes, people.]
Neat! And what is your day like? [She really looks tired]
Aah… recently it would begin at 4am in the morning [She used to present a morning show at Radio4], but I quit radio. So, nowadays it begins at 7am when I go to my shop then later I come to NBS TV.
Last time I called you, there was a child’s voice in the background...
Yeah! I have a daughter, who is two years old.
Sweet…the naughty twos, they say; with your busy schedule, do you have time for her?
I try to make [time for] her especially in the morning when I drop her at daycare… all the weekends it is always me and her. When I don’t have a gig, I’m with her at the shop. [The joys of a working mother…]
And who is the lucky guy?
I don’t mention my husband’s name in the media. He chose a private life; so, he needs privacy, while I took a public life. Leave him out of this.
What kind of mother are you?
I can’t say I’m a sweet mother; what I know is that my daughter and I are buddies.
You always claim you are not comfortable speaking in English…you are fluid, though!
[Laughs] Yes! I’m not comfortable with English, I like Luganda; but that doesn’t mean I don’t know English. I studied English and Literature majors at Makerere University, Class of 2016. [English and literature major…no wonder you prefer speaking something else!]
What do you think of women and make-up?
I hate make-up, but only use it when I’m going on air. You can understand how bad it is when I smear you [no thank you!] I have to be free.
[Furiously] I don’t believe in bleaching. Why should you bleach, you can be beautiful in your colour. Look at [Kenyan actress] Lupita Nyong’o, she is black and beautiful. The only thing one can do is to keep your natural skin [beautiful].
I think women who bleach have inferiority complexes. [Oze’s words, ladies – oh, and gentlemen – not Quick Talk’s!]
By the way, you are always hopping from job to job, why? [Oze has worked for Urban, Delta, Spark and Record TVs, Radio 4 and now NBS TV]
I was designed to exploit opportunities. Movement is inevitable. I’m always looking for better opportunities.
Yet you are a teacher by training…
I’m here because of talent and passion, but I will go back to teaching when things fail on TV. The last time I was in class was during my school practice at King’s College, Budo. It was good.
You look stubborn; I wonder what kind of child you were!
[Laughing:] I’m told I was humble and extremely quiet. When I went into teenage, I developed a passion for the microphone; that’s when I was branded a stubborn child. I was always the MC of all parties at home.
When you are not on TV?
I run an NGO for women; a consortium that brings women from different professionals together, but I’m also a businesswoman; I have a wholesale shop that deals in men’s shoes. I also do corporate gigs.
Who is your role model in TV?
[Brightens up] I have quite many… Oprah Winfrey – she inspires me to aim higher to success – but also my mum who was always with us the children even during the hard times.
You’re always busting musicians, why? [She hosts Uncut]
[Looking a bit serious:] I have never said things that are not real. We do research and tell them as they are portrayed from the research.
What happens backstage? Don’t the musicians get back at you?
No, because what we say is accurate and I don’t have any regrets … that’s just my job. It’s just like any other news. It’s just like Ssalongo John; [just because he] reads death announcements does not mean he killed the people.
So, who is your favourite musician?
Hmmm the list is long but I like Juliana Kanyomozi. The way she handles herself in public… and she has also been around for long. My husband made me fall in love with Naava Grey; she has a unique journey in music, but also good music.
If you were marooned on a desert island, what would you take with you?
My phone, only!
Wangi! Not your daughter?
No! I would use my phone to reach her and talk to her. [Hahahaa! These phones shall be the death of us.]