By Allan Barigye via the UAH forum
Just over 40 years ago, Shaka Ssali was a Lieutenant in the Uganda Army and still had childhood dreams about being a cowboy and travelling internationally – a dream to be famous.
A series of events in the early 70s saw a young Shaka Ssali head to the land of his dreams, the US, get an education, climb to the top of journalism and communication which has resulted in him returning for a special occasion in Uganda this week.
More than the Presidential Debate, a first ever in this format, the strongest message about the potential of Ugandan youth will likely come from the “Kabale Kid” SHAKA SSALI, and not the candidates.
He is deeply passionate about Africa and its development, having lived through some of the hardest times in Ugandan history.
He has hosted Straight Talk Africa for the last 15 years. The show is broadcast live across the world every Wednesday from 1830-1930 GMT simultaneously on radio, television and the Internet.
His story is simply amazing. Shaka is an Old Boy of Butobere College located in Kabale, southwestern Uganda and Kololo SS in Kampala. A high school drop-out (Senior 3 1968), with no O-Level certificate who ends up with a bachelor’s degree, two masters degrees and a PhD. Shaka holds a doctorate in cross cultural communication and history from UCLA in California.
The following quote by an interviewer, best describes his transformation. “Shaka Ssali is living proof of the transformational power of knowledge. Through education, Ssali has himself become a positive role model for others. Born in Uganda, Ssali was enlisted in the army when he 16 years old as a cadet officer. After almost five years he had risen to the rank of lieutenant. But even as a young child, he says, he had a burning desire for knowledge.”
He joined the Uganda army in 1968, went through cadet training and in 1974 his name was linked to a failed coup attempt against Idi Amin. He went into business and in 1976 went to Europe then found his way to the US.