By Nigel Nassar
AMONG those that perished at Kyadondo was Vision Groupâ€™s Steve Tinka. He was 24. Young and energetic, Steve, as he was fondly known, was a sit-in radio presenter for Vision Voice.
His friend, Vision Voice programmes director Bill Tibingana, heard his last words.
â€œSteve was at my left handside, a bottle of Alvaro in hand,â€ recalls Tibingana.
â€œThe match between Spain and The Netherlands was heating up. He was for Spain, I wasnâ€™t. Four minutes to fulltime with each team on nil, he touched my shoulder and said â€˜Look, thereâ€™s a goal from Spain.â€™ I panicked, much to his amusement because I was absent-minded. Suddenly, a loud explosion tore through the night, followed by another. Revellers scattered.â€
When the smoke cleared, Steve was bleeding from the forehead, Tibingana said, adding that he tried to resuscitate him in vain. Steve was hurried to Mulago, where he was pronounced brain-dead, and put on life-support.
His father, Varen Tinkamanyire, a retired civil servant and mother, Eva Komurembe, a retired banker, arrived at Mulagoâ€™s Intensive Care Unit an hour later.
â€œSteve was wrapped up in bandages, with just a heartbeat to hang onto. At about 4:00pm, the doctor confirmed him dead,â€ said a distraught Tinkamanyire yesterday.
Steve and the old man had spoken a week earlier. Steve had gone for his younger sister Stacy Tinkaâ€™s visitation day at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Gayaza.
He had called his father and asked him to talk to Stacy. The next the old man heard of Steve was in a distress call asking him to rush to Mulago.
A personal friend, Steve had an infectious personality. Many who interacted with him will tell you he enjoyed partying.
His last Facebook update on Saturday at 10:42am said: â€œI just gate-crashed a wedding in Najjeraâ€¦I donâ€™t even know the couple.â€
The â€œabout meâ€ part on his page says: â€œHmm, just know I am funnyâ€¦really nice and everyone loves me.â€ Now every other update on his page is sorrowful as several of his 385 friends on the social network send him off.
Gilbert Kidimu, his old boy from high school, posted: â€œRest in peace, Steve. You were full of life.â€
Ken Katuramu, his bosom buddy and Vision Voice presenter, posted: â€œTell me it ainâ€™t true..Pliz be alive bro...Pick up yo phone.â€
Some thanked him for the music he played while on air, but especially for the friendship. He loved Alvaro. If he ever boozed, he was just experimenting since he was not into alcohol.
Born on January 1, 1986, Steve joined Vision Voice in mid-2008 as a trainee, presenting in the night. From 2009, he became a sit-in presenter. By the time of his death, Steve had hosted various shows, including â€œBetween the Sheetsâ€ and â€œThe Early Edition.â€
He also juggled stints in public relations and advertising agencies. On WBS, he sometimes hosted K Files, a lifestyle show.
He was an avid fan of John Grisham and loved music. Justin Timberlake, The Fallout Boyz and Beyonce Knowles being some of his selections.
The fifth of his fatherâ€™s seven children, Steve attended Kitante Primary School up to P.5. He joined Lohana Academy, where he sat PLE. He then went to Uganda Martyrsâ€™ Namugongo up to S.2, before Ntinda View College, where he sat Aâ€™levels.
Steve had taken a dead year from his bachelorâ€™s degree in procurement at St. Lawrence University.
His funeral service will take place on Wednesday, 10:00am, at Kamwokya Catholic Church.
He will be buried on Thursday in Nyarugoote, Nyabubale in Igara, Bushenyi district.
Thank you for the friendship, Steve. May your soul rest in eternal peace.