IT is amazing to think that 25 years ago, New Vision was a weekly with two type writers; its CEO Robert Kabushenga was an S5 student and more than half of the current work force still carried their milk teeth.
On Friday evening, it was a journey down memory lane at the Vision Group headquarters in Industrial area as the company celebrated 25 years of business and reputation.
Not even the mid-afternoon shower could dampen spirits as hundreds of staff settled in the giant marquees way before the allotted 6:00pm.
Was it a chance to pounce on a free beer and â€˜five starâ€™ food before venturing out for Friday proggie? A few in attendance, who have been part of the long journey beamed with pride and revelled in the narrative to those eager to listen.
When he turned up to deliver his speech, Kabushenga sent mixed signals. His choice of an army green shirt and a yellow cup from which he sipped coffee, had some whisper that he was to deliver a â€˜militaristicâ€™ speech laced with anecdotes about the Movement. Far from it.
When he spoke, he was devoid of the usual pomp and banter; he actually sounded reflective. His speech, which was sincere and heartfelt at times was dominated by words like, â€˜commitmentâ€™, â€˜desireâ€™, â€˜inspirationâ€™, â€˜accomplishmentâ€™, â€˜goalsâ€™ and then the phrase: â€˜we can do itâ€™. At this rate, he could easily beat renowned motivational speaker, Peter Kimbowa (PK), at his game.
It was, however, his narrative on how New Vision got its first two computers that had many burst out laughing. â€œWhen the first two computers arrived, people went to the computer room as they would to a museum.
The first computers came in after one of us (Louis Jadwong, currently the head of digital and online sections), threatened to lay down his tools after getting fed up of using a type writer!â€ Kabushenga narrated.
He announced a new structure, in which an executive committee which will be responsible for the running of the group was formed. It mainly comprises of department heads.
But first, he announced some developments; Gervase Ndyanabo, former corporate secretary, becomes the chief operations officer, Vision Group. Zubair Musoke, hitherto the finance manager, becomes chief finance officer, Vision Group while Tony Glencross, who has been sales and marketing manager, is now chief commercial officer.
Barbara Kaija remains the Editor-In-Chief, Vision Group. Godfrey Mulengi hitherto advertising manager is now head of sales, (advertising, circulation and printing) while Susan Nsibirwa is the new head of marketing, Vision Group.
Matsiko Kabumba remains the chief internal auditor, Catherine Turinawe the head of human resource, while the heads of TV and radio are Mark Walungama and Bill Tibingana respectively.
Kalungi Kabuye is the head of magazines, Peter Taremwa, head of printing while Louis Jadwong, head of digital and online. The above, together, constitute the Vision Group executive committee (EXCO).
Kabushenga also unveiled Vision Groupâ€™s new mission, vision, values and business principles aimed at buoying it to become an African media power house that advances society.
â€œVision Group has become born-again in the business sense,â€ he said, announcing plans to start television stations in the West Nile and Bunyoro. He ran out of superlatives to praise Bukedde TV and TV West.
The loudest cheers were spared for the moment he lifted the company ban on Facebook, arguing that the company has to align its self to the demographic of society, majority of whom are youth. A giant cake was cut and the party started. Staff showed they could drink up a storm.
No guesses for who danced the most â€” Bukedde TV lens men and their counterparts. Theirs was so indulgent; their exploits would provide raw footage for a full weekâ€™s viewing of the widely popular news segment Agataliiko Nfuufu.
â€˜We can do itâ€™