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MUKANDO with his family.

Mukando thinks big for radio

Sunday Profile:
IT IS Paddy Hampande Mukando’s desire to contribute to the improvement of the radio industry by establishing a school to help young and upcoming news readers and presenters with information and materials to boost their communication skills.Paddy feels standards in the industry have been lost due to the growing inability by practitioners to read and listen.
“My advice to anyone who wants to be in the media is read. You can be selected to read news but also read newspapers, online, magazines, whatever you can get your hands on. You can learn something every day.
“Expose yourself and listen to people. Many times we have interviewers who ask questions but do not listen to the answers,” he says.
Paddy, an award-winning radio presenter, voice-over artist and singer wants young and old media personalities to come together and share material to improve the media industry.
He says more needs to be done for the country to improve content and general outlook of media industry.
“I have been privileged to visit a number of places in Africa and beyond, and for instance, Kenyan radio is years ahead of Zambian radio in terms of content and freedom of broadcasting. It is responsible but very daring,” he says.
Born in 1969, in Tanzania, Paddy gives credit to his parents for his successful career both in the media and music industry.
He recalls how his father, who was a diplomat and minister, inculcated in him and his siblings the art of mastering news content.
“My father was a High Commissioner and minister and he always wanted to know what was in the news, so whenever he arrived home after the 19:00hours news, we had to give him a summarised version and he would critic our report of the news if we mixed up some details like names and places”, he recalls.
Thanks to his father, today Paddy and two of his brothers are accomplished media personalities.
Paddy, who works for radio Phoneix as a presenter, in 2011 received the first signal that he was in the right industry when he was awarded for his hard work and determination by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia as the best radio newscaster.
Four years later, in 2015, he received another award as the best voice-over artist and yet again last year, he was awarded by MISA as the best radio presenter.
“It was a humbling experience that hit me in a whole new way and it was an indication I belonged to radio.
“We all sing in the family but in media, there are three of us. My young brother Mabondo popularly known as Mako, a Supersport reporter and who also does some work for Hot FM. My older brother Sam, who goes by the name Uncle Sam, is with Flava Fm in Kitwe,” he says.
Paddy, who has a distinctive voice, first discovered he was made for radio when he was approached by a brother to Q-FM proprietor Moses Nyama.
He was first engaged as the voice of the radio station’s test transmission and later became a newscaster.
“I had a friend at church who was engaged to be married and when her finance came to pick her up and we were saying our goodbyes, he was apparently attracted by my voice and asked to have a chat with me.It turned out he was a Nyama brother and he asked me if I could record the voice of Q-FM test transmission and I accepted,” he recalls.
Paddy, who considers himself as a shy person, can safely be considered as a jack of all trades.
He also plays the role of Master of Ceremony, conference facilitator and consultant.
Paddy feels it is an interesting mix to handle and does not find them conflicting.
He, however, is quick to point out that most of his income is generated from his work as a Master of Ceremony for weddings, conferences and corporate launches, among others.
Paddy cites anchoring the 2016 Presidential Inauguration ceremony of President Edgar Lungu as a great achievement as well as the national spelling competition for secondary schools in the same year.
Inspired by media greats of the likes of Charles Mando and Kenneth Maduma, Paddy strives to be humble, courteous and considerate to those he is privileged to serve.
He believes the Master of Ceremony’ role is to make ‘owners’ of a function look and feel appreciated.
“I shouldn’t take away the limelight, it is their occasion, and those are things that guide me, even in corporate functions,” he says.
Paddy cites mastering language, culture and ability to reach out and connect with people as an endless task.
“In 2012, I was asked to host a conference on behalf of SAB-Miller in South Africa and it drew delegates from all over Africa. The challenge was to reach out and connect with all the delegates due to the diverse language and culture,” Paddy recalls.
The fifth born in a family of nine, Paddy is a devoted Christian and a staunch Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), who also sings in the Heritage Brothers quartet.
His talent for singing germinated in the early 70s when he, together with his brothers and sisters set up mock musical show for their parents using kitchen utensils as tools.
“We lived in Mansa in 1974, and that time, there was no radio and television signal, so we would gather with my siblings to do physical musical shows for my parents. We gathered pots, pans and brooms and turned them into guitars, drums and all musical instruments. We sang songs of the Archies, Jackson Five and Osbornes,” he exclaims.
Paddy, however, is of the view the music industry (both secular and gospel) lacks cohesion among artists.
He says artists should go beyond hooking up for concerts by consistently maintaining collaboration for a sustained industry.
Married to Esther for 23 years with four children, Paddy’s ambition as a child was to become a pilot but the choice of career changed while at secondary school as he realised geography was not his ‘baby’.
Paddy, who possesses a diploma in Business Administration, is currently pursuing a qualification in Mass Communication.
His treasures family time and therefore takes advantage of gaps in the work schedule to be with his wife and children and occasionally takes them out of town and country on holiday.
Paddy believes fame is disastrous if mismanaged hence he strives to maintain humility in the sea of compliments.