Abel Muhereza Kyamutetera, 37, is the managing director of Corporate Image. He is a marketing and PR aficionado, and lately is known for his work in securing cancer sufferers affordable treatment in India.
He spoke to Quick Talk about his life and why former colleagues at Daily Monitor nicknamed him Teletubby.
Congratulations for the double win [He was recognized by the Public Relations Association of Uganda with an award and his wife Judith won for the NSSF’s Friends With Benefit project]
So Kyamu, what do you do after 5pm? Go home?
After work, that is just an extension of my personal work. I meet people, socialize… I reach home at around 10pm.
I don’t drink during weekdays because I don’t believe in two beers a day; when I drink, I want to drink and have a good time [what a lovely way of saying ‘drink and get drunk’!]
When you take two beers and go home, you become confused; you are not sober and you are not drunk; so, I leave my drinking for the weekend, especially Friday evenings.
So, from this schedule, can I say you are not a family man?
No, Saturdays and Sundays are for the family, but I also drop kids to school every day; that’s when I get to interact with them because I come back when they are already asleep.
I cook for the family over the weekends [smiling].
Hahaha, what do you cook for them?
I can cook almost all meals, but I enjoy cooking meat [bursts into laughter]. I hate washing clothes, utensils and ironing, but that’s when the house help comes in handy.
Lucky Judith, if you really help her sometimes… When did you last take her out?
[Thinks] It is long, but I took her to a kasiki (stag party).
Yiiiih, Kyamu, kasiki? You call that ‘taking out’? That is an open function naawe!
[Brightens up:] Oh! I think a month ago we did a dinner.
What is your favourite drink?
I enjoy Black Label but I also do a bit of champagne here and there.
Hmm. Some expensive taste buds there! Where do you enjoy your Black Label from?
Panamera and Nexus bars.
You have a passion for helping mobilize for people with cancer [Kyamu memorably helped raise hundreds of millions of shillings for Carol Atuhiire to get cancer treatment in India. Unfortunately she later succumbed to the disease]; where did that come from?
[His face falls.] I can’t say I have a passion for cancer, but I like helping people and being of use. For some reason, most cases are related to cancer. At the end of the day, you go home, make self-evaluation and the thought that you made someone happy is satisfying.
You have worked with different companies; Daily Monitor, ZK Advertising, Fireworks…Which one molded you most to become a PR and marketing guru?
What would you be doing if you were not doing PR?
I would be a lawyer.
Ok, seriously…not a journalist again?
I tried law school; I applied, did pre-entry exams, paid tuition, but later dropped out after four weeks. Balancing work and studies was hard. I will try it later again.
So, what sports do you do?
Nothing! [Hmm…and Quick Talk notices the lack of a six-pack.]
So, don’t you admire the coveted six-pack?
I have tried to do weight loss, but I have failed. If I woke up and found that I have 65kg, I would be grateful [Hahaa, Kyamu… like magic? He currently weighs 94kg.]
I tried diet but it was too boring; eating greens everyday was uninteresting. [Those who know Kyamu also know that he loves his beef and pork.] I said, to hell with dieting [laughs.]
One of the causes of cancer is fatty foods, you know. Why don’t you walk your talk?
I think this is my failure as an individual. I keep postponing exercising, but I will fight hard this year and exercise. [Good luck, man!]
So, where do you enjoy your kikalayi [pork, cabbages and bananas] from?
At a place called Crane in Namugongo near the shrine. I do it once in two months.
Don’t you think kikalayi should be banned?
Doctors say pork should not be eaten, but we eat it; that’s a personal choice.
What was your childhood like?
I lost my father [Aloysius Kyamutetera] when I was three years old; my mother Veronica Nzarwegye took care of us with the help of the Catholic Church. [Kyamu was born in Bushenyi district.]
My childhood was very interesting, oh! I wish I could be young forever; growing up bores and sucks! I was very troublesome and stubborn; I remember I was suspended three times in a term.
How do you want to be remembered, Kyamu?
I don’t care if people remember me [What? That’s a first.] I think I like living for me and enjoying the earth. Also I want to be remembered as someone who put a smile on people’s faces [okay, there. At least.]
Now, your kind of music…
Hip hop, RnB, Sheebah Karungi and Fik Fameica. [Someone has clearly moved on from all the Bobi Wine, Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Juliana days.]
If you were to be marooned on a desert island, what would you take with you?
My laptop, mobile phone with Internet and some whiskey. [Hmm…would that still be a desert island?]
I heard that at Daily Monitor you had a nickname.
[Thinks hard, then bursts into hearty laughter.] Yeah; they used to call us [with Emmanuel Mugarura] Teletubbies. It was Evelyn Kiapi [now with UNFPA] and another lady that started it.
I think it’s because we were a bit fat and short; tell Carol [Nakazibwe, who edits Quick Talk and also worked with Kyamu at Daily Monitor back in the day] to be careful [he ends on more laughter].
About Muhereza Kyamutetera
Kyamu went to Kashenyi primary school, St Mukasa Preparatory seminary and St Joseph’s Vocational School Mbarara for O-level. He went to Namilyango College for A-level.
He joined Makerere University and studied Social Sciences.
In 2016 Kyamu memorably told Capital FM’s Desert Island Discs: “When I reached the age of 18 and realized that I [was] not going to grow any taller, I decided to drop my short name Abel for a longer one, Kyamutetera, which is my dad’s name.”
He is from a family of 10 children, is the second-last born.