Josephine Karungi – I Didn’t Break Balaam’s Heart

NTV’s Josephine Karungi is not open to being interviewed: “I’m a private person. You will be asking me all these questions and I will be saying no comment.”

Quick Talk says they will work it out, “Let us give it a try,” Quick Talk pleads. And Karungi agrees. Not to bias you, she is a charming, happy girl (or woman?) when she opens up.

How old are you?

Has the interview started? [Quick Talk says it has, leading Karungi to ask:] Are you crazy? How can you ask a woman for her age?

Uhmmm, in case it is needed for her Wikipedia page. You are in the public eye, you know!

I won’t say.

Ok. What food do you most enjoy?

Matooke and g.nuts. It is not food if it is not matooke. Plus matooke is water did you know it is 90 per cent water? I don’t like water so, eating matooke helps.

Oh! Do you cook the matooke yourself?

What are you saying? Do I look like one of those modern girls who don’t cook?

Uhm. Sort of. I don’t see you peeling.

Who would do it for me? [Quick Talk suggests market women] Uh, where would their hands have been? Do you know if they wash them? [Quick Talk argues that the matooke gets washed before it is cooked] Uh, you don’t like cooking! [Quick Talks says not particularly and we are on to the next question, because Quick Talk is starting to feel like the interviewee here… ]

What colour do you think looks best on you?

I don’t know. I like dark colours. But sometimes I see some pink and I’m like oh, such a girly-girl!

But you are a girly-girl.

I am? [Quick Talk says yes] From TV? [Quick Talk says yes] You can’t believe everything you see on TV [and laughs.]

So, are you saying you are a tomboy?

I used to be a tomboy but now I’m trying. [Pointing to her outfit:] You see I now wear [high] heels and dresses the whole day.

Oh! What is your favourite beer?

Beer? I like wine.

So you aren’t much of a drinker, are you? People say that people who drink wine are not serious drinkers.

I like wine, like a problem. If you are to get me a gift, you would get me wine, a book or an iPod.

Uh, books! What type do you enjoy?

I’m open to any.

Which one did you last enjoy?

In the last two months, The Best Question Ever (by Andy Stanley) and Four Agreements (by Miguel Ruiz)

I wonder why you enjoyed them… .

You would have to read them. [The Best Question Ever is about mistake-proofing one’s life, according to a description on Amazon, while Four Agreements is a guide on essential steps one can take to personal freedom.]

Ok, what type of music do you enjoy or who are you currently enjoying?

There are quite a number. There’s this song – it is in Luganda and it is done by a band. [Reaching for her phone] Let me play it for you. [Plays Oli Musumba by Brian Lubega] I also like Bibanke by Asa and Imela: Thank You (by Nathaniel Bassey and Enitan Adaba) you know Imela? [Quick Talk says she does.]

You like the type of music I thought you would like. What do you like about reading news?

I love journalism. I like collecting information and putting it together. I also like telling people’s stories.

What do you dislike?

Looking for what to wear for the news! OMG, I hate looking for a dress and shoes and having to go to the salon. You know my hair is natural so, it won’t do in its natural state.

When I am looking for clothes to wear, I wonder, have people seen this too much? You know women can inbox you [on Facebook] saying: “You have worn that jacket too much! Don’t you have another?” Men will tell you that you need to prick your ears.

Uh! I guess they expect you to deliver more than just the news. Who is your type of man?

A church boy. [Following a thoughtful pause:] Someone who is their own person someone who is comfortable in their skin and can allow you to be comfortable.

Oh! Ok. Is it true that you broke that man’s heart – I forget his name now – when you got married? [Karungi married Swangz Avenue’s Vince Musisi in 2012.]

Who? Balaam [Barugahara]?

Uh-huh, Balaam!

I don’t know about any broken hearts Balaam was my landlord until early this year.

Really! Ok. Are you pregnant? I read somewhere that you were.

[Stands up and touches her stomach:] Do I look pregnant? [Well her stomach is flat.]

Are you still married? [There has been talk… you know… ]

[Tells Quick Talk to write down her facial expression, which is blank and says:] Next question. [She says this is something she wants to keep private, and so we move on.]

[Or so we try. One more question on marriage:] Is it true you were picking all the bills in your home?

No. It was shared responsibility. [Hmm “was”? Anyway, Quick Talk won’t press the previous question. Moving on…]

If you were allowed to keep one memory, which one would you keep?

Happy things.

Haha, that’s not enlightening.

I have a bad memory, like Dori the fish so, I would remember happy things.

And finally, what title would you want for your biography and who would you want to write it?

[Laughing] I’m a private person. I wouldn’t want it to be written unless I was there. Maybe I would sit and write it myself.

[Karungi attended Nakasero PS, St Lawrence Schools and Makerere University. She was brought up in Kampala. Yes, she is a Mukiga don’t let that dainty form and soft-spokenness fool you… . ]

Source : The Observer

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