The Independent (Kampala), 26 Oct 2011
, Julius Mucunguzi, assistant spokesperson for Africa at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London: "On Sept.20, while in Washington DC for the annual meetings of Commonwealth finance ministers, I met two men who have been my professional mentors: Dr Shaka Ssali of Voice of America, and Andrew Mujuni Mwenda of The Independent Magazine. ... [S]ometime in 1995, Shaka Ssali came to speak to A level students at Kigezi High School. I was in the hall. Shaka took us through his own amazing story—of dropping out of school, joining the army, moving to America, and going back to school—to obtain a Degree, a Masters and a PhD! It was just one roll coaster of a story. Very inspirational. He was then an editor with the Voice of America. 'What do we need to do to be like you?' one student asked. 'Simply hit those books really hard. Make sure you always aim to be Number One. And always, always, Keep Hope Alive,' Shaka replied. ... [I]n May 2000, two months after graduating from Makerere, I got a scholarship to do an internship with a public policy institute in Washington DC, and true to form, I called Shaka and told him that I was in `downtown Washington DC.' He picked me up in his Mercedes Benz and took me for lunch and for a tour of Voice of America studios. I was later to be among the first guests on his Straight Talk Africa programme in August 2000."
Comment to ibid from musinguzi "Have you ever thought of making the Al Jazeera of Africa? Something like voice of Africa and people like you, Shaka Ssali, Jeff Koinange, Charles Obbo etc working on it and with Sub Saharan Africa coverage? I think that the continent needs heavy weights like you to help shape and change perception within and without this increasingly important continent."
See also the VOA Straight Talk Africa web page.