Featured Pulser: New kid on the Block “John Blaq”

Kasadha John popuraly known as John Blaq, a 20 year old male R&B artiste and song writer famous from his hit song Sweet Love featuring Vinka started off his career two years ago but has been promising from the go with the “Romantic” song and proved his worth on his latest single “Tukwatagane” that has received great airplay on radio stations around the city.

Having been inspired by the late R&B hero Radio Mowzey, John Blaq hit the studio with Andre on his first single Romantic and has worked on quite a number of projects with Andre and is currently working on a collabo with J Wats. During his interview with MTNPulse, John Blaq promised to be Africa’s next big thing.

His bigger dream is to work with international artistes like Wizkid, Davido, and Tekno and sell Uganda to the World and with his skills, we have no doubt about his word.

Humble and laid back but deep in lyrical content, John Blaq plans to have a Listeners Party before the year ends and share his passion with his fans that have consistently supported him and his music career from his first release.

John Blaq as a song writer, has also supported other upcoming artistes with Lyrical content because he believes the industry can grow bigger when artistes embrace supporting each other’s dreams which other countries like Nigeria have mastered.

You can follow John Blaq on his social media accounts @johnblaqug on twitter, @johnblaqofficial on Instagram and John Blaq on YouTube to watch his latest music videos.

Watch some of his music videos here;

Tech Tuesday: Ugandan Innovator Katamba Lands Major Deals with Apple, Microsoft

Young, multi Award-winning software developer Ronald Katamba is one among the few Ugandans that have been able to secure deals with American Multi National technology giants, Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corporation.

Katamba, a tech entrepreneur at Afrosoft IT solutions and founder of cutting edge innovation the Jaguza Livestock App landed the deals during his tour to the United States of America earlier in March.

Jaguza Livestock App is a system used to monitor and diagnose early stages of diseases in animals, using sensor technology, and locate the whereabouts of animals in a given area using GPS systems.

MTN Pulse caught up with Katamba at his office at Teachers’ House, Bombo road upon his return; to understand the details of the deals and what he has in stock for other pulsers in the country.

About his tour.

While in America, Katamba revealed, he visited several companies, and attended multiple conferences, including Microsoft Tech Summit, World Agric-Tech Innovation Summit and Hive Entrepreneurship Retreat.

It’s during this time that he was invited to Microsoft and Apple for visits which saw him clinch juicy deals that will not only benefit his persona but a wide chunk of youths in the country.

Microsoft Deal.

In the deal with Microsoft, Katamba has been tasked with training university students and other young learners about Microsoft products.

“The training will involve exposing learners to The Internet of things (IoT),” he said.

IoT is a network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data.

It provides for more integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, which in turn results in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit while reducing human intervention.

“Microsoft has promised to “provide me with equipment” to use in the process, as well as support me with Azure cloud services,” he further explained.

Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.

From his return, he said, he has together with his team at Afrosoft conducted IoT sessions at the Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU) and plans to take the trainings to all institutions of higher learning.

“The President is always rooting for youth skilling. This deal with Microsoft will come a long way to complement the president’s efforts and hopefully, the ministry (ICT Ministry) will realize the relevance of these trainings and pick interest in them,” he said.

Apple Deal.

“At Apple, we talked about my product (Jaguza Livestock App) and how they can integrate it to their Apple cloud services. Officials promised to come visit me in Uganda and see how they can support my innovation,” said Katamba.

Currently, Jaguza can be used online using the Android App or desktop App and offline via USSD and sms.

While online, each time an animal moves out of range, a notification is sent to a solar powered receiver (spr) from the device. The spr sends this information to a cloud server which in turn sends information to your computer or mobile phone.

Integration of the app to Apple Cloud Services will go a long way to develop its functionality and hence reduce hazards to livestock productivity in Uganda.

Uganda’s CommonWealth Games’ Gold Medalist: Who is Joshua Cheptegei?

Ugandan long distance runner Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei made headlines on Sunday April 8th after he won a gold medal in the Common Wealth games held in Gold Coast, Australia.

Cheptegei emerged the first in the men’s 5,000 metre race, beating Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed and Kenya’s Pingua Zakayo who came second and third respectively.

Born in the Eastern Uganda village of Kapsewui in Kapchorwa District, on September 12th 1996, Cheptegei rose to fame on the international scene at the age of 18 when he won gold in the World Junior Championships held in Eugene, United States of America.

He came first in the men’s 10,000m race and 4th in the men’s 5,000m race.

In the same year, the youngster emerged the first at the World University Cross Country in Entebbe, Uganda from where he met his Dutch manager Jurrie van der Velden.

Having tasted greatness, the teenage star went ahead to win gold in the Africa Junior Championships in 2015 after coming first in the men’s 10,000m race.

He also participated in the World Junior Championships in Beijing China in the same year but came 9th.

Entrance to the Senior Level.

Cheptegei’s entrance to the top of his sport at senior level took a bit of time.

In 2015, he moved to Kaptagat, Kenya, to train with the best, running daily with Kamworor and other seniors like Eliud Kipchoge.

But while his running went from strength to strength, he missed his family and his home too much to ever truly stick it out.

He would later return to Uganda, with his manager working to build a group around him under the guidance of Dutch coach Addy Ruiter in late 2015.

Cheptegei made his senior race debut in 2016 at the Olympic games in Rio De Janero where he represented Uganda in men’s 5,000m and 10,000m races. He came 8th and 6th respectively.

Humiliation at IAAF World Cross Country Championships

The young pulser was hit by an unforgettable nightmare when he came 30th in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships held in Kampala in March 2017.

He reportedly suffered a stitch during the race where he was in the lead, denying him a chance to the gold medal and paving way for Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor.

He however dragged himself over the line to finish 30th in the senior men’s race at the Kololo Independence grounds.

This incident sparked criticism for Cheptegei with Ugandans on social media making provocative memes of him but none of this could sway him from his dream of becoming an international star.

“It took me some weeks to get over,” Cheptegei was quoted as having said.

“When I met people they felt sorry for me, but when they asked me I would feel bad because they made me remember what happened. I had to just stay at home, not go around because I didn’t want to meet people. My wife was there, my family, my manager, and they were encouraging me, saying: ‘you can make it.’”

Rise to the top

Despite the hate speech and the down moments he went through after the IAAF World Cross Country, Cheptegei never gave up on his dream of remaining a star.

He came back to prove his critics wrong in August 2017 when he won silver at the IAAF World Championships in London. He came second after Mo Farah.

Cheptegei celebrates his win on Sunday morning. (Photo by AFP)

Cheptegei’s gold medal won on Sunday is a loud evidence to pulsers to not give up on their dreams because of a few setbacks that come in their way.

His persistence and hard work has now steered him to greater heights, earning international recognition and the president’s gratitude for representing Uganda.

“Congratulations to Joshua Cheptegei for winning Gold in the Men’s 5,000m at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Australia. Your country is proud of you,” President Museveni said.

I am here to stay – Rapper JWats

If you have keenly followed the Ugandan Hiphop music industry from the start of 2017, the mention of the name JWats must ring some bells in your ears.

Born December 13th 1995, Jude Watsaba alias JWats is the first born in his family of five. He is a student of Social Sciences at Makerere University Kampala.

JWats attended Nakanyonyi Primary School in Jinja, joined Seeta Hill College for O’level and finished A’level at Namagabi S.S in Kayunga

“I started my music career as a producer at the age of 16 and since then, my passion for hip hop has continued to grow,” he said during an exclusive interview with MTN Pulse.

Famous for his collabo ‘One of a kind’ with Deejay Ciza, JWats has risen through the ranks to attract a number of nominations and put out some amazing hip-hop hits that went on to top chats in the country.

The fast rising, fresh rapper describes his style of music as ‘The Translation’, explaining why he mixes vernacular and English punch lines together.

“I am inspired by local Ugandan rappers like Ruyonga, GNL Zamba, The Mith among others. They have done a great job pushing hip-hop and it’s upon us to keep pushing it forward,” he said.

Asked about other international rappers that inspire him, JWats named Nigerian rapper M.I. Abaga, Ryan Leslie from America and South Africa’s Cassper Nyovest.

Cassper Nyovest was the headlining artiste at MTN Pulse Fool Moon party held March 30th 2018.

As a young pulser, JWats has worked on songs like ‘Holding the Light’, ‘Fancy’, ‘Buli Kiro’ ft Play 01, ‘Man Of The Year’, ‘Down On Me’ ft The Mith, ‘Holla’ and the famous ‘One Of a Kind’ with Deejay Ciza.

He had a successful 2017 in which he scooped a double nomination in the much hyped Uganda Hip-hop Awards in the “Rookie of The Year” and “Song Of The Year” categories. He was also among the opening acts at the Run Town experience in Kigali, Rwanda.

Asked about his future prospects, JWats said; “I am here to stay, no holding back. I am determined to stay the Man of the year just like my inaugural hit song.”

“In future, I see myself as a fully successful artist, with a record label of my own, having won some international awards.”

“At the top of my success, I would like to start up a charity organisation to help children who lack basic needs like clean water, medication, food, clothings and start up a school that would provide good education for them.”

The young talent further revealed that he will be dropping his debut album dubbed On My Own which will be released this month.