This week, the Luo people in East Africa, who speak six dialects, will have a chance to interact, celebrate and strengthen their cultural identity through the Luo Television.
The six Luo dialects are Acholi, Langi, Jopadhola, Alur, Kumam and Dholuo.
According to Robert Kabushenga, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/ managing director of Vision Group, the Luo television, which is known as WAN LUO TV, or “We Are Luo”, aims at promoting unity, solidarity and togetherness through culture and language.
“Starting September 1, communities in Gulu, Kitgum, Lira, Apac, Pakwach and Tororo, where the Luo language is predominantly spoken, will enjoy a mix of local content in the form of news, music, movies, sports and more,” Kabushenga said.
He said WAN LUO TV will reach out to audiences in Northern and Eastern Uganda, where the six dialects are widely used.
At the same ceremony, he and Franklin Wang, the StarTimes CEO, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Vision Group and StarTimes.
The event was virtually carried out in adherence to the health ministry’s guidelines on social distancing.
WAN LUO will have 70% locally generated content.
Wang said: “It is our pleasure to partner with Vision Group in another milestone in their mix of categories. StarTimes represents unity as we make TV affordable and accessible for everyone.”
“The Luo speakers are a very large audience, stretching from West Nile up to the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya. That is the audience we really look out to serve and this is the appropriate time. We are excited and proud to include WAN LUO TV to further engage our Luo speaking audiences and we are happy that StarTimes is our partner in this,” Kabushenga said.
WAN LUO TV joins Vision Group’s Rupiny radio broadcasting in northern Uganda, which has become part of the social fabric of the region since its launch.
“We already have a very strong presence in northern Uganda with our radio station, Rupiny FM. And now we are going to strengthen that by working together on the channel that gives them television in Luo,” Kabushenga said.
He added: “We closed our newspaper Rupiny, but it is quite exciting for us to provide an even better platform for our audience in Northern Uganda. We must thank our Luo audiences for their unending support towards Vision Group.”
According to Kabushenga, consumers will also be able to view the channel on the recently launched New Vision app.
The Luo TV will focus on an audience aged 25-45 years, said Bill Tibingana, the head of broadcast.
“It will have a mass appeal,” he said.
Tibingana also pointed out that the TV station will have a bias towards women because women have a big influence on society.