Rev. Fr. David Niwagaba, smm, is the New Director of Luntha Television. Fr. David Niwagaba takes over from Fr. Andrew Kaufa.
I talked with Fr. David Niwagaba to know who he is and his vision for Luntha Television. The excerpts:
Congratulations Fr. David on your appointment as the new Director of Luntha Television!
Thank you very much.
Who is Fr. David?
I am a Montfortian priest from Uganda. I was born in Nyakatunga village, Kanyanshande Zone. I belong to Kyamwiru Catholic Parish in Rubirizi district, arch-diocese of Mbarara. I am a fourth born child out of the eleven children from Mr and Mrs Venansio Tibihika Karwani.
In brief how would you outline your Journey to priesthood?
I joined Montfort formation in 2005. From this year to 2009 I did diploma in Philosophy and religious Studies at Inter-congregational seminary (now known as Inter-congregational Institute) in Balaka, Malawi.
From 2008 to 2009 I had my novitiate in Mbarara, Uganda. This same period I helped as a Radio presenter at Radio Maria Uganda. I made my first vows on 6th August, 2009 in Mbarara, Uganda.
Immediately after novitiate, I pursued Bachelors degree in Theology at Hekima University, in Nairobi, Kenya and finished in 2012.
Then, from 2012 I was sent for pastoral work, firstly, to Bvumbwe Parish, then Stima Parish and then Namiasi in Magochi where I served as the administrator. During this time, I was also the Vocational Director and Pre-Postulancy Master of Montfort Missionaries in Malawi and Zambia.
On 6th December, 2013, I made my final vows at Montfort Media Chapel in Balaka, Malawi. A day later, I was ordained a Deacon at St. Louis Montfort Parish, Balaka. On 19th July, 2014, I was raised to the order of priesthood in Mbarara, Uganda.
Where did you serve after being ordained as a Priest?
After ordination I continued serving as the Vocational Director and Pre-Postulancy Master of Montfort Missionaries but now in East Africa. I also worked as the Director of Wisdom Training Resource Centre, Ibanda, Uganda; Chaplain of Mbarara high school/ Nyamitanga Secondary School; Chairman of the religious in Mabara Ach-diocese; the chairman of Bible Society.
As I was serving God through these responsibilities and many more, I was also doing Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). Immediately after completing my MBA, it’s when I was asked to come to Malawi and serve as the Director of Luntha Television.
What does this appointment mean to you?
It’s another challenge and yet another opportunity to serve God.
Luntha Tv is the only Catholic Television in Malawi and it’s loved by people of all religions, what are your plans for Luntha Tv?
It’s true that Luntha is the only Catholic Television in Malawi and according to statistics, the second most watched Television in Malawi. With this in mind, we plan to increase the quality of our programmes. We want to put programmes that would benefit the viewers both for their spiritual and human development. Moreover, we plan to increase the quality of our picture. We want to make Luntha one of the best Televisions in Malawi. This requires that all the Catholics and all people of good will in Malawi see Luntha Televsion as their own and support it in any way possible.
What are some of the challenges that you have found within the time you have taken office and how will you overcome them?
The economy of the country is not doing great and this has affected us. We hope to collaborate with entire nation to develop Malawi as a nation. Again, the cost of living has gone high and this comes with its negative effects that hike the expenses of running the already non-profit Tv station. We pray and hope that the cost of living and broadcasting costs be controlled and give us an opportunity to offer quality service to all.
Human Resource is another challenge we are facing at Luntha Television. Technology is changing on the fastest rate than ever which requires constant updates in forms of our equipment and personnel which in the long run becomes exorbitant. In our effort to give the best to our viewers we look forward to having the best people for the job.
We hear that there is a building that has been constructed in Lilongwe with the vision of expanding Luntha Studios, what do you say about this?
Yes it’s true that we are expanding and this time it’s Lilongwe. Bishop Nervi Media Centre, which comprises Montfort Media and Luntha Television, shall be launched on 10th November, 2018. This is an effort to reach out to urban viewers. We hope this will help us serve our urban viewers as we are in the capital city.
Any last words to the people who love watching Luntha TV?
We request for your support and prayers in our effort to offer you quality programmes and splendid picture. We surrender everything in God’s hands as the psalmist says “If the Lord does not build the house, the builders labour in vain” (Ps 127:1).