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TikTok ‘kadama’ scoops job on Urban TV

by Editorial Team
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By Dickson Ndugwa

You know that saying about prophets being ignored at home and lavished abroad? Phoebe Kukkiriza is one young woman who has defined it.

She first got to the limelight as a kadama, which is a loose local reference to a Ugandan housemaid in the Arab world. And now she has hit the limelight back home, as the new presenter of Fun Plus on Urban TV.

Kukkiriza (right) signing a contract with Vision Group head of broadcast Moses Ateng. (All photos by Dickson Ndugwa)

Kukkiriza became famous across the kadama world with the help of TikTok. Everything happened so fast for her, she is not even trying to deal with it. She is dealing with it one day at a time.

Going to Dubai was not her dream, it was mere peer pressure. She heard about her friends who had found jobs across the Middle East, so she asked to get on the plane with them. All they did was to introduce her to an employment export agency and there she was, in Dubai in 2019.

“I was not looking for money. I just wanted adventure; to find out where my friends were going and what abroad looked like,” Kukkiriza says.

She was in luck, for her employer granted her freedoms many of her ilk only dream about. She was introduced to a family of 10 people, and was informed they were her new masters.

Kukkiriza and Jommie presenting ‘Fun Plus’

To her surprise, the first day was all smooth as they prepared rice and chicken for her. However, that paradise was soon lost, with stretched working hours ranging from 3:00am to 1:00am.

“Those people think that a housemaid has more than two hands so they give you more work than you can handle. They can be bullies, especially the older ladies in the families,” Kukkiriza says.

She made the most of her breaks, however. That was after her Arab boss bought her a phone, and taught her how to use TikTok and Facebook.

She regularly posted videos on TikTok and Facebook. It didn’t take long for her to win the hearts of fellow maids throughout the region. And her fanbase did not only cover the Ugandan nationals, but also those from different African countries.

Back home in Uganda, her numbers were also growing fast.

Kukkiriza during her leisure time in Saudi Arabia


In February 2022, Kukkiriza’s contract expired. Her boss wanted it renewed, she didn’t. So, she lied that she had a left a child in Uganda and wanted to see him. The boss bought her the air ticket.

She left Saudi Arabia in March and on arrival in Uganda was not only welcomed by her family, but by many people she barely knew by name. They were her social media followers. 

“I can’t say I made any good money in Saudi Arabia. I do not have any investments to talk of,” Kukkiriza says in a tone of regret.

As a result, she is not going back any time soon.

Her job is now on Urban TV, as the presenter of Fun Plus, which airs from 5:00pm to 6:30pm, Monday – Friday.

On her first show, in the first few minutes, Kukkiriza revved up more than 1,000 comments on the station’s Twitter page. What happened to her personal page was beyond praise. It was cult worshipping of sorts.

She was confident, had a grip on that screen and she knew her subjects well. “You will never get tired of me because I have so many tricks up my sleeve,” Kadama promises viewers.

Kukkiriza poses for a picture with a fan, who came to meet her at the Urban TV offices

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