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Nimusiima Edward, the advertising copywriter wearing many hats

Advertising copywriter, Nimusiima Edward

By George Wabweyo

The first time I heard of Edward Nimusiima, it was direct from him…in my Facebook Messenger. He aspired to be a writer. A few week’s/months later, I met him in the New Vision Newsroom as he met the Society Editor of the time. His byline would soon dominate the arts and society segments of the newspaper. He had become a writer(he probably always was one). His pen game pushed him into rooms he had never been in before…and from a society writer, he evolved into a copywriter.

Who is that one person you draw inspiration from as a writer?

The people I look up to keep changing with time, age, and profession. I started off as a journalist. And I was drawing inspiration from the usual greats – Ernest Bazanye, Tom Rushedge, Charles Onyango-Obbo and Daniel Kalinaki. Thereafter, I was introduced to a Kenyan writer, Jackson Biko, with his flowery language and short sentences. I must say he’s the one who’s inspired me in recent times.

Do you ever regret switching from journalism to advertising?

I don’t regret switching. I joined journalism because I was looking for a job. I was at Makerere University, learning International Relations and Diplomacy. So, it came to me as a visitor. I struggled to find where I truly belonged. Yes, I loved (still love) journalism, but I felt lost at sea. And that’s when advertising knocked on my door. Since then, I have made peace with myself because I believe I was born to create.

With AI here, do you think there’s a future for you as a copywriter?

Much as AI will disrupt a few things here and there, I believe it won’t take away the human element, and that’s when a copywriter comes in. Yes, I understand it’s being advanced every day, but I believe as long as human beings exist and interact with each other, machines won’t replace some elements.

You’ve worked on a number of Ugandan brands. What’s been your favorite one to work on?

They are all my babies. But I must say, I enjoy working on brands that align with my passions. My bosses have always told me this. I love working on lifestyle brands – beer, pay TV, etc.

Who do you look up to in the Ugandan Marketing and Advertising realms?

I respect people in different disciplines. From creative, PR, strategy, digital, production, and media. But I look up to Adris Kamuli’s longevity, Alemu Emuron’s creativity, Eric Mununuzi’s simplicity, and a host of other advertising legends like Peter Magona.

People your age are quite entrepreneural. Got any big business plans?

Sure, I wear a couple of business hats. I love business. I love startups. I am not afraid to fail. I co-founded Last Drop Africa with a friend, Alex Taremwa, that shines a spotlight on climate change related issues. I run a lifestyle and business website called The Word that celebrates people in business and lifestyle. I co-founded The Villagers, which we’re yet to unveil to the public, but have been working silently in the shadows. I also co-run Kira Times, a community digital platform that covers stories around Kira and surrounding suburbs.

What’s it that you like the most about your inner-circle?

Look, I keep my inner circle small much as I know many folks in this town. I like it because they understand me.

Advertising and creativity have a way of courting poor mental health. How do you stay afloat?

I’ve been a victim of mental health. Last year, I sunk in an abyss. Again, if it wasn’t for my inner circle, it was going to be ugly. I always open up to my close folks. I find it helpful. I also play football weekly with a sole purpose of keeping my mental faculties balanced.

You seem to have a low-key thing for fashion. Will we ever see your passion for fashion beyond your personal closet?

I’ve always loved fashion. My siblings and parents know that. I ran a weekly fashion column in Kampala Sun and was nominated a couple of times. Yes, I still have love for it. Two years ago, a friend – Kiiza Francis – and I started a fashion brand called APOLOGY. We’re both busy folks, and we folded it. But I have something in the pipeline.

It’s a rough world out here. What keeps you grounded everyday?

To be honest, God is at the cente of it all. Again, outsiders might not know that I’m a strong believer in the big guy upstairs. He’s kept me going. I’m a testament that He’s alive. Who knew a young boy from Rwamanuma would be here thinking for all these brands?

What do you think ails the Ugandan Advertising industry?

There are quite several ailments in the industry. I wouldn’t want to dive into them because they might throw me in a pool of trouble. I’ll tell you over a cold one soon (giggles).

Favourite movie?

Pulp Fiction.

Favourite author?

Stephen King.

Favourite artiste?

Good Charlotte

Favourite book?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

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