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Who Is Simon Kaggwa Njala, the Guy Behind the “Why Are You Gay” Interview

Simon Kaggwa Njala became an internet sensation after video clips of him interviewing a trans man surfaced on YouTube in 2012.

Coming into the interview as relatively unknown, a question he addressed to his guest Julian Onziema (a Ugandan transgender man and LGBTQ activist) changed his social circles forever.

Fragments of the interview caused an internet stir, some received plenty of public interest, while certain sections of the clip were circulated as memes.

So, who is Simon Kaggwa Njala – the guy behind the “why are you gay” sentiment that appeared to profile the LGBTQ community?

Simon Kaggwa Njala is a Ugandan journalist, media personality, and talk show host of Frontline (a highly interactive political show), Morning Breeze, and the Eagle aired on NBS TV – Uganda’s most popular cable TV station.

He rose to popularity, thanks to a bizarre “Why are you gay” question in a viral interview with LGBT activist Pepe Julian Onziema on a TV broadcast in 2012.

With his growing influence on and off the internet, he vied for an elective position in Uganda’s parliament without success.

Njala is currently focused on his career as a media personality.

Simon Njala Profile Summary

  • Full name: Simon Kaggwa Njala
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of birth: October 11, 1976
  • Age: 47 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Karoli, Jinja, Uganda
  • Current Residence: Kampala, Uganda
  • Nationality: Ugandan
  • Ethnicity: Black
  • Sexuality: Straight
  • Marital status: Married
  • Partner: Mrs. Njala
  • Profession:  Journalist, TV personality, and Talk Show host
  • Networth: 200 million Ugandan shillings

Early Life

Simon Njala was born on October 11, 1976, in Karoli, Jinja, Uganda.

He is of the Muganda Tribe, whose origins trace back to the Buganda Kingdom.

Njala, born to Baganda parents, spent his formative years in Central Uganda.

Education Background

The renowned, and somewhat controversial media personality attended a Kampala-based preparatory school and high school where he obtained his UCE and UACE certificates for the O and A levels, respectively.

 He also joined and graduated from a Kampala-based university in 2009.

Njala’s Professional Career

As a journalist, Kaggwa Njala’s professional career hit the ground running while still in college.

He started his journalism career in 2008 when he worked as a contract writer for The Crusader – a Kampala-based print outlet.

His media reputation went from height to height and was soon recruited as a presenter at Radio One.

His media resume also included a short stint at Akaboozi Ku Bbiri – a local radio station – where he was the host of a popular radio show in 2011 called Uganda Speaks.

Shortly after, Kaggwa Njala joined NBS TV for the first time in 2012, where he hosted a morning talk show called The Morning Breeze.

Simon Njala has worked for Ugandan television NBS TV as a host for different shows for the past 11 years, but the most defining moment of his media career came in an interview that aired on December 18, 2012.

Simon Kaggwa Njala’s Political Career

In 2016, the renowned journalist took a hiatus from the media space to start a political career.

He joined politics in 2016 as a contestant for the seat of Member of Parliament for Busiro South Constituency.

However, that couldn’t have gone as he hoped because he lost to the incumbent MP Peter Sematimba.

Njala and The Viral “Why Are You Gay” Interview

In one of his 2012 Morning Breeze talk shows, Kaggwa Njala interviewed a Ugandan transgender man and LGBTQ activist Pepe Julian Onziema.

At the time, LGBTQ rights in Uganda and, indeed, most of Africa were out of the equation.

As such, the debate on homosexuality was a far-fetched theme that you could tell most in Uganda weren’t on board.

In the first minutes of the interview, Kaggwa Njala hilariously asked his trans TV guest, “Why are you gay?”

 A short clip of the interview was uploaded on YouTube and quickly became fodder for the meme lovers.

The interviewer throwing that question out of the bat, coupled with his facial expressions and distinct accent, left many in stitches.

Moreover, the trans man denied being gay—contrary to the assertions of Kaggwa Njala—and he was gaslighted on live TV.

 Many were quick to see the comic side of this brief but embarrassing moment, and that clip swiftly became an immortalized meme in our digital space.

How This Bizarre Question Went Viral

Several clips were uploaded throughout the years, and most who came across them expressed surprise at how such as sensitive topic like LGBTQ rights was being handled.

Several of these clips are still on YouTube, but many people still see it as a hilarious, light-hearted interview they can watch for comic relief.

In 2019, that meme had a makeover and resurfaced with more details, this time with a dig at Kaggwa Njala’s supposedly comic accent.

While previously, the meme’s punchline had been “Why are you gay,” the 2019 clip put more emphasis on the interviewer’s accent, and was spelled as “why are you ge,” to accurately capture Njala’s accent.

The meme became officially reborn, gained traction, and went viral again. This time, the joke was on the journalist, but he too reacted humorously.

What Is Simon Kaggwa Njala’s Net Worth?

The popular media personality may not be a believer in the ostentatious display of wealth, but his glittering career in the media space has earned him a considerable amount of wealth.

 Njala has worked for NBS and at Next Media for nearly 12 years, and his current 25 million Ugandan shilling annual deal puts his net worth estimates at over 200 million Ugandan shillings.

Kaggwa Njala Controversy

Although most people could sieve through the sensitivity of the topic and choose the light sight, the infamous “Why are you gay” interview still elicited plenty of criticism from certain quarters.

Some argued that the phrase represented a form of abuse, while others praised the ethical acuteness of Kaggwa Njala as a journalist in challenging sensitive topics head-on.

The meme opened up a broader discussion about the ethical behavior of journalists, with some saying that such an approach to LGBTQ was reflective of the ridiculous levels of toxic masculinity in society at the time.

Closing Thoughts

The “why are you gay” phrase may have and remains a fascinating meme that continues to offer comic relief, but some found the expression annoying.

Even though it caused quite a stir on the internet, the man behind it finally saw the humorous side of it.

What might have been a routine morning talk show produced an iconic quote about homosexuality that even Kaggwa Njala couldn’t fathom its significance.

Kenyalogue Contributor


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