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NSSF Friends With Benefits contest reaches semifinal stage

KAMPALA, UGANDA- As the NSSF Friends With Benefits TV contest goes past the half way mark, contestant stories are getting more interesting and a large number of viewers believe that this year’s finale will be a nail-biting one.

With the majority vote, 70% being held coming from the public and only 30% held by the judges, the viewers have the overarching say on who progresses to the semi-final.

The fact that contestant stories are getting more exciting as the episodes go by, it will be interesting to see who will make it through to the semifinals and eventually the finals.

The show that airs every Saturday on both NTV and NBS TV is a financial literacy show aimed at showcasing inspirational success stories from members who have received and used their benefits to change their lives, those of their families and even the communities they live in, so as to motivate existing and potential members to invest in retirement savings.

The show has so far succeeded in bringing to the fore success stories that would have ideally been brushed off, and on the other hand also shown just how the members’ benefits have transformed their lives. 

In Episode one, Wamoto Nabende, a retired hotelier and formerly the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) for Bulambuli, used his NSSF age benefits to treat his son, Noah Mukhwana, who was involved in a life-threatening motor accident.

“My son had just completed his final Senior Six paper in 2006 and had gone out of the school to call me to pick them. A few meters from his school gate, a vehicle came from behind and crushed into him, dragging him into a trench where he was trapped under its wheels. I had no money on me at the time to treat Noah, whose spinal cord had been damaged given that my contract had just ended at the Senior Staff and Command Center in Jinja.

“If it wasn’t for my NSSF savings, I probably would have lost my son. He may be in a wheelchair for life, but the reason he is alive today is because I had some savings with the fund. That made a huge difference and today, Noah is living his life,” he explained.

Throughout the preceding episodes, very inspiring stories have been shown for instance that of Rwakira Bonaventure, a security officer with the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) Kabale Branch.

Rwakira, whose story aired on Sunday February 18, 2018, managed to set up only the second school in his Nyakagyera Parish in Kabale District. Despite receiving only Ugx1.9million as his initial age benefit, he set up a school; Uganda Martyrs Nursery and Primary School.

“I decided to start up a school because I saw many children, including my own grandchildren covering long distances just to study. These were very young children and in the long run, many dropped out of school because they could not handle the daily trek, moreover on very hilly terrain,” he states.

Currently, the school employs 11 teachers and has a boarding section for both boys and girls. The school’s pioneer pupils are now in senior three.

Along the way, there have also been very emotional stories especially those shared by contestants who received invalidity benefits.

Mary Naikumi, a mother of two and lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology almost gave up on life after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Naikumi narrated, “My husband had filed for divorce and left home when I was six months pregnant. Now, I had another challenge which was this monster called cancer. I was lucky to get free chemotherapy from Mulago. I did six courses which were very traumatizing, the body was tortured and the hope for living was getting very faint by the day.”

She added that when the cancer reoccurred even after the chemotherapy, her resources were down to zero and she had nowhere else to run to. It was at this point that her savings with NSSF came in handy.

“Today, I can confidently say that my NSSF benefits are my life because if I hadn’t gotten that money, I wouldn’t have afforded decent treatment. I wouldn’t have a place to call home today. That money came in at a critical point and put a lot of things in line in that today we have hope. There’s reason to live,” she states with confidence.

This Sunday February 25, 2018, the NSSF Friends With Benefits show returns with Episode six. This episode will have Alice Arinaitwe and Joe Ssemugooma, the former Finance Director at Uganda National Roads Authority. Tune into NTV and NBS TV on Sunday to find out what makes their stories unique.

To vote for any of the participants in the NSSF Friends With Benefits Contest, dial *254# and follow the prompts or go to www.nssfug.org/fwb