KAMPALA – Born on 24th August 1976 in Ruhaama Ntungamo, Kin Kariisa is a Ugandan businessman, media proprietor and a philanthropist. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Next Media Services, the holding company for NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next radio and a host of other companies. NBS TV is arguably the leading current news station in Uganda as of today.
Kariisa holds a Bachelors degree in Statistics from Makerere University, Masters degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China and a Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College, Texas USA.
Kariisa was born in Kafunjo parish, Ruhaama in Ntungamo district. His father, Hajji Kariisa died in 1978, when he was only two years old, while his mother died in 2010, when he was a fairly well established businessman.
For his primary education, Kariisa attended several schools in Ruhaama before joining Gombe Secondary School in Mpigi for his O’ level. In the final UNEB exams, he was not only the best student in the school but also the best in mathematics in the whole country in O-level in 1994.
In 1995, while in his senior four vacation, he, with the help of one of his brothers, set up a hair salon in Mbarara town. He set out to become the best barber in Mbarara by offering superior services from his rivals partly because he had procured the first electric hair clipper in town.
As word spread about Kariisa’s haircutting prowess, his business took an upswing and by the end of his vacation, he had accumulated some good pocket money. Twenty six years later, Kariisa, who always spots a neatly styled haircut, has applied some of the principles from his salon business – hard work, perfection and quality – to grow a string of businesses.
For A-level, he went to Kibuli Secondary School where he did Physics, Economics and Mathematics (PEM). There, too, he was the best student in Economics in the final A-level exams. He proceeded to Makerere University to do a bachelors degree in statistics, which opened his eyes to the world of computing and ICT. It is at the university that he founded his first firm, Kin Systems.
From his room at University Hall, he would help fellow students with questionnaires, statistical analysis, and that is how he made a lot of money.
With his company Kin Systems, he used to do a couple of projects with State House and eventually the PPS then Amelia Kyambadde, former Trade Minister, introduced him to President Museveni and he was appointed a Special Presidential Assistant on IT.
In 2004, he got married to Julie Kariisa (Juliet Janat Tumusiime) and together, the couple has three children.
In 2008, Kariisa took over NBS Television from its founder, Nathan Igeme Nabeta as CEO and grew it into Next Media Services, a multimedia company that runs three television stations (NBS Television, Sanyuka TV & Salaam TV) and other media subsidiaries.
Currently, Kin serves as Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and Online broadcasters in Uganda.
In 2012, he was appointed Director of Ecobank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa for 7 years, and appointed Chairman Board of Directors in 2019 for the “Pan African Bank.”
He is also the Chairman Board of Directors for Nile Hotel International Ltd, the Government enterprise that owns Kampala Serena Hotel.
When Kariisa is not attending to his businesses, he is playing golf at Kitante Golf Club or attending to his wife and children. He is also a younger brother to the late Anasi Kariisa who used to host the program “Ensi Nebyayo” on NBS TV every Sunday.