Joseph Kusaga is a Tanzanian self-made serial entrepreneur with a niche for big ideas and the drive, skills and knowledge to turn those same ideas into media empires. Early on, Joe’s love for both music and people drove him to DJ and produce events and discotheques across Tanzania. Eventually, in 1998, Joe’s instinct and passion led him to create the now award winning C.L.O.U.D.S. (Cool , Lovable, Outrageous, Unique, Dynamic, Sound) FM, one of Tanzania’s first FM radio stations; bringing his love of R&B and Hip Hop to the ears of the people of The United Republic of Tanzania. From the inception of CLOUDS, Joe has continued to meticulously build a strong portfolio of successful media, hospitality and technology firms. Joe’s innovative spirit and dedication propels him to the cutting edge of every arena he enters. Joe was featured in the inaugural edition of Forbes Africa magazine for his vision and business acumen. In the future, Joe will undoubtedly continue to lead the competition and set new heights in business, media and technology throughout East Africa and beyond.
Joe was born and raised in Musoma and at age 5 moved to Dar es Salaam when his father, a civil servant was transferred. He wasnumber4inafamilyof9(5boysand4 girls). His father ran a very tight ship and at an early age he learned discipline and how to focus and concentrate. Also at a very early age he developed a passion for music and
entertainment. At the time Tanzania was for the most part still in the dark ages as far as entertainment was concerned. There was maybe one radio station and maybe one TV station. This was that period of time before the internet and before cell phones; even before a full FM radio spectrum.
After completing high school Joe continued his studies at Kidatu College studying electronics. During and after college Joe began to organize events. With not a lot of competition and a deep passion for entertainment, Joe became a very popular DJ and Event Organizer. People still recall the good old days at Motel Agip where Joe would run discos. Although his father and mother did not see much of a future in doing events they trusted and had confidence in their son. He had their quite support.
The big turning point in his life was when he went to New York City and Los Angles. There he heard music over the radio that really inspired him to move to the next level of creating a radio station in Tanzania. It was the golden era of soul music in the USA and he was exposed to the greats at their peak. Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Little Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations and the mighty James Brown really turned him on musically. In addition he heard other artists such as Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles
and Abba. In Los Angeles he connected with his life long business partner, Ruge and they began planning a radio station for Tanzania that would soon become Clouds FM. The first thing he did when he returned from New York was to learn everything you needed to know in order to license and operate a radio station. There were not many examples but he soon mastered all the information and data that was available.
After Joe and Juhayna obtained the radio license, the story is all up hill from there. When Clouds hit the airways they introduced what could be called underground Tanzanian music to the airways. They featured artist who although were popular were not being heard on the radio. It was an exciting time for the music scene in Tanzania and its safe to say many would be artists were inspired to pursue careers in music. It’s also safe to say that Clouds opened the door for Bongo Flava as well as the introduction of R & B and Rock. By the way Clouds stands for Cool, Lovable, Outrageous, Unique, Dynamic, Sound. It was crafted back in LA by Ruge and Joe and remains the standard that they strive to achieve.
The Clouds Empire now includes Clouds FM, Primetime Promotions, Choice FM. Coconut Radio Station, Ngoma Web TV and Kitangoma Magazine. Joe and others would say his keys to success are his ability to identify talent, nurture talent, know exactly what he wants, remain focused and work hard until his goals are achieved. Of particular importance to Joe’s success is his ability to identify, recruit and retain talented individuals, notwithstanding his admitted single mindedness and stubbornness in making decisions. Many of the people who started with Joe remain in the Clouds Empire or are very successful with other media companies. They include, Ruge, Big Chris, Boni Love, Kiondi, Daudi, Pricilla, Pamela, Ruakabele and Tagil.