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By Winnie Muthoni.
I like journalism. Talk of reporting, writing stories, editing and all the details that come with it. This is a profession that requires passion; it actually requires someone to fall in love with it to be able to do it perfectly or atleast excellently. It requires dedication; I learnt. For example as a writer, you need to constantly sharpen your skills day by day and to meet the set up deadlines. You must be a constant reader otherwise you will lose taste or even things to write about. Some of the writers especially the magazine and newspaper columnists will tell you that they burn the midnight oil and sleep at the wee hours of the night in order to meet the required deadlines and to make sure their stories have reached the editor in due time. Otherwise you might see the door next morning and lose your only sense of income. Say trouble.
But what about reporters? These people go out there to collect stories that will make big headlines and appear on the front page of every newspaper or television. Most of them will go an extra mile to conquer all odds to bring some limelight to the public, especially the investigative reporters. These people are heroes in my eyes. Those who go out there into some war-torn country that is being salvaged by terror and rebels from an unhappy opposition. Salute to these heroes man. Some will go out there but they won’t come back. Yap, it’s that much of a risk. It’s more interesting to be a reporter especially on the field if you are a adventurer like me. I love collecting or gathering information, joining pieces of information; perhaps i would make a good investigative reporter or a member of one of the fierce investigative teams around the globe, no pun intended. We have heard cases of journalists who have been tortured and even assassinated by people who are probably unhappy about what journalists do. It is so sad that journalists, who are supposed to be friends of the people, have now become the ‘enemy’ because people don’t want truth!
Some of them have been jailed in Exile for some of these reasons. I wonder maybe that’s why we are too afraid to bring the real truth nowadays for fear of being cornered by these malicious human beings who can’t bear ‘news’. Most of us journalists would want to remain safe than sorry. I have been a beneficiary of mentorship programs sponsored by organizations like the United States Embassy and the USAID and I dare to say that, we journalists, have our rights that should be respected, infact am more motivated to come out and face the real world we are living in right now. Special thanks to these organizations. My advice to those aspiring to become journalists in future, watch this space because I will be sharing more on my new experiences of life as a journalist. Afresh, uncovered, prototypical, undisputed, indigenous experiences from myself!!
World of journalism
Who doesn’t like the good things in life? The good stuff. Some will call it. But some are exaggerated, I could say. We are the age of social media where you are following famous and infamous celebrities who have made it in life. You look upto them and even some want to be like them; exact copy. That’s crazy. Mostly these celebrities have been famous through infamous scandals to get the attention of everyone and ‘break the internet’. We all know them. Some teenager seated at the comfort of his or her parents home is going through pictures and videos of these celebrities garnering over a million likes and he/she is feeling that that is the coolest thing ever and they want to do exactly that! But can we blame them? The answer is NO. These kids have been overly exposed and they have nobody to tell them that what they see on their phone screens and reading through their feeds is not the actual reality.
Let’s not only blame the teenies. Young adults who want to strip their clothes off so they get these ‘likes’ and shady ‘comments’ I don’t know for what, maybe to become ‘famous’ on Instagram and Facebook. What an irony. Let’s face it honey, you don’t have to look like Kim K or Nick Jonas (for the guys) so that you sadly become famous only on Instagram. Go out there do something about your life and become popular with something else, something useful. Post a picture and it doesn’t have to stress you out because you got 15 likes. Not everybody is going to like you. And yeah I hope you don’t post pictures for likes (which most of us do) but to share and live those moments on social media. Everybody is finally going to like you for who you are and not who you are trying to be. Don’t try to look stupid by trying to be someone else. Do you and let everybody get it through their heads that this is you and you, nor anybody can change that. I like the art of authenticity and who doesn’t want that? Everybody is unique in their own way so let’s agree, post that picture; you look good and let social media be. It is what it is. Not everything is real on those platforms.
Society is slowly swallowing in the reality of the real issue of it all; Black is beautiful. As earlier indicated by Michael Harris Booker T Washington. Whereby we lived in a society where dark skins were ‘demonized’ and deemed ‘ugly’. Even now we still have some elements of humans who think skin lightening to ‘fit in’ to the views of the society is the way to go. Why would you mind these senseless and illiterate sentiments from these ‘hooligans’ who don’t mind to at least ask the benefits of melanin? This is a century-long spoken subject and I have decided to expound and expose the unspoken facing young Africans especially the ladies.
Not long ago, a high street retail chain in Sweden, made a young boy wear a hoodie that was considered ‘racist’. To top it all, these retailers were Africans! It was such a sad state of affairs since celebrities and activists all over the world came out to condemn these discriminatory actions. The supposed ad made me so mad I felt like someone needed some slapping. Fortunately for them, they apologized and they even closed their stores for a while. Despite that, it showed how archaic some humans still are. It is just pathetic. In my beloved country, where light skins are ‘more of a better option’ than the dark skins, the latter are told to ‘toa tint’ which means lighten your skin. This is the lowest level of illiteracy one can reveal to another. I mean these guys who are telling you to toa tint some aren’t even light skinned! Dunia isimame nishuke! We need a fountain of smart. We need an educated bunch of humans who know that skin color doesn’t define you or what you are capable of doing.
Days ago, I happened to face one. A whole circumcised grown man would dare tell me that on a text. It was all games and fun until that line appeared on my phone. I mean can everybody stick to their own lanes? I definitely didn’t give him the privilege of getting comfortable with it because once you give them that privilege, they’ll take advantage of you. Why on earth would one want to compare me with celebrities who have allegedly bleached their skin to look like wazungus or be much fairer? I don’t want to look like Gilad, or Khaligraph Jones or Vera Sidika for that matter. I wanna look like ME. I love my skin color dammit! Someone should get it through their thick heads.
I really am proud of my favorite Kenyan boy band Sauti Sol who made these type of humans know that Melanin skins are just as beautiful and special; and yeah they can even appear in music videos and look good, and not just good, breathtaking. Being dark skinned doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you; it simply means you are blessed enough to have more melanin that could protect you from diseases like skin cancer. Am proud of my beautiful African skin, and I have NEVER EVER had a crazy thought of lightening my skin just to ‘fit in’ and look like the majority that are favored skin wise.
Excuse me, but I really don’t need that. Some even envy this dark skin. So baby girl, go out there, flaunt it, look beautiful and let nobody tell you some shithole things about your one of a kind skin. Wear it like your armor and nobody will use it against you!
THE AUTHOR IS A MENTEE AT THE US EMBASSY AND;
A STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
The scriptures say a woman was formed from a man. It will also say a woman was formed to be a ,”Companion” to the man since he was lonely.
What does that tell you?
Lets focus on this person called “Woman.” This is motivated by various factors playing in our day to day lives as women and the current state of affairs concerning us around the world. A woman is a female: a companion, supporter, a solution. Why? Because ‘man’ could not do alone, therefore, God “saw” that he needed a woman. Meaning a woman should be part and parcel of a man’s life. Someone will try to argue with the the current perception of women being “gold diggers” or even ” objects” or maybe some would say “non is to be trusted nowadays” but that does not matter now.
I do not want to sound like a feminist, but I feel women should be equally respected. I could not understand why or get a grasp of the logic behind, ‘women are weak beings and just as fragile.’ But I defer with that notion because it’s not only false but also misleading. Then I remember the report days ago about sexual harassment on women in our matatus. How can one tolerate such acts especially the onlookers who are, mostly men? What gives me a relief is the fact that some women came out to condemn these cowardly and devilish acts and stand for justice, because they ought to be stopped. This is why women empowerment groups and associations are created and taking effect all over. That’s one force that has really taken effect and is highly influential. It has proven to be a ‘powerful tool’ in curbing injustices against women and that’s the good thing about it. And that’s the reason you are hearing men complaining that they are being left out and ‘discriminated’ upon; a claim which is half truth. First and foremost, if these men never acted against women by harassing, disrespecting, abusing and all sort of nasty things they do, then they wouldn’t be complaining about ‘boy-child’; even in blogs. I thought men were perceived to be ‘strong’ and ought to be respected? Or rather can get through anything that comes before them. What happened? Do you realize now that women are just as powerful? Women are favor-carriers. Why in the world would you want to mess with favor carriers?
Don’t complain, ’cause you brought it on yourselves. Either they’ve seen it or they’ve experienced the mistreatment. Am not trying to prove that all men are bad or all are demoralized, I believe there are really good men out there which are the majority few and thumbs up. In leadership, am quite impressed that women are being incorporated just so to ensure equality and shared agendas and ideas across all gender lines.
It doesn’t matter what some leader somewhere in some ‘once powerful nation’ said or did to women,however demeaning or belittling their remarks could be; it’s just not right to exclude women in affairs of the society or worse disrespect or devalue their opinion in important matters facing our societies nowadays.
Let me know what you think about this article or if you got anything you would want me to add in my articles on my email address at email@example.com.
So for the past few weeks I’ve been into reading. And I mean continous reading. My zeal and passion for novels just got renewed! Like am so happy the last time I read a novel was ten months ago, and as it is, it’s quite a long time. I’ve realised I know a lot more now about grammar with the more books am reading. Don’t I love reading! No matter what book you’re reading whether the a hundred shillings book you bought from the streets of your town, fictional books, non fictional, or daily magazines, you’ll notice a certain improvement in the way you talk, write and however you carry yourself around social circuses. This actually, is preparing me as an aspiring and ‘up and coming’ journalists in writing, speaking, editing and public speaking skills. Talking of public speaking, I happened to visit the American Embassy centre at Gigiri at their IRC library and I happened to grab a book on the subject of ‘The 6 Principles of Public Speaking’ by Richard Zeoli and it’s such a good read I promise you. For those who’ve got problems or inconversant or even ‘poor’ at giving speeches to an audience, I recommend that book for you, You won’t regret it I promise you.
Continue reading “ART OF READING FOR JOURNALISTS”
You ever wondered why life challenges you sometimes? You ever asked yourself why you feel: ‘I haven’t done enough therefore I need to do more’? Well it’s called LIFE. You encounter different people (both fake and real), places, go through experiences (either horrifying, beautiful, memorable, etc), make mistakes while we correct them. And if we don’t, we apologize and swear to move on. You know that kinda feeling? Riiight! That’s what am talking about. People are different despite the common fact that ‘No one is perfect’. Which is true. Do you prioritize the most important issues in life for your betterment or you jump to the useless ones which neither help you nor add value to your life? Well for a fact I’ve made such mistakes but I promise you they have taught me to be a better person and that’s called GROWTH. You don’t keep blaming yourself for things that didn’t happen the way you expected or the way you wanted them to turn to out. My Pastor taught me; Don’t have expectations otherwise you’re going to be disappointed. Which I agree with. That was yesterday. Put GOD first in whatever you do and i promise everything is going to turn out fine. Have some faith.
I’ve been through the roughest paths but I’ve come out just as fine. Pick yourself up and wipe off the dust you were in and move on with life. The storms we face in our day-to-day life are just passing winds that I never allow to shake me nor put me to the ground. ‘Cause I know myself, I know my worth, so I keep my head up high and light my world with smiles. Try that honey. You’ll become a happier person. Step out looking like a million bucks FOR YOU not for them, that’s some of the ways you deal with the pressures of life. Thank me later.
Send me your feedback on how you’ve dealt with difficulties in your life and let me know!