You have to be good, you have to be determined and you have to be passionate if you want to succeed in your media career.
This was the advice given by Kennedy Kachwanya, Chairman of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), writer and established blogger during a follow-up mentorship forum organized by AMWIK.
Mr. Kachwanya, who is a communication entrepreneur through blogging, encouraged mentees at the forum to venture into other areas outside the newsroom, citing blogging as an exciting and paying venture.
“You can make money through blogging, and it also opens up numerous opportunities to engage with professionals in the corporate world,” he said.
The AMWIK Mentorship Programme is an initiative which aims to bring together seasoned media and communication personalities with female students in those fields to share resources, support, training and information about issues that affect women in the field.
AMWIK Mentors (l-r) Wanjiku Mbugua,
Kennedy Kachwanya and Rose Lukalo-Owino
A debut mentorship forum was held in March this year which brought together accomplished veteran women in the media industry and young trainees aspiring to pursue careers in the media industry. The recent forum was a follow-up session intended to address pertinent issues which had been raised by mentees.
Among the issues raised by media trainees was the need to highlight opportunities in communication entrepreneurship, communication opportunities outside the newsroom and the need to showcase young successful media professionals.
Renowned TV reporter Evelyn Wambui was among the young mentors who spoke at the forum, and she encouraged the young trainees to take advantage of the social media boom to launch and progress their careers.
“Media stations are looking for output and content, therefore start flooding social media with content in order to get noticed by employers,” she said mentioning the various available social media platforms including Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter.
Ms Wambui who is a former features reporter with Citizen TV also highlighted the plight of female journalists who are often viewed as sex objects and toys in the profession.
“As a woman, you have to work twice as hard,” she said adding “People’s opinion of you will change depending on how you present yourself. Respect your position as a woman, but also affirm that position; 10 years along the line, that is what will matter.”
Among other mentors was Paul Nabiswa, an Editor with the Kenya Television Network (KTN), reporter, author and radio producer.
Mr. Nabiswa urged the mentees to be confident about their abilities and to be knowledgeable on current issues as it is a prerogative to proving professionalism as a media person.
He was backed by Rose Lukalo-Owino, a veteran broadcast journalist currently with the Media Policy Research Institute and Wanjiku Mbugua, also a veteran reporter and currently a media consultant.
The AMWIK Mentorship Programme is funded by Ford Foundation and has been identified as one of AMWIK’s long-term projects under membership development.