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A glimpse beyond the horizon

I’ve been seated at this desk for three years now, editing stories from around Kenya for the Star newspaper. It’s an exciting job because besides reading several new stories every day, I’m able to turn some of them around to make them more interesting. Journalism has become a huge part of my life and I cannot imagine myself in another profession. But then, there is a possibility that I’ll edit news copies all my life and never get to impart my skills and passions on anyone else. My goal in life is to leave a legacy in the journalism profession. There are several things about the media that I’m not happy about and I would love to make a change.
I’m not happy that Kenyan women’s voices are still not audible in the media. That despite a lot of efforts to bring gender equality, men are still dominating as news subjects, reporters and media owners.
I have a vision of a country where women’s presence in the media is almost equal if not more than that of men. A Kenya where we’ll not have to wait for October to tell stories of courageous women who survived breast cancer in a country where there are hardly any cancer treatment equipment and drugs. I envision newspapers filled with women columnists, with their emotional sentiments all over the place.
The media sets the agenda in Kenya and the world everyday and I aspire a world where women will participate in setting the agenda.
I envision a country where women will stop wearing the face of poverty and disease and be an epitome of success and honour. Women have become the face of poverty and disease because the media only highlights their suffering. I’d want to see a media that focuses on women’s achievements and courage.
I would like to be a Voices of our Future Correspondent so that I can be a voice to the many voiceless women in Kenya who are changing the world in their own small ways but have no channel to tell their stories. These success stories will be a source of inspiration for women in Kenya to take action and rise above all sorts of discrimination we are facing in the media today.
I don’t believe in affirmative action, especially in regards to the media. Women have to make an effort, however small, to liberate themselves from discrimination. To do this, they have to be empowered. In my own small way, i’ve been talking to upcoming female journalists in my former college to work hard and make an impact in the profession. In college, I started off as a reporter with a small weekly newspaper in Nairobi and by the time I graduated in 2007 I was the editor. This enabled to get my current job as a sub-editor with the third biggest newspaper in Kenya, The Star. I believe in a few years, I’ll be a news editor, in a position to decide what runs in the newspaper. I'd like to see more Kenyan women's careers fast-tracked to the top through empowerment.
Working as a Voices Of our Future correspondent will open up a world of issues facing women and raise my level of activism. I also want to be empowered by mentors selected by Gail so I may stick to the right track.

Comments

Kristin Conroy's picture

I applaud you!

I applaud you for your current success and your passion to change the face of journalism in Kenya. You are very brave to challenge the industry, and will be responsible for wonderful, positive change in your country. Best of luck to you, Wairimu!

www.WordsAreFood.com
Nutrition for Body and Mind

I can only imagine the impact you are already having in Kenya, through the mentorships you've been providing to young journalists and of course through the stories that you write and print. You are so well-positioned to make such a substantive difference, keep on pushing this issue forward and change our world for the better!

Best,
Marissa

Jan K Askin's picture

VOF week 4 assignment

Dear Wairimu,

In describing your advance from college reporter to sub-editor of a major Kenyan newspaper, you tell an effective and affective story of small steps leading to bigger changes. It is impressive that you have chosen to work with other students from your college to mentor them from you standpoint of success and your vision to advance women's status.

I am honored to meet you (via Internet).

Jan, your sister in the US

Jan Askin

Wairimu Michengi's picture

I draw my strength from you

I draw my strength from you people. You are my inspiration and source of courage. Thanks for listening to me.

sallysmithr's picture

I love that you are in a

I love that you are in a field that you are so passionate about. There are so many people that long for a job such as that. You have so much to offer and I love the encouragement and dedication I can sense so easily in your writing.

Thanks,

sally

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