My Pen & I!
Like most teens in turmoil, after completing High school I felt completely lost and confused. I knew that there was absolutely no one who would be able to understand what I was going through. And since I knew that there was no one to talk to, I just wrote it all down. I bought and filled A4 writing pads; one after another. It was my catharsis. I was completely unaware that in the midst of my turmoil and the subsequent catharsis. I was actually honing a skill that would be my source of fulfillment for years to come.
Once in a while I would have an opinion about something I saw or read. And I would write it down and give it to my Mum to read. But since she wouldn’t read it as soon as I gave it to her; I would get impatient and read it out to her. She was and still is my number one fan. After reading it out, she would encourage me to submit my article to the local daily newspapers. But I was too afraid. My excuse; I was nobody and I wasn’t as educated as the news editors and journalists. But my Mum kept nudging me to do it.
About 5 years later after studying I.T. which I never really enjoyed much. And working in the sales field which was mind numbingly annoying. The call to the pen came again. I started scripting commercials for fun. I would listen to the radio and tell myself that I could script a better commercial. And I did. There was an opening for copywriters at a hot shot FM radio station in my city; Nairobi. I had never heard of copywriters before. But the advert touched on what I was doing for fun and I submitted my work.
I worked as a copywriter for five years honing my skills in a different craft of writing. But while scripting commercial, I learnt how to edit, be precise in delivering a message directed to a specific audience and the power of communicating complex issues in a concise and coherent manner. And what do you know? That is what a journalist needs to know as well.
Deep down that teenager being cheered on by her Mum wanted to be a journalist. I have watched the news on and about the Africa continent. And I got tired of the gloom and doom stories. I felt the need to begin to tell the real African stories from an African to an African and International audience and push for positive change. This is what I call solution oriented Journalism. That is how I begun a personal blog; http://afrosn.blogspot.com. And also what drove me to apply to be a 2011 Voices of the Future correspondent; because my stories; my voice, need to bring solutions for Africa’s future.