Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Nyambega Gisesa, Kenya’s Journalist of the Year

Meet Nyambega Gisesa, 23, who was recently crowned Journalist of the Year at the Media Council of Kenya second Annual Journalism Excellence Awards. The Standard reporter also walked away with the Reporter of the Year award for print, Young Journalist of the Year award for print, and the Tourism and Good Governance reporting honors for print. He was also a first runner-up in the ICT and Telecommunications’ Reporting and second runner-up in the Business Reporting awards for print. Speaking to Florence Dzame after the fete, Gisesa reveals how it felt to be recognized

Q. Did you expect to win so many awards this early in your career?

A. Whenever I tell people my age many of them do not take me seriously as a journalist. But my response to them is always that they should ‘Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.’

 I pay attention to detail, read a lot and I am constantly upgrading my skills. Right now I am studying law online. My hard work is paying off.

Q. What do the accolades mean to you?

A. The awards affirm that I am a versatile journalist. The judges must have recognized the diversity of my writing.

Q. Why did you become a journalist?

A. When I was growing up my parents would send me to the market to read all the newspapers and give a report.  I became an avid reader of the newspaper.

When I was in Form Two I started a journalism club.  Soon after four students were killed at our school and The Daily Nation newspaper asked me to write a story about it. It was my first published article.

Q. What are some of the highlights of your career?

A. Last year, I was among a group of journalists who were sponsored by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to cover the war in Somalia. I wrote the story Inside the battles in Kismayo that won me the Journalist of the Year award.

I have also written a book on the war in Somalia.

Q. What motivates you?

A. I want to win a Pulitzer. I hope that I can be part of the change that will move Kenya from a Third World country into a developed nation.

Q. How has your economics education impacted your work?

A. As a first year economics student at Kenyatta University I was elected chairman of the journalism club. One day when I was in town I went to the Kenya Times newspaper offices and got an internship for three months. That is when I developed a love for feature stories. I decided for focus on journalism and pursue my education part time.  Since then I have worked with The Nation and I currently write for The Standard newspaper.  My knowledge of economics enriches my stories.

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