Marie Yambo

Health reporter aspires to make documentaries

Marie Yambo is attending the 2012 Internews Health Broadcast fellowship.. She is a reporter with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), the state broadcaster, and also runs a health program called health matters. Marie also does the weather report on the Kiswahili bulletin.

She was not always a journalist. After completing her high school education she joined the family business of corporate training. Her role was to coordinate the activities of the company.

“I was not happy,” she says. “I kept hearing a voice tell me that I should be in the media.”

After considering her options for sometime she took a leap of faith and enrolled for a diploma in broadcast journalism before joining KBC.
“I was finally satisfied,” she said, “At KBC I have been able to learn and gain skills in journalism.”

It was those skills that reflected in her programs that set her application for the fellowship apart from all the others.
“This fellowship has enabled me to gain confidence in myself. I have not gotten to the core of what I am made of but I know that I want to produce documentaries in the near future.”

My own flesh and blood
“I love documentaries and after watching one I wondered if one day I would be able to produce one myself,” she says. Yambo won the fellowship together with Stanley Ongwae, a Radio Maisha journalist and a winner of the Commonwealth Broadcast award 2011, and William Inganga, an investigative TV journalist with the Kenya News Agency.

 With the fellowship, Yambo has gone on to produce compelling long-story forms. The first one My own flesh and blood was aired on KBC after prime time news on September 30 and has since been repeated several times by the station due to the overwhelming response. The story focused on the plight of pregnant and breastfeeding women who inject drugs and how their habit affects their health and that of their children.