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Bravo AWiM! You are the Dose I’ve Been Looking For by Beatrice Dama Kahindi

Beatrice Dama

My story started late at night when I received a late night call from my superior which I was tempted to ignore as I was so sleepy thought it was my wake up alarm. Little did I know that it was a wakeup call for me. He asked me to try and apply for the AWiM training and the deadline was the same day fortunately for me it wasn’t past midnight. I applied while still in bed and to my surprise I was chosen to be part of the 200 East African Journalists to undergo the training from across East Africa.

The training module covers six (6) courses to empower the participants on how to improve their skills and knowledge around their normal duties in and at work.

The course on Safety for Journalists by Vicensia Fuko: gave me an eye opener on the dangers that are lurking as I carry out my work as a journalist. I have been in active journalism for over 11 years now, reporting to duty as early as 4am from Monday to Saturday to host the breakfast show at Radio Kaya Kenya, while operating the same route to and from work not aware of the risks I was exposing myself to. Vicensia gives us a clear picture from the time one wakes up and the moment we reach our work stations and this brought back memories where I was accosted by a stranger on my way to work on two different occasions, which could have been achieved through stalking unknown to me. During my study, I have learnt that one has to be safe and alert at all times and change my routine so as not to be too obvious or predictable. I have learned valuable information on safety and awareness of your environs. Having a plan B or exit plan when reporting, online protection (through changing my social media passwords periodically), I have also learnt on the dangers of cybercrimes and attacks that one can be a victim of, ooh! my God I did not know the dangers that one could get on Social media, I also know how to protect my work, where to go or report in case of harassments.

The course on Accessing, Interpreting and Fact-checking Scientific Information by Dr. Joanie Marlene Bewa: helped me in getting the right data to use for the topic, I had done a research on the Data for people living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya which gave me the statistics and used them as facts.

  • Testimonial of practical work using the skills gleamed from this training

On 22 July 2020 at 4pm I did a 45-minute interview with the Chairman of National Council of Churches of Kenya NCCK, Bishop Peter John Katana. I applied my trainings from the courses balanced health reporting and identifying gendered angles while preparing for and conducting this interview.

The topic was about how the Churches are carrying out the HIV and AIDS awareness during this Covid-19 pandemic period and it was targeted towards men in the society who are as a result of research done; stated that they are more reckless and fear knowing their status when it comes to testing for HIV/AIDS as compared to women. I drafted the questions after research and even had a brief discussion with my colleagues on the same topic before having the interview to ensure that they are balanced by all means. I also ensured the comfort of the guest was catered to.

On Balanced Health and Science Reporting course: I referred to teachings from Madam Esther Nakkazi on the modules and in the live sessions, and it got me both amazing and excited at using the learned skills. I added some skills like the right language to use, putting in mind that my guest was a religious leader and not a Doctor or any Health practitioner.

Ruona Meyer’s live session left me courageous, confident, believing in myself and not letting anyone intimidate me or my work.

Learning does not end and Sometimes one just needs such an opportunity like the one AWiM presents to explore and improve on my career as a journalist and yes, every day we learn new things, Covid-19 has come with challenges but we shall overcome and ensure to strive to be mouth piece for positive change in the society and especially empower other female journalist who are yet to get opportunities like what we have today.

I wish to appreciate everyone at AWiM for selecting me and giving women in the journalism field a learning opportunity to share and grow in a field that is vast and changes from time to time.

Thank you so much AWiM.

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DR. YEMISI AKINBOBOLA

C.E.O & Co-founder, AWiM

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is an award-winning journalist, academic, consultant and co-founder of African Women in Media (AWiM). AWiM’s vision is that one-day African women will have equal access to representation in media. Joint winner of the CNN African Journalist Award 2016 (Sports Reporting), Yemisi ran her news website IQ4News between 2010-14.
Yemisi holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Birmingham City University, where she is a Senior Lecturer. She has published scholarly research on women’s rights, African feminism, and journalism and digital public spheres. She was Editorial Consultant for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 commemorative book titled “She Stands for Peace: 20 Years, 20 Journeys”, and currently hosts the book’s podcast.
She speaks regularly on issues relating to gender and media. In 2021 she was recognized as one of 100 Most Influential African Women.