In the 1900’s radical ideologies were created by different women back then that demanded change and gender equality. With these ideologies International Women’s Day was created and from then on the emphasis for gender parity has increased by the day. This global day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Women are celebrated all round as we take time to acknowledge what they do for us all. There are many women making a difference out there. Media also serves to celebrate victories and look at challenges women face. There are female; editors, writers, journalists, photographers, camera women, bloggers, publishers and anchors out there making a difference in the Kenyan media scene. This article looks at some of the women in media who have made a difference. This is not a comprehensive list but just highlights some women out there doing a great job.
1. Julie Gichuru: The former new anchor is a mother to four children and has worked for television, Citizen TV Kenya and is the founder of many girl support organizations in the country. Julie Gichuru is one of the most all rounded women on our media screens; she is not only an anchor but an entrepreneur and founder of chief executive officer of Arimus Media Limited.
Julie is one of the most influential media personalities in Kenya. She had a program that aired every Sunday where she interviewed political leaders. Julie has been a media sweetheart since 2000 where she ran a lifestyle magazine called Quest and was a presenter at Capital FM.
Julie and her husband Anthony Gichuru created a foundation known as Africa Foundation that helps to empower impoverished societies. This foundation has been working with disadvantaged areas and supports the natembea campaign which was launched by a group known as the Grisma Group. The campaign empowers people with health and hygiene information and delivers shoes to schools in these disadvantaged areas.
Her passion for helping does not stop there as she is the ambassador of the AMREF stand up for African Mothers campaign which seeks to train over 15,000 midwives across East Africa. Julie was also recently appointed as one of the board members for the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. It is without a doubt that Julie is one of the most prominent women in our media.
2. Caroline Mutoko: This is a phenomenal lady. She is Radio Africa Group Chief Marketing Officer but is widely known as the former radio queen of Kiss 100. Currently she is a vlogger and uses her media platform to empower women. Most of her topics come out in a feminist tone that she does not apologize for. She urges women to take charge. She has become one of the leading media personalities because of her decisive and assertive nature.
Caroline encourages women to keep moving forward to achieve their full potential. Caroline took the bold step to adopt a daughter whom she says gives her the psych to be a better person. She is one of the most hardworking people in the industry as she has been in the radio industry for now 14 years, 4 years at capital FM and 10 at Kiss 100. In 2008 Caroline was awarded a Millennium Torch by the Danish government to assist in the meeting of Millennium Development Goal.
Her mission has always been to empower girls in the rural areas as she believes education is what will help girls in this country. She would constantly advocate for women in her breakfast talk show. Caroline has used the media platform to make a difference.
3. Catherine Kasavuli: I would not be able to conclude this article without mentioning the one and only Catherine Kasavuli. I still remember her on our screens saying “this is KTN” she has had a huge impact and influence to form what media is now. Her journey began in Voice of Kenya when she was barely 18. She later worked in KTN and moved to Royal Media behind the scenes. She has inspired many anchors and journalists such as Betty Kyalo. During this International Women’s day we celebrate her work and the fact that even during the hard times in the 1990’s as a woman in a male driven world she worked hard to be a trail brazier in this industry.
4. Adelle Onyango: This amazing presenter from Kiss 100 is the ‘Intel she will connect’ ambassador. The project encourages women to not lag behind with technology. The She Will Connect project encourages women to become tech savvy by equipping them with skills so that they can use computers to develop themselves and their businesses or passes. Adelle is thrilled to be the representative in Kenya as she pushes the initiative that is close to her heart. As young as she is, she is using the media platform to encourage women to learn more and be technologically capable.
Apart from being a media personality, Adelle has been recognized as an activist. She is the founder of ‘NO MEANS NO’ campaign which she started in 2010 to raise awareness on rape, which was inspired by her own personal experience. She uses her experiences to give hope to the youth and particularly young girls.
5. Victoria Rubadiri: Before I read this NTV news anchor’s life in true love, she was just another pretty anchor. Her story was revealed in True Love Magazine and it is an interesting story that can inspire any woman. Victoria got pregnant at the age of 18 and almost got an abortion. Her story moved so many people that she is now an icon of strength that is both beautiful and smart.
Victoria is usually invited to churches and other functions where she uses her story to motivate the young. She also recently started a show that airs on Thursdays known as Victoria’s lounge at 07:30 on NTV. The show discusses real life issues that our society faces; it seeks to answer questions to do with love, marriage, gender roles amongst other societal problems. The show has been a hit with many people interacting on social media because of the show.
6. Wanjiru Kihusa. Our list would not be complete with at least one new media personality. Wanjiru Kihusa is a family blogger who writes at WanjiruKihusa.com. Wanjiru is also the founder of Still A Mum an organization that supports families dealing with miscarriages and infant loss as well as infertility. They also demystify adoption and IVF.
Wanjiru has been using her platforms to encourage women to tell their stories. She has also been advocating for women who have adopted children to also get maternity leave because they are also mothers and their adopted children also need to bond with them.
These are some of the women that are out there being awesome and making a difference. There are many others out there. There are women who have opened doors for others and some who are still trail brazing. We are constantly been wowed by the women that appear in our media.
Who are your favourite female media personalities?
Vanessa Raychael is a young writer passionate about writing. She is a student at Daystar University. She has written for the People newspaper as a fiction writer and she also hosts a show in a gospel station known as Vision TV. During her spare time, she likes nature trails, spending time with friends and going for events. You can check out her work on her blog nochills.blogspot.com